Monday, December 23, 2013

Elliot Before and After

Well, Elliot lives here for a little over 3 months and what a difference.  His coat has thickened up so that the skin doesn't show through any longer.  His eyes have cleared.  He is a happy, healthy, sweet boy. We are glad that he came into our life where he will stay forever. 
 
Welcome Home, Elliot!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Arnold surfs the windshield

I was riding home from the grocery the other day, doing my usual 60 in a 55-mile zone. Suddenly, from out of the hood crawled a green anole.

He hung out behind the wipers, tail flapping in the breeze.

We reached a speed limit change so I cranked it up to 65 for the 60-mile speed limit. Arnold (as I named him) didn't seem distressed and I thought of pulling over to let him off, but I know that some of the anoles hang out in my car engine. I figured it might be crueler to drop him off in parts unknown, rather than return him home to his friends. I have a healthy population of green anoles, the only anole native to Florida.

Arnold seemed to get bolder as we rode along. He moved up slightly and firmly planted his feet on a low part of the windshield, but up above the wipers. Now he was surfing. Head turned, smile on his face, he seemed to be enjoying the breeze. I kept an eye on him, for if at any time he looked like he was losing a grip in any way, I would have rescued him, but he held tight.

He got a slight reprieve as we approached the only traffic signal on the 13-mile journey home. He seemed to let up the grip for a moment and I thought he might jump off, but once again he hunkered down as we smoothly transitioned from the stop to 70mph. He actually appeared gleeful with the freedom of the wind in his scales. I gave him the countdown....8 more miles, 7 more miles.....two more blocks...we're nearly there Arnold HANG ONNNNNN!!!!

You may think this borders on reptile cruelty, but if I tried to remove him, my fear was that he would run for cover under the hood and maybe get fried on a hot engine part.

Even with a full stop at the mailbox he didn't look to jump off the car. We drove the next two blocks home and when I pulled into the carport and shut down the engine, he looked around as if to say, "oh, finally we are home".

It wasn't long until he wondered over the top of the car and leaped onto the post that holds up the carport. "Home to my favorite spot, at last!"

I think perhaps I need to do a public service video of the car grill covered in bug wings to show the potential dangers. Something along the lines of "Car surfing can have deadly results".

Photo depicts another of the native anoles that rode home on the sideview mirror from the mailbox recently; they are an adventurous bunch. Arnold was nowhere to be found when I returned with the camera...probably went to take a nap.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Love, Good Karma

Meet Elliot, a six year old English Setter boy who has joined my family.  We found Elliot online and it is all Twitter's fault.  I wasn't looking for a dog, but the SPCA of Central Florida tweeted something that took me to their website.  I figured while I was there I would just peruse the homeless doggies' list.  I didn't spot any dog that struck my fancy, but I decided that since I had come this far, I'd do a quick search on petfinder.com for "setter".  A bunch of local dogs popped up and Elliot was among them. 
 
I said it is all Twitter's fault, but that, in fact, isn't true.  Twitter played the starting role, but my friend Janet from Colorado, mistress of the Colorado cuties (mostly of the labrador variety) is the major one at fault.  She adopted a labrador about a year or so ago and named the tyke Elliott (two t's).  I probably never would have clicked on my Elliot's profile if his name was Harry, but I was drawn to the name so I had to look.
 
My Elliot is a wonderful dog who just had bad karma.  He was adopted and loved twice, but change in job and housing circumstances for the humans had him returned to the rescue group both times.  Not his fault.  Just lives changed and now, so has Elliot's.  He is in his furever home and we couldn't be happier.  In just a week's short time he fits in like he always lived here.  He has adapted to our shedule and is eating heartedly now, putting on some much needed weight.  The initial timidness is fading and he is holding his own with the resident setters, who are learning to accept him as well.
 
In reality, Elliot never had bad karma....his karma was good all the while.  He was given a good karma name when he initially entered rescue as a stray.  His prior stewards kept his good karma name which led him to me.  Funny how that works out.
 
 
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nature's voyeur

These Carolina Satyr Butterflies (Hermeuptychia sosybius) are pretty regular visitors to my place. It looks like the generations will continue.  Larval hosts include various grasses.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gator-ette

I'm not indicating that this is a girl alligator, I haven't a clue.  What I am trying to convey is that it is a baby gator, maybe 1.5 ft long.  I'm rather glad that Albert, the 2.5 to 3 foot one has "left the building". 
 
 
Alexander (I thought it was a fitting name) was just sunning himself on the tussock (island).  I saw him one other day doing that dead man float thing in some deeper water. I'm not sure how they get here and where they go when they leave.  I just find it interesting that they DO find my little inland pond.  A friend Kim reports that they are capable of climbing a fence.  This one is small enough to fit under the gap of the back gate.  For a comparison of the two, it's like barbie shoes versus size 7s.
 
At any rate, I walk very carefully these days around the pond.  Don't want to be a peg legged gardener ;)
 
 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brood Three Bluebird Fledgee....What Are You Waiting For?

Although the Bluebirds chose to raise their third brood up in the Purple Martin house where nosey me can't see how the babies are doing, I was at the right place at the right time this week.
 
One day I spotted the Swallowtail Kite, a type of a hawk bird soaring over the property.  That means it is close to fledge time for some poor unsuspecting nestling.  I'm not sure how the kites know that the babies are ready...perhaps they use a calendar much like I do:  See food going in?  Check in 16-18 days for bluebird babies coming out.
 
The next day I was walking around the pond when I heard the unmistakable chatter of the bluebird parents.  Flutter around, sitting high in treetops, seemingly telling the kids to hurry up.
 
I stepped far enough away to not upset the parents, but close enough to get a view of the babies.  I got to witness one dancing in and out of the various holes in the martin house, leaning out onto the balcony, contemplating the first flight.
 
(S)he seemed a bit hesitant and was taking a bit too long, so I snapped a few photos and headed inside with the hope that it had a successful first flight and that the hawks and kites weren't waiting in the wings with bibs on.
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