Thursday, April 08, 2010

Happy Herp Day!

Well, if there isn't a herp day, there should be.
Here are a few close encounters of the herpetological kind that I've had lately.

This Florida Cooter was wading through a woodland puddle on a recent morning.

The long and extremely cold winter here in Florida seems to have whacked the exotic brown anole population hard. The photo above is our native Carolina (hmmph! should be Florida!) Anole in his brown mode.
It hit me last week while I was excavating strange artifacts that all I was seeing were native anoles! After that epiphany, I really started looking and there are NO brown anoles at PFHQ.

Even more amazing, I am writing this from my Mom's house and her yard, which was literally crawling with exotic brown anoles, is TOTALLY DEVOID OF THEM.


This is one of the baby turtles from the 2006 nest. Newbies might want to search this blog to read about the baby turtles. You PF veterans know the story.

This tiny skink (its a real one, Pablo) was wrestling another one in the dry leaves Monday while I was landscaping.

So I asked him if he would pose for a pic and he said yes.

He's just a wee thing.

Happy Herp Day!

I am still in St. Augustine and am nursing just a slight headache after a mini-reunion with my highschool budbrothers, Kevin and Billy.

We landed at Jacks, a funky beach dive at St. Augustine Beach last night and spent about 4 hours sitting outside reliving our misspent youth.

After much time traveling, a few Yuenglings, and story telling, we came to a general consensus that :

  • It's good to have survived our teen years.

  • Our kids are way better than we were. Waaaaay better.

  • Times sure have changed ... we came of age in a town with drive through hardliquor windows ... yes, you would drive up to the Lazy Sands Bar at Vilano Beach and they would mix you a bardrink at the window and pass it to you in your car. Can you imagine? That was so normal to us and we were full adults at 18 that we never thought it odd. There were nights when we circled that bar like sharks around a whale carcass.

  • Reading that one, let me repeat it's really good to have survived our teen years.

  • Some stories are just for the 3 of us and nobody else's business.

  • And, perhaps the most important thing, there are friendships that stay strong and unbreakable over a lifetime.


threecollie said...

Very glad you survived.
Very jealous of your herps (except as always the big, poisonous, bite you, eat you ones)....having to make do with a lousy pair of salamanders here. Those baby turtles must be getting big now.

Caroline said...

According to my Internet research, National Reptile Day is October 21...not sure who declared it so, however.
Seems like herps should be celebrated in the spring to me...the newly emerged, the singers and the two-lifers.

LaDivaCucina said...

Sounds like a good time for you boys! I find your comment is spot on, my sister's kids are much better than we were! haha! (and they think they are so grown up!)

I've seen hardly any anoles yet either. Usually the pool deck is full of them hopping about. Will they come back?

PS: I'm thrilled about your heirloom chile seeds. I sent the info on to some friends who garden. I live in a high rise facing north and am seriously considering starting some sort of lit green house just to grow them! Will keep you posted! Cheers FC!

Dani said...

That wee skink is adorable!!!!

I'm not seeing many brown anoles either. Wippee!!! Hopefully, the cuban treefrogs got hit hard too. ugg.

Glad you got to have a good evening out with your best buds. :)

amarkonmywall said...

The more herpies, the merrier. Decimated is right-boy, for a while there, not a one. Long dry spell for Sophie. But they are back and we have a few brown ones. And another datil popped up overnight. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

Cute turtles. I had a turtle named Sam who lived in my pond.

Glad you had fun with your buds. I don't have any friends from school that I keep in touch with but I have friends from work that have been in my life for over 35 years. They have stayed strong and unbreakable for me! We keep a lot of our stories to overselves too!!
True friends keep your secrets!


TheFrogBag said...

So happy to see all the herp photos! I remember the brown anoles taking over way back when I was growing up in Florida (Sarasota, to be exact). You hardly ever saw a native one after a while! Non-native geckos too. I wonder what happened to them during the cold snap?

Always enjoy your blog. It feels like seeing home.

Bill said...


No headache for me, but I have no explanation, since Kevin and I were one beer ahead of you from the Alehouse. Of course since we are adults we no longer engage in beer drinking contests. I had a great time and you are spot on with your conclusions, especially the friendship part. Thanks for sharing and for the get together.


kevin said...

Yeah, no headache for me either. I did sleep an extra hour though. It was a great night, we need to do it again. Also, I had no idea Jack's was such a happening Wednesday night place.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen any Anoles in my yard either.

Brickman said...

I can hardly imagine the joy of being 18 and having a drive though bar right next to the beach, but of course back then I'm sure the traffic was so much less to begin with. I don't know that kids are so much better, they just have the whole internet to be bad in nowdays.

As far as the brown anoles go, I had the same hopes here in Gville, and they do seem to have been knocked back but not out. As far as encouraging the greens though, they do seem to climb a bit more than the brown, and we have seen more and more of them the last couple of years as our landscaping grows taller (sorry, its not all native, I can't control every decision for the yard, but nothing is invasive that I know of).

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Is it an official holiday ... I can't keep track. (If they had to replace it with any, maybe Columbus Day.)

TROLL Y2K said...

Very solid interesting post. You must have JUST made the "18 for all booze" Cut-off. It changed the year I was going to turn 18.

If I can think of two positive changes since then, they are:

1)Change in attitude towards yutes, car, and booze.

2) Less overt racism from yutes(from whites, anyway).

Thunder Dave said...

I know where you're coming from on this one! Lightnin and I just got back from a trip home and ran into a couple of my old friends and spent most of the afternoon discussing the same topic!

Hey those drive up windows were still open when I first moved to Pensacola, looking back I can only say: "What were they thinking?!" ;-)

Raymond said...

Love salamanders. We are pretty herpy here.

Thanks for the research! I just made that up of course, but I did expect there was a real one, since EVERYTHING gets a day these days.

La Diva,
Darling, the datils should grow amazngly well in the south FL heat, although they will pause in their flowering when nights stay as hot as the days!
The anoles will be back, it's just a slap from old man winter.

Cutie Patootie skink!
Enjoy the exotic free time, they will be back. I hope the cold got the single CTFrog at my mom's.

Love that you are cultivating datils in new places! Poor Sophie, she's not getting enough vitamin L.

True about the secret thing! Did your turtle up and walk as they are want to do?

The nice thing is the gap may allow our natives to reclaim some territory and pump up their pop.
Glad you like PF!

Billy and Kevin,
MY headache is because I am such a beer wuss these days ... a six pack lasts about 3 weekends here.
So it doesn't take much.
Although as I recall, I never could quite keep up ... ROWF! LOL!
It was an excellent evening.

It was a special time and St.Aug had not yet become colonized by folks from elsewhere.
The native anoles do climb much higher than the exotics so even when the browns return, the natives will hold the high ground.

Apparently there is a reptile day.

I turned 18 in '76.
You know the reasons for the law change I assume, but it was a stupid decision by the adults of the time. Teen traffic deaths went sky high, we weren't ready for it and it was soon changed back to 21.
Glad you enjoyed the solid post.
Both your points seem valid to me.

They weren't! It was an emotional response to the Vietnam War. "Old enough to die for your country, old enough to drink".

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Yes he did! My neighbor found him walking across the street. I said "oh, you found Sam" but he wouldn't return him.

My neighbor was an ass.


Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Yes he did! My neighbor found him walking across the street. I said "oh, you found Sam" but he wouldn't return him.

My neighbor was an ass.


PS What happened to your header?

Thunder Dave said...

FC - I'll drink to that! ;-)

Anonymous said...

And when did you start using the name "Raymond"?