Thursday, October 12, 2006

Burrow Hopping



I've been sticking my nose and my camera into burrows lately. Mostly, I stick my hand and camera in and then let the auto focus, auto flash wonder thingies on the Sony do the rest. You may remember the (post) bee tree post a while back. I have some gopher tortoise burrow inside shots to come, but this little burrow is not a gopher hole.

Flounder the dubious retriever and I were walking along near the pond when we came across this burrow. It was dark inside it and neither Flounder nor I was sure if it was occupied or not.

"One way to find out", Flounder suggested and I had to agree, so I knelt down, inserted the camera and pushed the little shutter release button thingie a couple of times.

Some insect, disturbed by the flash, flew out past me and Flounder snapped it up.
The slurping of said insect was followed by a bout of jowly head shaking and Flounder trotted off muttering. I didn't quite catch what he was saying, so I got back up and walked on.

As I walked, I pushed the little "instant gratification, look at your pictures right after you take them" button. I was curious to see if that burrow really was empty or not.

This is what I saw. Take a look below. You might need to click on the pic to get the full effect.

The burrow appears to be filled with the nest of ground nesting hornets. Why they didn't swarm out and attack in the 5 minutes I spent fiddling around their home ... I don't know. It was the heat of the day and they should have up to their usual crankiness.

I have some history with these little buggers and this just may have been my lucky day ... or at least a nonstupid one, although ...

... you may disagree on that last point.Posted by Picasa


Wayne said...

Lucky you!

Speaking of discoveries within photos, I'm continually surprised at taking one, examining it later, and finding things that I had no idea were there. Part of it is the middle age progression toward the need for reading glasses.

Burrows. I've noticed them especially this year. Are there more, or have I just noticed them? I have a feeling the armadillos are responsible. Saw one just last night.

Laura said...

Be careful up there young man!!! there are rattlesnakes in some of the burrows, you know. The big ones like to nest in gopher holes. I'm sure you know this, but I always cringe when I see burrows. Hub caught a few rattle snakes that way. (idjit).

pissed off patricia said...

I agree with laura, all sorts of creatures take refuge in burrows. We are fortunate enough to have a gopher tortoise burrow right in the middle of our back yard. When the tortoise first appeared he was about the size of a silver dollar, that was five years ago so we have been able to watch him or her grow. He crawls out and suns every morning and since he is surrounded by lush grass, he or she has it made.

robin andrea said...

You are so lucky, fc. Yikes. I think about sticking the camera in burrows and snapping away, but some instinct kicks in and prevents me from doing so. You did end up with a cool photo. Still, I think I'll forgo the temptation.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You just lucked out on this one. Usually you just have to walk by and stomp around their holes and they swarm. I was mowing near one of their nest sites and I couldn't hear them for the lawn mower and they got me good. I didn't even see them coming.

Ericka said...

i just flipped back and read the first installment of your 'stupid things i've done' series. isn't it amazing how something sounds perfectly logical until you're in the thick of it?

well, at any rate, cool picture! i'm glad these hornets haven't communed with the shades of hornets past.

Hurricane Teen said...

ha ha, that whole truck/hornet nest incident was the first post I read on your blog. I sure got a chuckle out of that one. Just don't do it again.

Floridacracker said...

I think all my nongopher tortoise burrows are armadillo dug. They are thick here and turn my place into a nest of ankle twisting dugouts each evening.

Yes maam. This is a do as I say, not as I do blog. Just ask my kids, they know ... :)

Me too! We have a bunch of gophers sharing our place. One even walked up and laid her eggs in my garden while I weeded a few years ago.
I do look before I leap, really I do.

That instinct is called "intelligence" ... I think, I wouldn't really know of course.

The "luck factor" was running strong that day. I'm still puzzled about their docile behavior.

Exactly. The best laid plans ...

I can be taught. :)

pablo said...

Lucky you. Those damned things go for my ears of all places!

Floridacracker said...

I have to agree, lucky moment. I think I'll let them live out their cycle, they're in my woods and the cold weather will probably take them out later this winter.

Mrs. S said...

You're just lucky you didn't try to eat one like poor Flounder did! I hope it was only his tongue that was bothered, and not his tummy.

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S,
He was fine after a few minutes. Certainly didn't ruin his appetite!