Monday, June 29, 2009

Bug-eating Birds, Bats, Babes, and Barbeque

I don't eat bugs knowingly ... and I'm using the term nonentomologically to include all kinds of creepy crawlies.

I appreciate those who do .... the lizards, birds, Andrew Zimmern, fish, etc ... but the idea repulses me.

On my porch, near the cardboard Yuengling box stuffed with junk and a nest, the bug eater below is incredibly busy.
She is back and forth constantly, always working to keep her babies fed.

I say she, but I suppose this is a dual effort and both parents are working to keep the chicks happy.

And who could blame them ... baby birds are so ... cute?
I mean ... THAT is cute to you?

Looks like Sid Vicious waking up from a long night of drugs, slam dancing , and bar fights.

Now these are cute.
Emma, Lynn, and Corinne ... the college roomies.
They are at the Bat House on the campus of the mighty Florida Gators awaiting the exodus of the 60,000 bug-eatin' bats that inhabit the batty abode.
The bats cleverly waited until it was just too dark for any decent photos, but I did get ...

... this lone, slightly fuzzy shot of a single bat zipping out to munch insects.
There really were 59,999 others, I promise. They poured out and zoomed all around us ... I just couldn't get a decent photo of the others.
They had quite a crowd of onlookers and if you are in the area, it's worth a visit to see so many fellow mammals at one time.

Sorry I didn't post Sunday ... I really meant to do so.
My plan was to work on the house in the morning and post in the hottest part of the day when the A/C would feel pretty delicious ... but I just kept going.
I'm replacing two porch step assemblies this summer and one has some light water damage where it joins the house.
Ack!!! I knew that gutter joint dripped directly on to the porch ... but did I fix it with a squirt of caulk?
Nooooooooo ... that would be too much trouble wouldn't it?
Dang it!

Thus, a simple job becomes a bigger job, but it's nothing serious.

Oh, and my other excuse is BBQ.
I had 5 college students to feed for supper, so they put me to "work" over a hot grill in the afternoon.

We had a great dinner (bbq chicken, salad, fresh green beans, roasted corn, and mud pie) with no small amount of zany conversation, including this gem.

Corinne, Emma, and Katie were going on and on about the best cheesecake in the world, which they swear is some restaurant in Atlanta where they ate last summer.

At one point, Katie brought up the physical appearance of the chef who came out to the table to see how things were.
They all agreed he was not what they expected for a desert chef.

"He was so rough looking." Katie said, and they all agreed.

I saw my opening and I seized it ...

"Never judge a cook by it's cover", I advised.

Maybe you had to be there, but the eye-rolling that ensued was impressive, let me tell ya.

That was only a few minutes before my grand finale, which was an innocent toss of Bear's ball (while still seated around the table) which struck the ice tea pitcher, capsizing it and exploding ice tea across the room.

One of those shots, I would not have made, had I been trying to do so.

I will not play ball at the table.
I will not play ball at the table.
I will not ...


Thunder Dave said...

I need to find out how to build a bat house for our property!

Miz S said...

Even here in the city-fied suburbs we have tons of bats. But 60,000 at one time? That would be quite a sight.

Hey, I never noticed this before, but your grill is HUGE. Josh and I are playing in the minor leagues, apparently.

TROLL Y2K said...

Your rare failure to get good critter shots makes me feel better about my photographic ineptitude!


I don't care if I spelled that wrong. Freaking Germans and their goofy language!

Florida Beach Basics said...

That Comment deleted was me - had never tried that, and I see it is not totally transparent!

first question - is a mud pie recipe forthcoming?

second question - do I have this right? a green anole is a Florida native. a brown anole is the Cuban exotic. a fence lizard is a native of Georgia and South Carolina but is found in the northwest and west sections of Florida, but not frequenly on barrier islands or the Atlantic coast. I see the pretty flash of blue on your fence lizard photo - cool critters.

Pablo said...

*rolls eyes*

Sandcastle Momma said...

We had a lot of bats in our area until Ivan. After Ivan I haven't seen but a few - maybe we should build them a house and they'll return.
That BBQ sure looks tasty!

Wren said...

At last, a reason to visit the University of Florida. :)

Floridacracker said...

I've got plans and have built one already. We will have to do one for Wise Acres.

Miz S,
Those bats were pretty neat.
Flattery of my grill will get you fed!

Sad isn't it? I almost didn't post it ...

Green anoles and the southern fence lizards are Florida natives. The brown anoles are pesky exotics that are firmly and forever established here.

I know. But it was a gift.

Maybe Ivan blew away an important roosting site.

Ouch! There's a cool butterfly house too!

lisa said...

The baby birds are cute (not). But you did get a better shot than I was able to. I have barn swallows and I took pictures of the baby (holding my camera above my head into the nest.)

Julie Zickefoose said...

On the baby Carolina wrens: How would you look if someone had just voided a fecal sac in your ear?

Bird Ombudsman of Whipple

Floridacracker said...

What if baby humans were this ugly?
Would we go extinct?

A thing like that could ruin an otherwise sunny disposition.
Of course, working in public education as I do, I'm pretty used to that ...

Doug Taron said...

Wildlife, food, mayhem at the dinner table. This post combines everything that I enjoy about visiting Pure Florida.

Floridacracker said...

LOL! It's wild here. Thanks!

K. McG said...

So the pic of the mama bird she is a wren? I have same bird with babies on my porch..I am desperate to know what kind of birds they are

K. McG said...

Pics of mama bird is a wren?

K. McG said...

Pics of mama bird is a wren?