Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bits and Pieces, Plus A Missed Opportunity

I don't have a photograph of the Indigo Snake that poked his neck out from under my old dead GMC pickup in the backyard yesterday, and you might have thought it was April Fools day if I did.

You might have doubted my veracity and suspected I had photoshopped the snake to make it appear as big as it was.
So maybe it's better that I don't.


I have seen a lot of indigo snakes ... even posted a few visits with them here on Pure Florida.


You feel me?

I came around the corner of the truck on my way to feed the shrimp and there he was with about two feet of head and neck sticking out from under the truck.

We both froze.
Because I had just stopped powerwashing and was soaking wet, my camera was 100 feet away from me in the front yard.

He tucked back under the truck.

I got down on my knees to peer under there and oh mother of herpetology, there were thick coils of beautiful black indgo snake, one upon the other ... it was breathtaking.

A big empty plastic barrel was a few feet away by the aquaculture tank. If I moved it closer, I could catch him just long enough for a photo, and then release him.

I turned, walked 5 feet, grabbed the barrel, returned to the truck, and he was gone.

I did a quick search in radiating circles, but it was hopeless.

My place is indigo heaven ... A nearby shed sits up on blocks with a armadillo burrow beneath it, there is an active gopher burrow 30 feet away, a brush pile even closer, next to the truck is a 5 x 10 foot BBQ deck with space underneath, ten feet away is a downed tree trunk with tall grass and the jungle of blueberry bushes adjoining it, and surrounding everything ... woods and more gopher burrows.

Lost cause.

So you probably won't believe me when I say this snake may have been between 7 and 8 feet long.
That's okay. I don't blame you.

The bright spot is, there's no reason for him to leave ... and there is a great chance that he was living under PFHQ and all of our noisy powerwashing disturbed him.

I think we will meet again.

This is a beautiful pawpaw, one of our low growing varieties. Don't ask me which one, because the red is throwing me off.
It's pretty similar to our flag pawpaw that you see as short clouds of white in cattle pastures. Pawpaw leaves are unpalatable so the cows crop all around them, but leave them be. When they bloom, the green pasture is punctuated by clusters of white blooms.

It's pretty whoever's Paw it is.
This one is growing out of the rockpile around the Waterfolly koi pond where it is quite welcome.
If you know this variety, feel free to chime in.

Spider lily (rescued from a road department ditch scraping).

This spider lily lives in my livestock water trough "pond" out in the garden. For a year or so, it has sat there as a couple of green leaves, biding it's time. A few weeks ago, it pushed up a flower bud spike, so I knew something was afoot.

At 4:00 pm on the day of the bloom, the bud was still closed.

About an hour later, I was walking by and it looked like you see in the photo.
Just amazing.

In other news, ... I was absent from PF yesterday due to the continueing face lift of PFHQ.
I should be clear that I am not doing this alone. Mrs. FC has been out there sweating too and in the years since the last exterior redo, Junior has grown from pudgy little boy to strong helper guy ... so I put him to work.

Actually he loves powerwashing ... I think we all do in this weather. Being wet while you are working makes it the fun job and we all covet the position.
Sure, you get splattered with mud dauber nest dirt, spider webs, and gunk, but at least you are cool.

He's having fun ... no really, I'm serious.

And the last little bit of this "Bits and Pieces" post is a few seconds of video from last Thursday's kayak trip.
The video starts near the top of the food web and drops down near the bottom.



Dani said...

AN INDIGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd been doin' the happy dance over that!

tai haku said...

An indigo?! awesome. I cannot imagine having such an awesome beast roaming my personal property. I'm very jealous FC. very jealous indeed.

Sayre said...

Indigos are FAST and can get big! When I lived in Wakulla, we had a shed on blocks. Apparently we had a ginormous indigo living under there (never a rodent on that homestead). I discovered him one day as I was tiptoeing through our overgrown with weeds garden and nearly stepped on him. He shot out of the garden and dove under the shed. I was glad to see him (if startled - I must have jumped 6 feet in the air).

We love to power wash - but it makes so much noise. Now that we live in civilization, we're a little limited on when and how long we can do it without being rude.

Miz S said...

An Indigo snake? The largest non-venomous snake in North America? A threatened species in Florida and Georgia? Man, I hope you get a picture next time. (As usual, I had to go to Wikipedia to find out more. I get such an edjumacation here at PF.)

Dani said...

I love when the sun hits them just right.

Floridagirl said... boys really do love pressure washing too. What is it with boys and a pressure washer? They want to use it for everything, but our water ain't free in these parts.

How lucky you were to see that Indigo! I saw one the first week we moved here. I was trimming an old palm, one of only a handful of trees on this property when we moved here. It slithered out of the crown. Gorgeous. And huge. Haven't seen him since.

Sandcastle Momma said...

As phobic as I am about snakes even I would have been impressed by that Indigo.
We have a lake near us on Eglin Reservation named Indigo Lake but according to a Ranger I spoke with last year the Indigos have almost disappeared from the Reservation.

Jr looks like he's having fun with that power washer. Give a boy a power tool and he'll work all day!

cinbad122 said...

Can Jr come pressure wash my house too? It is in real need. :)

S N B said...

BIG snake! Did you count your chickens?

DP said...

I'm jealous. Indigos are gorgeous and I haven't seen one in the wild in more than 30 years, since I left the family farm off the Cedar Key Highway.

Floridacracker said...

I KNOW! When he vanished so quick, I was doing the sad dance.

AWESOME is the right word. Today could be the day when we cross paths again. Grey, overcast, light rains ... a good day for a snake to be out.

One of the nice things about having very distant neighbors is not considering them. LOL!
Indigos are so impressive and big, I know what you mean.

Miz S,
Yes, that one!
Glad to help with your edumacation!

I think it's the gun aspect of the power washer.
It's a power thing. LOL!

That IS sad if indigos can't be found on a half million acres of prime habitat. maybe that ranger just isn't very observant.

Don't worry, Derek said he's gonna paint it to save $$. LOL!
How's the cutest baby in the world today?

Funny you would mention the chickens. Yes, all present and accounted for, except for a certain hen.

That must have been painful... leaving a farm in this area. They are not an everyday occurence here, but certainly an annual spotting on average.

Octohawk said...

I second the above comment.. I think my house needs some pressure washing, too ;)

cinbad122 said...

Derek is NEVER going to paint...I may drop dead if he does! LOL The cutest baby is awesome. Fussy at you well know. For the most part is great and is a little piglet. Mom has been here all week...thank goodness. Next week is the big test. I will be all by myself. Oh...and thanks for the onesies & swaddler thing. He is in the blue onesie right now! :)

Brian said...

I love that spider lilly photo.