Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jump ... NOW.

 
Posted by Picasa

NOW would be a good time to jump, Mr. Jumping Spider

There was supposed to be a post with this, but I tried posting directly from Picasa instead of my usual "within Blogger" posting and all the text vanished on its way through the ether.

So, the short story is ...

I have a small colony of these Mediterranean Geckos living on the porch here at PFHQ. There was a breeding colony at the old school where I worked and every once in a while, a tiny pale ghost would wiggle into the classroom or show up on an outside wall.

Some of these came home with me to form the porch patrol.

They are extremely nocturnal. To watch them, I have to go out in the dark, no porch lights, and seek them out.
Turn on a flashlight or the camera focusing light and they pause only momentarily before wiggling back into a gap in the siding.

Yes, they are exotic, just like the orange tree and tomato plants in my garden, but they are not invasive, so I not only tolerate them, I enjoy them.

Speaking of exotic species ... I am going to be in Fort Lauderdale this summer for a Common Core Standards teachery thang and I need advice.

When the work day is done, I am going to have some decent sunlight left, it being summer and all, so I plan to get out and about in the unconcreted bits of South Florida.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to return home the slow way and revisit the Glades where I worked with NPS (Big Cypress, 1981) ... just for old times sake.

I really am looking for tips on "must see" birdy, crittery, snorkelly, naturey sites, parks, etc, in the Fort Lauderdale area. I'm looking online of course, but I value your opinions if you know the area.

All advice from "down under" will be considered.

15 comments:

Miz S said...

Shark Valley!! You know I'm not a Florida expert, but remember I went there in January and came back all swooning over the Everglades? Go to Shark Valley and take all the pictures that I was TRYING to take.

threecollie said...

Being from far to the north I have no tips, but I sure do anticipate seeing what you see! Would love to have lizardy critters here, but we are just a tiny bit too far north.

Caroline said...

You will be renewed by all of the things you mentioned after the Common Core Standards thang. We have been working all this past school year "unpacking" them. Ma Nature will be a help to un-numb your brain.

robin andrea said...

Nice gecko. Hope the spider jumped!

RM said...

I love the colors in this photo!

tai haku said...

On the topic of exotic reptiles and things to do in south florida, if you end up rocking down i-75 there is a population of veiled chameleons in Fort Meyers. Not sure how accessible they are but I know a few of the guys on Fieldherpforum have been for a luck and there are some details here:

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/reptiles/veiled-chameleon/

tai haku said...

On the topic of exotic reptiles and things to do in south florida, if you end up rocking down i-75 there is a population of veiled chameleons in Fort Meyers. Not sure how accessible they are but I know a few of the guys on Fieldherpforum have been for a look and there are some details here:

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/reptiles/veiled-chameleon/

Dina J said...

I have not made it to the glades yet so I can't tell you about that but it's on my list. If you do have a few minutes to kill though, right in the center of Ft L. at Brian Piccolo sports park, there are lots of burrowing owls there. You can drive right up and park and get out in front of the baseball field and see their little heads pop up. The babies should be pretty big now. There's other stuff there too.

Love the header shot!

Banjo52 said...

I agree, the header shot is great. Is that what LSD would be like?

Compared to what you know about nature, I'm in kindergarten, and these may be too obvious. But I've been to Loxahatchee NWR three times now and have loved it each time. For me it's the birds, but there's plenty of other stuff. And if you happen to use 806 to go west from the ocean, just east of 441 is Peanuts, a sort of localized and more interesting version of fast food-convenience store that caters to field workers as well as other locals. We liked it for a cheap, easy lunch.

Last winter we also had a great drive through Merritt Island NWR just north of Titusville. Again, the birds.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the great feedback! I am paying attention to it all.

Bill said...

Skip Loxahatchee. It's more of the same for anyone from FL. If you get up into the Delray Beach area, don't miss the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. Pretty far north, though.

Fern Garden Nature Center in Coral Springs has a nice boardwalk through the last remnant of a historic creek, with exposed limestone, etc. There's also a trail through a wet prairie, but with the amount of rain we're getting this summer, I'd give that a pass. Don't forget the bug juice.

Anonymous said...

I GUESS I'M BIASED, BUT THE KISSIMMEE STATE PARK & ALL THE "PARKS" THAT SFWMD SET UP ALONG THE KISSIMMEE RIVER HERE IN OKEECHOBEE ARE GREAT. CHANDLERS SLOUGH IS A GOOD ONE TOO. NOT SO MUCH EXOTIC ANIMALS, BUT IT SURE IS PEACEFUL!! THEN THERE IS ALWAYS THE PATH ALONG THE HERBERT HOOVER DIKE THAT GOES ALMOST ALL THE WAY AROUND THE LAKE NOW. LOTS OF NATURE HERE AROUND THE "BIG O", COME ON UP & ENJOY. I'VE ALSO JUST DISCOVERED SOME PARKS IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, NOT FAR FROM BUSCH GARDENS...

Amy said...

South Florida Recommendations:
Take a day and go snorkeling at John Pennekamp. That is going to offer the most drastic difference to north florida wildlife that I can think of. Or if you're in the Keys, check out Key Deer on Big Pine Key and No Name Key. Also right now is a great time for viewing sea turtles lay their eggs. That could definitely fit into your "after classes" schedule.

I haven't been to Green Cay Wetlands in Palm Beach, but learned about them quite a bit in my treatment wetlands class and heard it's great for birding (probably more so in the winter). http://www.pbcgov.com/waterutilities/waterfacts/green_cay.htm

I'm looking forward to seeing your adventures in south florida. I grew up there and much prefer north florida's natural areas.

Floridacracker said...

AWESOME INPUT! Thanks! My apologies for a late response, I was out in the Gulf for the past 4 days.

I'm going to check out each on the map and plan accordingly. Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

Hey... if you can e mail me at ivoryhunter26@gmail.com. I have some local chameleon spots in hendrey and lee county and would like to trade locations. and can guide you on how to find them. I have almost a half a dozen locations that have them. but people have been over harvesting them and they are becoming scarce. we used to find 30 plus per night, now may find 5 or 10. but please contact me and I can set something up.