Southwest Florida Yachts
 
 

 

Holiday Song Syndrome
By Barb Hansen
December 1, 2004

I went to a department store the other day and caught Holiday Song Syndrome. Now Iíve got turtle doves, calling birds, and French hens on my mind, on my mind, on my mind.

You remember this song, donít you?   Twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. Repeat 12 times.

All these birds and whatnots are accompanied by a catchy tune and I can live with it for a time but, really, those lords leaping and maids milking get old fast. Vic said maybe it would help if I substituted new images. Get rid of those pipers piping and pear tree partridges, he said, and substitute some of the birds and sea-life we get to watch here in subtropical Southwest Florida. We donít have maids a-milking, but we have manatees, which are mammals. We donít have lords a-leaping, but our dolphins leap. All this you can see for yourself while cruising the placid backsides of our barrier islands like Sanibel, Captiva, Useppa, Boca Grande and Cabbage Key.

So, here we go, with my apologies to the Twelve Days of Christmas song. I call it the ďTwelve Days of a Southwest Florida Cruise.Ē  You can hum this to the natural rhythms in the air, like engines humming, sails slapping, halyards clanking, and waves a-lapping.

On the first day of cruising my true love gave to me
A pelican in a mangrove tree.

 On the second day of cruising my true love gave to me
Two turtles from the sea.

 On the third day of cruising my true love gave to me
Three manatees.

 On the fourth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Four frigatebirds.

 On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five calling loons.

 On the sixth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Six cormorants swimming.

 On the seventh day of cruising my true love gave to me
Seven herons prancing.

 On the eighth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Eight rays a-flying.

 On the ninth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Nine skimmers skimming.

 On the tenth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Ten dolphins leaping.

 On the eleventh day of cruising my true love gave to me
Eleven spoonbills spooning

 On the twelfth day of cruising my true love gave to me
Twelve egrets posing.

Truth in advertising prompts me to say that we donít really have calling loons in Florida. Canada sends us her loons for the winter, and they thrive on our warm weather and saltwater baitfish, but Iíve never heard these snowbirds make their haunting calls here in Florida.  In winter Canada also sends us white pelicans, which are much larger than our brown pelicans.  My other tilt toward poetic license has to do with the frigatebirds, AKA man-o-war bird. We see them in summer but rarely in winter.

Still, anytime of the year, cruising Southwest Floridaís inland passage gives visitors an amazing panorama of sea life and bird life in their natural environment. 

Witnesses a-welcome.
 

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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W


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