By TIM GRANT
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 31, 1999
Novelist Carl Hiaasen has said -- not cheerfully -- that Florida developers tend to name subdivisions for the animals their bulldozers leave homeless. With that in mind, we asked Tampa Bay residents if they have ever seen the critters after which their developments are named.
[Times art: David Williams]
Any deer? Resident Fay Mulvey hasn't seen any.
Any parks? No.
Actual animals present? "Bobcats and those big gopher turtles," Mulvey said.
Suggested alternative name? "Construction Park, because we live between Little Road and State Road 54 and everywhere you look they're digging stuff up."
Any bears? No, said Lillian Szydlowski, a homeowner.
Any creeks? Yes -- Bear Creek.
Actual animals present? "Just the dogs and the cats."
Suggested alternative names? Cat Creek, perhaps? "It's been Bear Creek for a long time," Szydlowski said. "I say just let it stay."
Any foxes? "No, but we've got plenty of ducks," said Dorothy Ann Hughes, who feeds and cares for an ever-expanding flock around her home. At last count there were more than 100.
Any creeks? "No, but there are lots of retention ponds. The one behind my house is as big as a lake and has a lot of fish."
Actual animals present? "Otters, birds of all kinds, a snow white egret, a blue heron and, of course, ducks."
Suggested alternative name? "I sure wouldn't want to call it Duck Creek. But we've got so many ducks here now. ... If I see any of these start mating I'm going out there with a broom and break them up."
Any foxes? Juanita, a worker at Fox's Hair Den who declined to give her last name, says a fox hasn't been seen in the vicinity of Gunn Highway and Mobley Road in the 43 years she has lived in the area.
Is it on a corner? Yes. Fox's Corner is a cluster of country-style stores at S Mobley and Gunn Highway in Odessa.
Actual animals present? Deer, rabbits and possums.
Suggested alternative name? "I know people around here aren't crazy about possums, but we've got enough of them around here to call it Possum's Corner," Juanita said.
Any quail? "Yeah, but they're definitely in the minority," said resident Bill Matthews.
Any ridges? "I don't know where they came up with that ridge part. It's a wacko name."
Actual animals present? "This week we had a 71/2-foot eastern diamondback rattler on my neighbor's porch. We've got extremely large fruit rats. With all the construction, they're running things out of the woods into the neighborhood. I'm talking about possums, wasps, hornets, bats and large populations of squirrels."
Suggested alternative name? "Dodge City. Because at any given time something could happen where I've got to break out a weapon and shoot something to defend myself. I had a dog corner me the other day. If I didn't think I'd get thrown in jail I'd go change the name myself."
Any fawns? "No, unless you count the two fake ones that were out front," said resident Donna Lupori, referring to the deer statues that once announced the entrance to the subdivision. "Somebody kept chopping their heads off and that was the end of the only two fawns I've seen in Fawn Ridge."
Any ridges? "I don't think so."
Actual animals present? "Dogs and cats. That's about it."
Suggested alternative name? "I'd probably call it Citrus Park Mall View because now I can see Citrus Park mall from my front door."
Any eagles? "No, but I have seen vultures," said resident Marty Milne. "We live a block off East Lake Road and there's a lot of road kill."
Any coves? No.
Actual animals present? Armadillos, raccoons and squirrels.
Suggested alternative name? "Nothing really snappy comes to mind," Milne said. "I'm not the marketing type."