Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

SAUGEEN PALMS

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If you’re cruising slightly above the limit along Highway 21, leaving Southampton on your way to Port Elgin, you might miss them.

If you happen to catch a glimpse as you zip by you’ll probably do a double take. I know I did the first time I caught sight of them. When I took a quick look back I just about rear-ended the truck in front of me. These things could become a traffic hazard. But after your first sighting – you tend to ignore them.

I mean, really – Palm Trees, this far north, on the side of the road?  No big deal.

They’ve been there all along. Rght? They must have been covered in deep snow this past winter. Or hidden behind high roadside snow banks like everything else.

But that can’t be. These things would never survive in this climate…even if we do live in Southwestern Ontario. No. Someone in Saugeen Shores has a sense of humour…or loves to indulge in wishful thinking…or just plain likes to play with our heads.

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But they are real – two tall Palm Trees outside of Shoreline Stone & Garden Centre between Southampton and Port Elgin…sitting beside a leaning hydro pole, enjoying our cool spring weather…and not a coconut in sight. I do have to say, though, they are looking a little worse for wear. Still getting use to the climate, I guess.

The Twin Palms traveled to our shores all the way from Florida. Obviously they had no problems with the recent heightened levels of scrutiny at U.S. border crossings. I guess you get a pass when you “Buy America.” There go our import/export quotas.

Anyway, if they survive the summer they’ll tough out the winter in the Shoreline’s big plastic enclosure. That way you can visit them when you go to buy your Christmas tree.

Maybe they should stage an annual replanting event. Like letting loose the swans on Fairy Lake or raising the Big Flag down on the beach on the 24th of May. The Bringing out of The Palms could be a rite of spring like May Day celebrations.

But seriously, it is a nice gesture – one that brings a smile to the faces of weather-hardened locals as we anticipate another of our wonderful, albeit, short Saugeen Shores summers.

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