Key West Real Estate Throwback Thursday No. 36

Real Estate Agent with Preferred Properties Key West

From June 19, 2011

Ï Hope You Are Not French!"

Outside my kitchen window last year - hoping I'm not French

 Many of my readers and customers who send me emails know that I have a terrible sleeping problem which stems from a fall I took a couple of years back while showing a bank owned property in Key West. I ended up in the Lower Keys Hospital with a concussion. I'm okay, now, but I did take a big spill. Damned cheap banks that don't take care of their bank owned homes! Anyway, if you have ever suffered a concussion you know that one of many symptoms can be a sleeping disorder. That is my long term and seemingly ever-lasting legacy of the tumble. For a while a would go to sleep around 6:00 to 7:00 PM and then wake up at midnight or shortly thereafter. Now my sleep is finally getting back to normal but I continue to have regressions to early evening beddy-bye. But I guess I am doomed to be an early riser forever. Last year I awoke way too early. I had already had coffee and decided to make breakfast at a time some Key Westers were probably getting ready to go to bed. I went back into the kitchen and saw the frog shown above. He was clinging to the outside of the kitchen window watching me. I found my camera and took his pic so that I would not forget him. 

A few days ago I was again awake way too early for any sane person. I had left the kitchen door open and a frog had found its way inside the kitchen. He saw me and jumped onto my stove. He was a bit too eager to be eaten in my opinion. Were I French, he would be history. Instead, I decided to ignore him. I poured another cup of coffee, turned out the lights and left him. The next time I returned, the frog was gone and all I had were memories of the tiny creature. Frogs are strange creatures. I guess they are always here, but unless you have a murky pond or needy pool, you just don't see them and certainly don't hear them. But they reappear annually in late Spring. If you are an early riser like me you can hear them croaking come May. I don't recall how long they stay because they just stop their noise and disappear into the flora and fauna only to reappear the following year.

An iguana inspecting my pool


I don't want to scare any potential buyers by reporting on the little animals that live here. My experience have been harmless. A few years ago I was having some work done at my house. Two of the workers were from Nicaragua. They saw a 3 foot iguana walking around in the backyard where we were working. They tried to catch it. They couldn't. The lead carpenter was from England. He picked up a large 6" x 6" post and hit the beast on the head, killing him instantly. The time was 11:45 AM. He took the Iguana home at noon. He returned at 12:30 and announced he had thrown the Iguana into a pot and was making Iguana Soup. I wasn't home at the time and would not have allowed that to happen.

Later that day after everyone had left I saw a baby Iguana about 12 inches long walking by my pool. He wasn't even afraid. I thought buddy, you better move or you could get thrown into the pot with your dad. The next day the carpenter retold the story of his slaying the Iguana and reported on what a tasty tail the beast had. "Best Iguana I ever ate", he said.

I live in the Casa Marina area of Key West. My house is four or five blocks from the beach. It's an easy walk or bike ride for me. One Saturday afternoon several years ago I found a large blue crab swimming in my pool. I found an old five gallon bucket and scooped the crab out of the pool and thought the poor thing was lost. So I rode my bike with the bucket-o-crab back to the ocean where I returned him to the sea. Later someone told me the crab was probably horny and was walking around looking for a mate. He said that crabs leave the ocean and move inland when they want to do it. Little did I know I was messing with the crab's sex life. 

One Saturday afternoon I was taking a nap. We had left two packages of baby back ribs on the kitchen counter to defrost. I got up and decided to get them into the oven for a long slow bake. But when I went into the kitchen there was just one package. I looked everywhere. I remember having seen two packages on the counter. I looked in the freezer and the refrigerator. I looked in the oven. I looked high and low throughout the kitchen. I even went outside trying to figure out where the second package could have gone. I could not find it. Our baby back rib night was less filling than planned. Maybe a week later I found the opened cryopak in the back yard. Something had made its way into the kitchen and stole the package and took it outside where it opened the package (taint easy either). The meat was 'all gone'. Nothing left inside the package. The store label identified the package as my stolen dinner. I don't have a dog or a cat. The carpenter that ate the iguana and the Nicaraguans were no longer working at my house. We do have some homeless people that walk the streets from time to time, but they don't come inside my property and surely none of them eat raw pork. I did see a raccoon in my yard once. Maybe he was the culprit. No way to know for sure.

