I went looking for Tone Loc, outside his home range
Found some funky ferns in a place that felt strange
But no cold Medina, as I move towards the scrubs
Just little Sceloporus clinging to the shrubs
I watch a few aprons, but its like life on the moon
Except for the tracks of the Bobcats and coons
Not one black and white, but its a beautiful day
So don't cry for me, Argentina, I'll be back this way
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
I dropped the kids off for summer camp, and decided to take a little side trip, to a place called Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve. If you pronounce it with a fake Cajun accent; it sounds really cool. I wanted to do some herping and had passed through Green Swamp, but I thought it would be nice to check on something that might hold exotics. So I left St. Pete and headed over the Skyway bridge , to take the scenic route.
I took a picture looking back from the rest stop. Most rest stops I have been to aren't this cool. Well, off to the land of Tegu sightings.
There are actually some nice mountain biking trails here, and seeing the multitude of cars with racks, I decided to go into the woods on the other side. According to Eddmapps, this is where most of the sightings occurred anyway.
It's not the best kept trail, so if you're squeamish I wouldn't recommend it. I think it would look a lot different during the winter and I would definitely like to see this place in the fall. Most of the issues were related to the constant summer rains and the resulting over growth and flooding. The only wildlife I noticed on this side were squirrels, birds, mosquitos and some Race Runners. There were many Gopher tortoise burrows but everything seemed to be hiding from the late afternoon heat. Fortunately, I brought a lot of water.
I looked all over for Tegus, but didn't find any. It was a beautiful day though so I decided to walk the mountain bike trails.
This area was amazing and I would definitely like to return this fall. I found a lot of Sceloporus lizards and would suspect this to be a good place for Kings, Hognoses, Pines and Pygmy rattlesnakes. I turned over some dead trees, but no luck, and once again I am being warned by the sky to leave. The thunder started cracking and as I hit the end of the trail, I realized, in my excitement to get out here, that I didn't take my entry bearings. So now I am faced with a trail that dead ends into a dirt road, and do I go left or right. The sky is dark now and it is starting to rain. Does this sound familiar, Drew? This time I had my phone, so I checked the GPS, but the blue dot does not move so well when you are walking and I don't want it to move the wrong way. The sun is covered up, but I remembered there is a compass app on my phone. I know the road I came in on ran North to South and that I entered on the right so I need to go west to return. I pointed the compass west and followed till I was safely in my car. A great app to have.
No Tegus, but that is probably a good thing. They are very intelligent lizard, large and aggressive enough to have a negative impact on the indigenous species in the area.