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Easter and April Fools’ Day

March 30, 2018
By JOYCE COMINGORE - Garden Club of Cape Coral (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

For my Catholic friends and the deeply religious followers, the end of Lent has come. Now you can feast on Easter food. 'Tis the season for cuddly bunnies, fuzzy baby chicks, colored eggs and baskets of candy. To the amusement of many, it is also April Fools' Day. Facebook is alive with how to fool Easter celebrators. Such an event last happened in 1945. A day of treats and pranks. A day of spiritual observations and a funny international event.

Easter does not have a consistent date, it is dependent upon solar and lunar cycles, happening on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the March equinox. Equinox means equal day and night in all parts of the world. March equinox signifies the official first day of spring.

Soon after feeling victimized as an "April fool," you can console yourself with a chocolate bunny. That brings us to the

problem of false news so prevalent these days. What to believe. It's a sad state of affairs when you can't tell fact from fiction. I try not to let irrational statements upset me, and I don't judge hastily; fact check is a friend.

These amusing holidays are not public holidays but fun. Resurrection Day, a day for the religious to celebrate, and this year, pranksters to abound. Pranks should not be about embarrassing people, but fun and games, laughing and smiling. Some pranks are listed on Facebook: covering grapes with the colored foil of chocolate eggs; filling plastic eggs with raw vegetables (bunny food) or olives; filling eggs with play money; putting candy inside balloons; filling baskets with toys they already own; making cakes with whip cream-covered sponges; putting small jellybeans in an ice dispenser; having strange and bitter flavored jellybeans; covering brussels sprouts with chocolate and sprinkles, add a stick to look like cake lollipops; putting cheerios in seed packets and labeling them as doughnut seeds (have donuts available for later); having a scavenger hunt (I put the first clue under their breakfast plates or in plastic eggs) and they go from there, ending up in the washer or dryer; sticking plastic eggs to the ceiling.

I don't care to waste good chocolate by filling empty chocolate bunnies with mustard or using real eggs - that leave a fairly stubborn mess. Putting bubble wrap under rugs is fun anytime, and filling plastic eggs with jello for lunch salad eating are normal treats to me. Hide peeps in plastic eggs. My children, they disliked peeps.

Blessed or cursed is this day. Glad April Fools' Day/ Easter doesn't come very often.

April also brings us the driest of seasons. Really serious active wildfires in Florida right now as spring arrives at the peak of dry season. Our spring season arrives at the peak of dry season. In listing seasons in Florida, it said that they are: Warm, Hot, Very Hot and Too Darn Hot. They do go on to mention other unofficial Florida seasons. Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30, Snowbird season is about October to May (they keep Florida green), strawberry season is December through May, fishing season varies by species and alligator mating season runs from mid-April through June.

Yes, now is the time to be wary of alligators through June.

I previously lived in eastern Texas, in the swampland of Orange, Texas, just across the Sabine River dividing Texas and Louisiana. When I heard croaks and grunts coming from my daughter's canal, they claimed the grunts we heard were bullfrogs. I knew better. Alligator mating season starts as the weather warms up, their metabolism increases, leading them to be frisky in seeking out mates. Time to be wary of them. Awareness and understanding are the keys to living near their habitations. Alligators live in both fresh and brackish waters. Don't swim or wade near waters not posted for swimming. Keep track of pets and small children near waters' edges, especially near dusk or at night.

As cold-blooded animal, when their bodies start warming up, they start moving and traveling. I'm certain you have seen the pictures/articles about alligators in swimming pools, at people's front doors, calmly strolling golf courses. 'Tis their season of 'L' amour' and larger males will push away smaller males or anything blocking their designated objective. There is no April Fool's Day joking with them.

The best way to live harmoniously with them is using your common sense, and being aware of your surroundings.

Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Alligator Hotline, 866-392-4286, for any alligator over 4 feet long, you feel is posing a threat to life or property.

Alligators have been on Earth for millions of years and described as living fossils. Their jaws have a strong bite, but the muscles used to open their jaws are weak. You can use your bare hands to keep their jaws closed (as I've read. Don't want to try it to find out, keeping my distance). Their brain is no larger than the size of a quarter.

The temperature of their eggs in their nest determines the gender of the hatchlings. The preferred meat of the alligator is its tail, with very high protein content.

Alligators were nearly extinct in the 1900s, now they are thriving and overpopulated.

As they used to say - "See you later, alligator" (Don't get me started on crocodiles).

And thank a tree for your good life.

Joyce Comingore is a Master Gardener, hibiscus enthusiast and member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.

 
 
 

 

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