"It was very calm and let me take pictures of it. He was really dark, and rested his head perfectly on the grass. I think he was about 3 feet long."
Did you notice anything else about that experience?
Were you scared?
"No because I know it's a Black Racer."
How did you find this snake?
"I was walking the dog, and I saw him by a bush. I had to run and get my camera."
These are great shots Lily. I love the inquisitive half smile. Have you ever ever caught one of these?
"Yea, you know I have, I tailed one right in front of you."
Just answer the questions.
It's starting to occur to her more now that she has the camera she asked for, and she is going back to get it. Black Racers are common around here, but very beautiful, and we have eaten their dust are more than one occasion, trying to catch them. She did "tail" one in front of the house and spun the poor creature like he was on an amusement ride. He was trying to strike at her at the time, and no one wants to get bit, so Merry Go Round. My neighbor told them I was an idiot for letting her pick up something that could kill her like that snake. She told him, "its a Black Racer." He holds, like so many others, that the only good snake is a dead snake. I guess that's probably part of the reason that I don't see many Indigos anymore. My daughters ask before they pick up, and they kept his son's friend from picking up a Coral snake. It's lazy and ignorant to assume that all snakes are dangerous, and it is wrong to kill things just because you're afraid. Take the time to learn, and teach your kids to ask questions before they touch things.
We came to get berries, we came to make pie
But the girls got scared of the rumbling sky
Too many distractions, but you won't hear me cry
We're about to get rained out, two cups shy of a pie
But we made a new friend when we rescued this guy
From the crazy four wheel driver that can't open his eyes
Then Drewmatik tried to keep him, but her dad was too mean
He didn't want to go to jail, for stealing this thing
Hey, I just try to stay clean
So we gave him back to nature, and Drew didn't get to rob her
And we had just enough Black Berries, so Lily made this cobbler
Here is one of the first pictures of the tadpoles, and here is another about 8 days later.
We had one fully developed frog get out of the Barbie pool and apparently start drying out on the porch. He was still moving a little so I threw back in the pool to clean the porch dust off him and he did not make it. The tadpoles went cannibal and made a meal out of the little guy. I remember a friend telling me of the same problem when he had Dart frogs. I never pursued breeding them, but they are gorgeous animals to keep. It is difficult to raise the young of certain types because they actually eat an unfertilized egg that the mom lays periodically for them. She will also carry them on her back to get to different pools during their development.
The girls found 4 of the frogs in this jar near the pool. I guess they made it this far, and being tree frogs it was easy to climb.
So far I think we have some Cubans in the mix, and the smaller black ones may be toads. There is still another that I am not certain of.
I watched a Swallow-tail Kite one day, diving at something far away
Far away for these old eyes, so I moved in closer, like a spy
And oh my word, its dragonflies
But who could catch such a thing in flight
With scissored tail, this Kite just might
Swoop, he's done it and dives for more
And makes an art of dinner chores
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
It was a beautiful day, so we loaded up the kids and headed off into the Ocala forest. My wife and kids are suckers for the cold water springs, and who am I kidding, so am I. I had never been to Alexander Springs before, and I like to try new things, so we headed north. The drive up 19 was nice. We saw some wild turkeys, and this interesting place. I love spiders, but talk about a let down, not one spider. They sell nothing of the sort.
When we got to the springs, the lady at the Ranger booth charged us 22 big ones just to park the car. This must be some kind of place, I thought. It was pretty and the water was nice, but for the price, I prefer Rainbow, Wekiwa and Rock springs. The pancakes at Deleon are pretty good too. A better approach to this would be to take a kayak and park your car on the road by the river. Yea, I'm cheap, but if I was local that's what I'd do. The hiking area is better than Wekiwa's, but make sure you give yourself a thorough inspection afterwards. I pulled off two ticks and then had to have my wife assist with one I couldn't see. Ouch!
While its no Blue Springs or Three Sisters, it is a fun place with the Ocala forest surrounding it. I enjoyed the drive, the swim and the hike.
It's going to be a great summer, so tune in next time, for more outdoor fun and follies.
First you have to find a caterpillar, then its very important to find what he likes to eat. Sometimes it's as simple as what he's on, but what if you find him on the concrete? There are those animals that are selective about what they eat and some to the point of being called specialist. Lily found Pickles (the caterpillar) on a fence. Since she didn't find him on his food source, she opted to feed him passion vine leaves. Lily had successfully fed this to other moth larvae in the past. They eat a lot, which means they also poop a lot, so you have to clean out the jar regularly. The girls were bringing him fresh leaves on a daily basis, and he was leaving them surprises on a daily basis too. Then one day he stopped eating and started weaving. We watched him make his little cocoon, and then go still for quite some time.
One day after work, Lily noticed the cocoon wiggling. So we got out the cameras and watched the transformation. I am still not sure what type of moth he is. He looks similar to a tiger moth, but I don't recall the intense orange on the abdomen with her other tiger moth. At any rate, he's beautiful, and if I had to choose between being a butterfly or a moth, I would pick the moth. Yea, he may fly into flame and not get as much notoriety, but I think Pickles is cool.