I go home to that suburban home I was just referring to, and even from the top of the Niles Channel bridge it is invisible. Not just because its so small (around 800 square feet-72 square meters) but because the original owners who built the house in 1987 added trees, and look at them now:I have my own grove of coconut palms, and what a tremendous amount of work they are too! Each tree produces a vast number of coconuts in continuation all year long and alongside them we get tons of fronds which I hack with a machete to fit them in the bins for the garden waste mulching program at the landfill. Coconuts are not native to the Keys, which may come as a surprise, but they prized because they set the right tone for the islands. The fiction is that the Keys are tropical ( they are sub-tropical as they lie North of the Tropic of Cancer), that they are in the mythical Caribbean Sea (The Keys are in the South Atlantic- the Caribbean laps the south shores of Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, the islands known as the Greater Antilles), so ever since tourism took off these lumpy rocky islands have started to sprout palm trees to dress the islands up for the role of tourist haven; because Palm Trees spell Exotic Relaxation.
My neighbor keeps a vacation home vacant most of the year but his palace is shaded by these same trees which give his place the requisite vacationing air:I have wondered for a long time why palms are called palms and the answer I got for my troubles was that the trees appear to look like human palms with fingers extended, especially when the breezes blow and the trees sway back and forth. It sounds pretty stupid to me, but I've met no better explanation for how they got their name. And so they grow, like the clappers come rain or drought, sunshine or shade. Amazing plants and vastly underrated in those sickly advertisements for vacations and liquor and... all that other stuff. Respect your palm trees, oh vacationer and doff your hat to these remarkable survivors of all that nature can throw at them.