Saturday, July 25, 2009
Today was a beautiful, lazy summer day. There weren't many park visitors until the afternoon. The sun was shinning and it was a great day to go swimming. When the visitors did finally arrive, everyone wanted to get straight to the water. There was just not time for chit-chat today. I kept an eye on things, but I occupied myself finding critters. I think they needed more attention today than the visitors. I had to escort a very large Oak Snake off of the walkway to the spring. He must have been reading my blog and heard that there were lots of tasty toads on the walkway. He was too jumpy for me to pick him up, so I used a stick to urge him along until he was off the the walkway. I left him alone to slither off into the grass. Oak Snakes are non-venomous but they will try to trick you. If threatened, they might coil up and try to look intimidating or even rattle the tip of their tail in the leaves to make you think that it is a rattler. They are good snakes to have around though, they will definitely keep the mouse population in check.
As I put up the flags this morning, I saw a katydid laying some eggs on the back of our Troy Springs sign. Its odd placement for eggs. Most insects will lay their eggs close to a food source so that when the young hatch, they can begin to eat right away. Maybe this katydid knows something that I don't. I also spotted a spider having breakfast near the restrooms. This Banana Spider or Golden Orb Weaver was hanging from the ceiling and feasting on a bug. After the snake was gone from the walkway, the lizards emerged again. I caught a private moment between two Green Anoles. One of the lizards looks brown, but that was just its attempt to camouflage itself against the wood. The Brown Anoles which are also common in Florida are usually a little bigger and have more elaborate patterns on their backs. The Green Anoles are native to Florida and the Browns have been introduced. Both are very common now. Finally, while on patrol through the parking lot, I saw a beautiful little Butterfly Pea. The purple flower even had a butterfly on it which promptly flew away when I got close with my camera.