Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.
|[How Well Can Key Deer Hear] Interesting fact from Save Our Key Deer, Inc. In response to a past post asking why do Key deer turn their ears backward when lying down? Here’s a primer on deer hearing abilities:
Short attention span synopsis: Deer hearing abilities are very similar to humans in frequency range. Where they have an advantage over humans is in being able to turn their ears 180 degrees, turning them into miniature satellite antennas to concentrate sound in a particular direction. Better yet, they can turn each ear in different directions to enhance their echolocation (see attached photo of “Ms. Bella”, a Key deer). So when lying down, turning their ears backwards is likely a precautionary move to monitor what’s going on behind them without having to turn their head.
More info: Studies at U. of Georgia in which-white tails were put in a sound chamber, and their brain waves monitored for activity showed that white tail deer are most sensitive to sounds in the 3000 – 8000 Hz range, compared to a healthy human ear at 2000-5000 Hz. So deer can hear somewhat higher frequency sounds than humans, and can easily identify the direction of a sound-of-interest by turning their ears independently in different directions. So based on existing research what we humans hear from our deer friends is what we and they get – no secret ultra-sound talk, etc. But they are very acute to what their vocalizations mean. A case-in-point: Key deer snort loudly when alarmed to let other deer know of a possible major danger nearby. The snort is produced not in the throat but by violently expelling air through the nostrils. To the deer, this sound is a very major alarm. We’ve seen them use it when catching scent of a dog, for example. Some months ago, one of SOKD’s members who has a large property was doing yard work while a bunch of Key deer were resting under the trees and in the grass areas nearby. He had a sneeze coming and, not wanting to scare the deer with a loud WAAAAAAAH through his mouth, suppressed it and let a huge snort come out his nose instead. This caused a Key deer stampede worthy of a Wild Kingdom video! Many of the deer did not return for a day afterward. Guess our snorts sound like Key deer snorts!
|[“Punishing Cuba again”] This administration deals with Communist and socialist governments all the time yet is afraid of little ol’ Cuba, most most of all the Miami Cubans.
[Don’t Feed The Chickens] Officials at the Key West Wildlife Center are asking residents to refrain from feeding chickens, noting that there is a larger than usual outbreak of botulism killing the birds, and feeding them can be lethal. The center has received many calls by concerned residents who think the birds are being poisoned. These outbreaks occur every year at this time and it comes from a naturally occurring bacteria in the soil that, when activated, is ingested by chickens by drinking muddy water or eating food people put out for them, scattered on the ground. The City of Key West and the Key West Wildlife Center have been working together for 11 years to reduce the number of feral chickens roaming our streets, but need assistance. Since 2009, nearly 15,000 birds have been relocated to the mainland.
I stopped at the entrance to Bahia Honda State Park yesterday and asked the employee if the Sandspur day use beach was opened yet and I was told no. Now seriously residents, it’s been over 3 years since Hurricane Irma destroyed BPK. The Keys are pretty much back to normal, mini lobster season happened, the roadblock on US1 and Card Sound Road have been lifted, tourists are invading the Keys again , and Sloppy Joes is open for business. Bahia Honda is seriously lagging behind. I think that they should stop choking their chickens and get to work.
|Another eight-eight “affordable” homes to be built on Sugarloaf Key? How many of you remember when our mailing addresses began with RR Box – and the number? The “RR” stood for Rural Route. The Keys don’t need affordable housing – paychecks need to rise to the cost of living! For what it’s worth, a pound and a half of large (20-25 per pound) local caught shrimp in NC is ten bucks. Nothing in the grocer says imported or “Sustainably farmed” from Asia – it’s local caught.
If we have another debate, the moderator needs to be a dominatrix with a taser and a bullwhip.
|[Virus At The Top] Trump, first lady test positive for coronavirus. Link
[“Cardinal bird feeder”] I’ve tried a couple of different feeders, but the one that holds the most food is what I use. I had to glue roofing nails to the sides to keep the morning doves and blackbirds out. Cardinals seem to need about 1 1/2″ to 2″ of clearance to fit under the nails. bigger birds occasionally eat the seeds, but not too often. I have another feeder for them.
|[International Criminal Banking] The real value of a conflict is in the debt. Control the debt, control the conflict.
|[Cruise Ships] Limiting the cruise ships is a quality of life issue not a financial one. If you live in Old Town you’ll know what I mean.
Allen Archer says we’re going to get 5” of rain this weekend. My rain gauge says we’ve gotten 5” since last night. Blug, blug.
|[Friday Joke] It’s been a bit of a strange day. First, I found a hat full of money. Then I was chased by an angry man with a guitar.
Helen Reddy, Singer Of ‘I Am Woman’, Dies At 78. Her song “I Am Woman” went to No. 1 in 1972 and launched her global stardom and she followed it up with a string of hits, such as “Delta Dawn”, “Angie Baby” and “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady”. She hosted her own TV variety show “The Helen Reddy Show” and starred in Hollywood films. Reddy was the world’s top-selling female vocalist in 1973 and 1974. Her career tapered in the 1980s before she officially retired 2002. She was diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Video
|[Scammers] If some scammer does a job on you they are just as guilty as any crook and should be locked up with a large jar of lube. People think scamming is just a computer or phone gig, but it is just as harmful as a gun!
[Name That Wire] This wire in a semi-rigid plastic sheath fell down across my driveway. I don’t know what it is so I don’t know who to call to get it removed. It it phone, electric, cable, CIA?
|[“City of Marathon’s splash park boat ramp”] So just like we used to go out to play before video games arrived, we now no longer want to go out on the ocean? Must be scary to live on an island.
|[Privacy] Scammers are sending texts and emails about contact tracing. The real scammers are Apple and Android who were quick to download tracking to our phones without our permission. If you’re that paranoid about catching KungFlu, stay home! You have no right to know another’s medical condition – check the HIPPA laws.
|[“BPK post office closed without notice”] Why don’t you just call them and ask them why; and the mystery could be solved. If you want to find out on the actual day of a closure, contact the “Regional Post Office” for Monroe County and ask them.
[Slippery Shower] There’s nothing scarier than the split second when you lose your balance in the shower and you think “They are going to find me naked!”
|[Scam] The reporting person received a text from GOV.US that stated CORONAVIRUS ALERT. The text stated the receiving person was recorded leaving their home “on three occasions yesterday.” The text then states the receiving person has been fined $99 and provides a link to a payment website. This is a scam. Help the Sheriff’s Office by spreading the word.
[Key West Chickens] “Since 2009, nearly 15,000 chickens have been relocated to the mainland” That’s a lot of birds to drop off in someone’s yard! I’ll bet a lot of those chickens ended up as Sunday dinner.
|[Wrong Way To Do It] “Elect Pete Bachler” for something, right on my desktop without my permission. How f**king invasive. Just because you know technology doesn’t mean you have to be in my face and mess with my computer. On my own desktop PC! F**k you asshole. Yeah, I’m sure to vote for him (there should be a sarcasm font).
Mac Davis, the pop-country crossover star who wrote hits for Elvis Presley and had a No. 1 pop single of his own with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” died on Tuesday at a hospital here. He was 78. His manager and friend, Jim Morey, said the cause was complications of Mr. Davis’s recent heart surgery.