Sunday, July 13, 2014

Loret’s Excellent Adventure

So, I spotted a cottonmouth snake a couple of nights ago on the patio, eating a Cuban treefrog.  If not for the dogs this would be a joyous sight.  Anything that eats the invasive frogs is a good thing in my book.  Unfortunately, cottonmouths a.k.a. water moccasins, are venomous snakes of the “get thee immediately to the hospital” venom variety.

Most snakes move on in good time, but Chili encountered the snake the other morning, luckily with no serious repercussions.  Again, snakey had a frog in its mouth so couldn’t bite her.  He did, however regurgitate the frog by the time I ushered the dog into the house, so he was getting ready to feast on the larger, more annoying Irish Setter prey.  Thankfully tragedy was avoided.

Today, Elliot, Chili and I were out wandering around and I decided to go inside for a bit.  Down on the patio below an opening in the brick lattice was the cottonmouth. AGAIN!

Obviously the snake was not going to move on so I checked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website for a snake relocation service.  I was happy to find one just a few streets over from me.

Meet Sonny and Greg of Sonny's Unwanted Adventures…snake handlers extraordinaire.  They arrived in less than 20 minutes with their fancy equipment consisting of a golf club (I think a 3-iron) and a white plastic bag.  The snake had moved but was still visible and they dispatched him into the bag in short order. 

“What do I owe you?” I asked.  “Ten dollars”, Sonny announced.  I was stunned by the low amount and I guess my face showed it because as I opened the door to go inside, Sonny sheepishly said, “Well, I’d take $20 since I have a helper”.  I reached into my purse and grabbed $25.00. At that moment I heard some conversation from the two gentlemen.  “I’ve got it”, one said.  “Check under there, there must be a nest”, the other reported.

I stuck my head out and they were adding a second snake to the Hefty kitchen bag.  They moved the lawnmower and the rubber mat and cleaned out under them.  They looked around a bit and said they would come back if I found any additional visitors.  I reached into my purse and exchanged the $5.00 for a second $20.00. 

Sonny thanked me profusely and reminded me that I now had a credit for a few more catches, to call any time.  I pooh-poohed him and said I’d pay his regular rates for return visits, just knowing that he was close by was worth it to me.

What a relief.  I’m glad I called in the professionals. I might have thought a 9-iron would do the job, and I’d have come up very short!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Life beyond the corral

I let Elliot out after dinner one evening this week and I glanced out at the roadway.  I did a double take, for there, on my street, was a herd of goats. Just munching along the culvert like they belonged there.  They probably live on the next block, I can hear goat sounds every now and again. They must have broken down a fence and meandered through the empty lot across the way.  Ahhhhhhh Country Living, it never is boring.

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 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.
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