Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gator Cake, Dillo Dirt, Fins Fun

Bear still hasn't kicked his armadillo habit.

At the end of an almost dusk walk, he chased an armadillo into its burrow.
We spent the next 20 minutes here, while he dug deeper and deeper into the sandy soil. I actually encourage his harassment of our burgeoning armadillo population.
They are not native and I think it was Archie Carr who noted the drop in soil fauna where armadillos existed.

They can sure wreck a flower or garden bed too.
I have given a few of them lead poisoning, but they just keep coming ... apparently some of them actually DO make it across roads.
I wonder sometimes if they have a negative effect on my gopher tortoises, since occasionally I find a dome shaped former gopher burrow converted into a round 'dillo tunnel.
Did the gopher seek new digs as they do from time to time? Or were they forced out by 'dillo disturbance? I don't see the gopher plastron skid marks outside these confiscated burrows, so I don't really think they are co-existing in a burrow sharing arrangement.

So, for a variety of reasons, Bear and I try to make their life miserable here in the hopes they will move next door to my neighbors property.

Satsuma tee pee.
Clever me, I planted a young satsuma citrus tree just before a week of freezing temps. I cut some bamboo and made this little plastic tee pee to give the sapling a chance, but it definitely took a hit. Satsumas are one of the most cold hardy of citrus trees, but even they have their limits.
We'll see if she recovers.

Below, you see the Gator Cake.

One of my former students, who is also connected to the Southern Sisters catering clan, graduated with yet another degree from UF this weekend. Mrs. FC made a cake for the graduation party.

I was drafted into this cake operation also.
I drew the University of Florida's "Fighting Gator" onto the cake by scratching it in to the white icing with a wire cake tester thingie.
(wire cake tester thingies ROCK! I used to have to dash outside and cut a sliver of palmetto to check a cake ... usually at the last more.)

After I finished the etching, Mrs. FC took over with the icing decorator bag and made it real.

I think she did a pretty sweet job of it.

Junior and his buddy, Jonathon, are strangers in a strange land this weekend. Back in September we gave Junior two tickets to a Miami Dolphin game and this is that weekend.
The boy is a die-hard, loyal Fin Fan so he is pretty excited.
The boys are base camping in Fort Pierce at a motel, from which it is a reasonable drive to South America lite.

I gave them the usual MIAMI adVICE ...

  • Get there early.
  • Leave town immediately after the game.
  • Expect 50 percent of the drivers to ignore traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Ignore rude or belligerent people. Not worth a response.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Get north quickly post game, before you stop to eat.
  • Have fun.

That about covers it.


Ericka said...

poor little tree. hope she makes it.

great cake!

sounds like junior's ready to go.

ImagineMel said...


debbie said...

From a former 25-year resident of Miami I'd say that you gave your son good advice. I hope that he enjoys the game and that the dolphins win!

Lynn said...

I've been to the Sun LIfe (or Dolphin or Pro Player or Joe Robbie Stadium) and the area isn't that bad. You gave him great advice, but if he got lost, he'd still be ok. Now if he was going down to the area of the old Orange Bowl, THAT would be a different subject!!!! Hope he has fun, but the last I heard the fins were losing to the bills. It's hard to be a Dolfan. Ask me how I know.

Floridacracker said...

I was looking at her today and I think she might, but there will be some foliage loss first.

Now, now Mother, they are big boys now. They will be fine.

Thanks for the validation! I guess we didn't win this time, but at least he made it to his first pro game.

He feels your pain today. A narrow victory by the Bills, dang it.

Floridacracker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Armadillos can now be considered naturalized citizens of Florida, as the population that was making its way around the Gulf has been here for years now, intermingling with the populations of escapees and releases already present in Florida at the time of their arrival.

Same can be said for flamingos and cattle egrets...all natural transplants to our welcoming environment.

The Florida Native Orchid Blog

Dani said...

What a great cake! Hope the boys got home safely.

Pablo said...

I'd read somewhere that the northern advancement of the armadillo has been explained by the absence of their primary predator: humans. Apparently Native Americans ate them and kept their populations in check.

We have them in Missouri, and the belief was that the great Missouri River would halt their northern advance. Now I understand they have them in Iowa.

Floridacracker said...

Maybe so, but I carry on. I give Flamingoes native status since they were reported at the southern tip of FL when Europeans first arrived.

Came out nice, didn't it.

I have friends who eat them, but when you describe something as tasting "... greasy pork." , it doesn't really make me want to eat it.

roger said...

my mom and her mom both used a straw from a broom to test cake. always seemed a bit unhygenic to me.

nice cake.

LaDivaCucina said...

FC, I don't know what cracked me up more, your "getouttaDodge" Miami advice, your comment about the armadillos "I try to make their life miserable here in the hopes they will move next door to my neighbors property," or you calling the cake tester the "wire cake tester thingie!" Funnee. What is it actually called by the way? Great job on the cake!

If I don't get back here by Christmas, I hope you and yours have a wonderful one! And all the best for a wonderful New Year!