I went looking for the adopted son of Sanford
A ginger headed, African type lizard
At the old abandoned bank where he thrived
I found nothing, had any of the agamas survived
Someone had done a little renovating
And probably a whole lot of exterminating
The old building was now some sort of school
I stood there staring and looking like a tool
At least to the guys at the business next door
Who said, "we don't see the red heads any more"
But there were so many here before
There was an old restaurant with holes in the ground
Where I thought the temperature they needed was found
They seemed to be doing so well
But maybe when the temperature fell
With no underground left for the lows
They stayed out in the open and froze
I'm curious, if anyone knows
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
I think on most lists, the red headed agama would come up as an invasive species. At every location I have seen them in here in Florida, they seem to stay on the buildings and other construction of Florida's most invasive species, us. They are very territorial and since they prefer the buildings and walls that we create, I don't see them moving into the surrounding natural habitats that are left. The population I use to see in Sanford was in a lot where there was an abandoned bank, and an old restaurant with holes in the ground going to what was possibly an old septic space. This group surprised me because the longer I stayed there and watched, the more I would see coming out of both buildings and using the rental car lot next door. The woods that separated this area from an apartment complex and pond behind it, held nothing but Cuban Anoles. At the pond, I found a water moccasin, some leopard frogs and a garter snake, but no Agamas in this area. On my recent visit, two weeks ago, I did not find the first Agama. The bank was now a school, and the restaurant was gone. Maybe some of them survived and just moved, or maybe since I was there in the heat of the day, they were thermo regulating in the shade somewhere. It was strange, because I had never been there in years past without seeing many of the lizards, but maybe this fall I can check some other populations where I have seen them further south.
This is the area they are usually in; if someone sees them let me know: Sanford
Lily getting quick with the camera. Its fun to see them grab for it when they see wild life, but its also interesting to see what merits a picture for them.
We are definitely a water family. Drew is asking for my camera more and more. I love this photo.
I can't think of any time where two days passed in a row that one of my girls didn't have a lizard.
Let your kids hold the camera some this summer, and see what take pictures of.
Pay attention young larvae, the Water Beetle said
Because nymphs that don't listen, will all end up dead
There is danger in the water and danger overhead
Watch out for the Newt and the mighty Axolotl
There is one Hellbender left, but he's the last of that model
Never the less, stay clear of his den by the old sunken bottle
There will be bluegill, red bellies, and Killifish galore
Traveling in packs like shoppers through a store
Looking for young dragonflies that they can make no more
If you make it through this gauntlet and the molting comes upon you
Your thoughts will turn towards heaven, and wings will spread out true
But the danger is not over; its waiting in the blue
Look now above the water, observe the mastery of flight
So beautiful but deadly, your enemy the Kite
Will taunt you to come play with him, but you will lose that fight
And if your wise and make it, back to waters clear
Be careful of the jumping fish, it is the Bass that you must fear
And over by the Lily pads the Bullfrogs always near
Oh, and be careful of the Water beetle, he loves to shop this store
With those words he grabbed a dragon, and made the nymph no more
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
Kelly Park has been one of my favorite swimming holes since I was a child. I use to go to Camp Joy, which is right up the road, and canoe the Wekiva River as a young lad growing up in Central Florida. The Wekiva has stayed fairly clean compared to some of the other water ways I grew up fishing on the coast. This area is located in Apopka and not far from Wekiwa Springs. Both Springs are nice and offer the opportunity to hunt shark's teeth, which I lost three the girls found today and am still hearing about. I have been informed that the statute of limitations on my failure will run when I take them back to the spring.
These pictures are obviously at the head of the spring where you get in to make the run. The water is beautiful and makes me wish I had a Go pro. We had a Soft-shell turtle, some other sort of terrapin, bass, bluegill, carp and some nice wild shiners.
As you swim down the little lazy river, you will notice on your left….
Our cute little lifeguard, and yes folks, he is small but he is a great swimmer. Drew didn't appreciate me pointing him out to her while she was swimming by him, but she is always slow to warm up to this sort of thing. He was cute and I had to convince another father there that it wasn't ok to pick him up to show his son or scare his wife.
There were other interesting animals, like this turtle that no one seemed to notice about 6 feet over from the gator.
I have hunted deer a lot in the past, but am not use to them letting walk this close. I guess they have lived in this protected area their whole lives and are use to humans.
No way, what's this?
On the Great Plains and Savanna's of Central Florida two young explorers wield there cameras.
Is it a black horse with white stripes or a white donkey with black horse stripes?
A doe is not a deer when it is an Impala.
I feel like I'm being watched. A beautiful Peacock.
And a deer is not always a Doe.
We went for a little nature walk at the Oakland Wildlife Preserve. The last time we were here it was cold outside so we decided to see what the place was like during the summer. The alligator above was out at the dock, and as soon as there was any splashing in the water he charged over to investigate. Gators can detect movement like this through sensory spots, and though their skin seems quite tough, they have an acute sense of touch. I guess even a blind alligator can find its prey. Its no surprise that he would respond to noise or movement in the water, but there was also chicken meat on top of some of the surrounding flora. I guess someone's aim was a little off. The problem I have with this, is that he is now being conditioned to be a nuisance gator. You feed him at this dock but he has access to a large area that includes many peoples back yards. He now associates human noise and activity with a meal, and appears like a stalker to other human residents. I'm not saying this is what happens in every instance leading up to an attack because they are predators. But if you feed the ducks and pigeons they all come, right. I have never heard of anyone killed by a duck or a pigeon though, and the problem with gators is that people are already afraid of them. They are beautiful and deserve respect, part of which is giving them space. Don't feed the Gators. If you want to see them getting fed then go here: Gatorland.