I have a small apartment at the side of my house. A few years ago a really sweet young couple (Sean and Jen) lived there for nearly five years. There was a fish pond near their entrance and that had some creepy fish that lived inside. I decided to clean up the pond, buy a new pump, and make the pond look even better by adding some large Koi. I went to the pet store and bought three good sized Koi and some small feeder fish. I introduced them to the newly cleaned pond and felt proud of myself. Note to self: don't feel proud of yourself because vanity will do you in. The next day I was driving home from work and saw this big egret walking around at the corner. I never see egrets walking around my house. I got worried and ran over to Jen's apartment. She came out and said "Gary, they ate the fish!" My three Koi were gone. I had not created a place for them to hide. Little did I now that egrets had such good sense of sight or smell or whatever it was to find fish in one day. If you are looking for a place in Key West and are up for a little backyard adventure or two, CLICK HERE to search the Key West mls database. See if you find a place that interests you. If you do, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642. I am a buyer's agent and a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West. I am not French, and I don't eat frog legs or other living creatures that I have found in my yard.

Comments (10)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Gary. Always a pleasure to read your blogs about life and real estate in Key West. Keep them coming. Enjoy your day.

Dec 02, 2021 04:44 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Gary - I have long been an early riser and that has provided many opportunities for some interesting insight at times.  Little did I ever know it would give me pause to think about iguanas as a food or the extracurricular activities of crabs. 


Oh well, I am not sure I could go back to bed even if I was tired - the possibility of nightmares will hopefully disappear soon.  

Dec 02, 2021 04:50 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Wow, these are great stories that shouldn't scare anyone away from Key West. As for the frogs, I remember once in New York, my neighbor's house was vacant. It had been foreclosed on and no one had lived in it for a while. There was a pool out back. Well, we started hearing a LOT of frogs croaking in the evenings. Evidently the pool was full of frogs; I didn't go over there to see but eventually they were cleaned up and new people moved in. But those frogs were SO noisy!

Dec 02, 2021 05:11 AM
Gary Thomas

Very Noisy. Even the Little Ones.

Dec 02, 2021 07:19 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You do offer a different perspective on life but a lot of that would come from living in the Keys where life is different

Dec 02, 2021 01:23 PM
Gary Thomas

Ed, That is why so many people choose to come here to live. It is not a place for everybody. They all could not fit - physically or mentally.

Dec 03, 2021 03:03 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Gary--oh my gosh you brought back memories of living in FL. My neighbor had a Koi pond in her front entry and had a problem with the "fish-eating birds." She begged my husband to do something about it (because he hunted) so to quiet her, he got his air rifle, looked up and "made sure" nothing was over head and shot the air gun. 

Poor bird that happened to file the wrong flight plan had no idea what was coming!!!  

Dec 04, 2021 02:30 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dec 04, 2021 04:52 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Gary - I am not a great lover of all of those critters and I know Florida has critter.  I keep my house in Port St. Lucie closed up tight when I am not there.  Any open packages are also in the refrigerator and AC always on.

Dec 05, 2021 04:30 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Gary Thomas ,

Wow I can see why Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week! I'm not a fond lover of these creatures but its part of living in FL! We have our critters in Texas that are not scorpions! 

Dec 05, 2021 06:21 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Gary Thomas - What an amazing recollection.  I too seem to suffer from a sleep disorder but I never had a concussion.  I nod off about 7 to 8 pm and then up after midnight before getting another nap before sunrise.  

Dec 05, 2021 09:50 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Gary:

I always enjoy your posts about life in Key West.  This one about the critters was pretty entertaining!


Dec 05, 2021 12:57 PM