Available 7 Days/Week       MON - FRI  8am - 7pm       SAT - SUN  10am – 6pm
Call us (305) 465-3900
Apply Now

Category: Wild Things

WILD THINGS: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE GRAY GHOST

I was not expecting the Gray Ghost, not expecting it to come up the way it did over my shoulder, not expecting it to move on ahead and around the low bank of trees and out of my life before I could really even fathom it was there. It moved as if guided by unseen forces, smooth, quiet and effortless. I saw it for about three seconds, too fast to even think about raising my camera. I had one of those moments where I was simultaneously ecstatic that I saw it and crestfallen that the experience had been so brief.  In the years after my father died I had a series of dreams where I would run...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: GLIDING INTO THE UNEXPECTED

We saw the fake Southernmost Point marker in Satellite Beach, Florida, 437 miles from Cuba, 347 miles north of the real one. It was in front of a pizza place and was pretty much full-sized, possibly built out of the same type of concrete sewer main as the real one.  We were in Satellite Beach for a small detour at the beginning of a trip up north. We’d never really been to the beach towns of the Space Coast but had been watching a lot of TV shows about the Mercury and Apollo programs, and my wife was convinced we might see a young astronaut ripping around town in a Corvette or T-bird....

Continue reading

ASK THE BIRD GEEK: ARE BIRDS REALLY JUST FANCY, LITTLE DINOSAURS?

Are birds really just fancy little dinosaurs? — Bi-Residential Barry Yes! Yes, they are.  I started to write about how all the birds we know can be traced to one ancient genus called archaeopteryx. They were these feathered dinosaur things, about the size of a crow, that could probably sorta fly.  I mean, the whole point of doing an “Ask the Bird Geek” column is to answer a couple of quick bird questions off the top of my head without doing a lot of research. Because I’m trying to go on vacation. Because it’s been a long pandemic and I really need to go on a vacation road trip. Like,...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: THE SECRET LIVES OF YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS

It would be tough to be a yellow-billed cuckoo in the Florida Keys if you viewed yourself through the eyes of a birdwatcher, because, well, you’d always just be a damn disappointment. This is what I was thinking when I saw one fly across the road on Boca Chica the other day. The disappointment wouldn’t be your fault. It would be the fault of the very similar-looking attention hog, the mangrove cuckoo. That’s the one birdwatchers always want to see.  It’s not because they are terribly beautiful or charismatic creatures – they are various shades of brown and white and always look a little...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: MIGRATING BIRDS, CIVIL WAR REENACTORS & DEAD POETS

Migration was over, at least officially, so a common yellowthroat shouldn’t have been in the seagrape, but there she was, flitting around as if schedules and range maps didn’t apply to her. Female common yellowthroats always look a little caught out to me. Males have this black mask across their face that contrasts with their yellow throat. It’s dramatically graphic and reminiscent of an old-school cartoon burglar, giving them a certain swashbuckling air.  Females have very similar coloring, if slightly duller, but without the bandit mask. Their vibe is more like they’re out trying to...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: THESE BIRDS ARE MESSING WITH ME

It’s not often that an animal messes with you just for the fun of it. Stuart, my half pit bull, used to do it. If you took him for a walk up the Keys, he would sometimes find a really long stick, balance it in his mouth, run up behind you and hit you in the back of the legs with it. Then he would stand there with a kind of Fozzie Bear look on his face, like it was the funniest thing in the world. (He did this once with an 8-foot two-by-four. Hilarious.) A couple years ago I was out in my boat and saw a pod of dolphins. I cut the engine to just watch them for a while, and they went into full-on...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: BIRD MIGRATION IN THE KEYS

You want to see signs of rain when you wake — puddles that weren’t there the night before, maybe wet streets. You don’t want it to have rained too early in the evening. Sometime between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. is best, though later still works. You want the birds that left Cuba and parts south just after sunset to have hit the weather over the Keys, to know their migration was done for the night, and to set down. You want it to rain enough that, after the birds have given up on the evening’s long-haul flight, they don’t keep moving forward on short hops. That’s how it works in my head, at least....

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: NORTHERN GANNETS ARE THE POINTY-HEADED MOUTH-BREATHERS OF THE SEA

The wind was up, so it was likely to be “sporty” crossing the Northwest Channel, but as I cleared the anchorage behind Wisteria Island and moved through the first set of channel markers, it was surprisingly calm. I kept waiting for waves to break over the bow and they didn’t. About halfway to Mule Key, a low line of birds came towards me – big, white, fast-moving. I got a little excited, threw the engine into neutral, and felt the stern lift as the wake caught up to the boat. The lead bird rose up over the water, and all the birds behind him rose, too, then he dropped down, and all the birds...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: Drama in the distant treetops

Certain aspects of your life are hard to explain. For instance, I would not want to answer to a jury of my peers why I wasted so much time last week staring slack-jawed at the drama taking place in a pine tree in Eastern Europe. I’ll start by blaming Davis.  He’s Latvian, and the kind of friend who, if you call him up, tell him you’re making a movie for a 72-hour film challenge, and ask him to put on a Grim Reaper costume, run around the beach and try to catch a football that he can’t see, he’ll do it, no questions asked. A few years ago, Davis sent me a link to a webcam that’s mounted on a...

Continue reading

WILD THINGS: SINGING WITHOUT KNOWING THE WORDS

There’s an oft-quoted line from “To Kill A Mockingbird”: “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy … but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” I mean, it’s a lovely sentiment, and a poignant metaphor that plays out throughout the book, but the problem is, it wouldn’t hold up in bird court. It’s the repeated phrase “for us” that’s the rub because, like more things than we care to admit in the world, it’s not really about us humans. (Though, to be clear, it is still a sin to kill a mockingbird.) Bird song, as far as we know, tends to...

Continue reading

Copyright © 2022 Fidelity Home Group supports Equal Housing Opportunity | All Right Reserved  | NMLS Identifier 1834853. Fidelity Home Group is not affiliated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Not intended for legal or financial advice, consult your own professionals if such advice is sought. Accessibility Statement  | Consent to Receive Electronic Loan Documents  |  Cookies Policy   |  Disclosures  | Email and Mobile PolicyFair Lending Policy  |  Mortgage Assumptions  |  NMLS Consumer Access  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use 

Florida Keys Mortgage | Fidelity Home Group
2011 Flagler Ave, Key West, FL 33040

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 8am to 7pm EST
Saturday - Sunday 10am to 6 pm EST