Just One Week Behind

24 05 2009

Like the title says. I’m a week behind. I have lots of things to post and will surely run out of time before I cover everything. You may actually appreciate my brevity, especially if you don’t like snakes.

Warning: Snakes Ahead!

The baby lovers will want to stick around, though. And who doesn’t love a baby; especially one as absolutely precious as sweet Madeline Mae Dailey.

Attention: Cuteness Ahead!

Christy and Chris came to visit last weekend. We had a good time and I got to spend the whole of Saturday with Mady while they went to Ikea in Orlando. This child is an angel. She smiles and giggles constantly and only cries when she has unmet needs. She is spoiled though, and thinks that one of her needs is to be held all day long. How do parents get anything done? I quickly learned to time all my chores during her frequent, yet brief naps. It was good in a way. Only having a few minutes to get something done eliminates the urge to procrastinate.

Mady turned six months old while she was with us. She is acting like she plans to skip the crawl stage and go straight to walking. She will be talking before you know it. Maybe then she can tell me when I put her diapers on backwards. Those things have gotten complicated since the days when I last changed diapers. The last victim of my diaper changing just graduated from high school this weekend! Do I ever feel old.

Well, enough of my rambling and on to the pictures.

“Come here and pick me up!”

Mady-Mae

Christy & Madeline. How could she not be cute with a mom this beautiful?

ChristykissMady

Chris & Madeline. Of course, she got her father’s dominant genes. Good thing he’s easy on the eyes, too.

ChrisMady

She even wakes up smiling. What a darling!

Good-Morning-Mady

While all of the cuteness took place inside, AJ spent most of his time outside. He finished up those bamboo wind chimes.

Treating-chimes

Chimes-Drying

They look and sound great. Ever the perfectionist, he is still tweaking them for that ideal sound.

Bamboo-chimes

We all came out to enjoy a little sunshine and heard the strangest noise. It was a faint, yet desperate shrieking that none of us could identify. We traced it to the palm tree that AJ had just trimmed earlier. Up at the heart we saw our neighborhood Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor pirapus) eating something. I climbed up on a chair, but could not identify the victim. Within moments the entire creature had been consumed. It may have been a baby bird, a small rat or squirrel, a frog or even a bat. All we saw was a long leg sticking out as the snake finished its meal. Sometimes nature is hard to watch. But the snake was content and took its time descending from the treetop.

Southern Black Racer in Palm Tree

I was allowed to get close enough for a macro; which is no easy feat with these typically speedy snakes.

Southern Black Racer in Bromeliad

Thanks for humoring my putting snakes and babies in the same post. I’ve still got a week to go and the day is growing short. Check out my next post for the results of the deluge we enjoyed this week.





Saturday in Review – Spring is Springing

12 04 2009

Guess What This Is

These have been growing on my neighbor’s fence since we have lived here. Only yesterday did I realize they actually make fruit. I thought it was a mythical name, but they really do exist. If you know what it is, leave a comment. Otherwise, I’ll make you wait until it drops to the ground and I eat it.

Mystery-Fruit

AJ Builds Bamboo Wind Chimes

Add whittling to AJ’s list of skills. Today he carved up some of the green bamboo into what is sure to be the best looking and best sounding set of wind chimes in Brevard County.

AJ-Cutting-Chimes

AJ-cuts-chimes

Chimes-Cut

My Walk Around the Neighborhood

The weather was beautiful. We weren’t able to get the soil for Oasis2, so I used my energy to check out the neighborhood. Sadly, a few more people have leveled the sand dunes and destroyed the scrub habitat for their cookie cutter stucco houses; but there is still some natural land left.

Gopher Tortoise Butt

He was looking out when I approached, but got shy and showed me his butt when I went to take the photo.

Gopher-tortoise-butt

Prickly pear blooming

I accidentally broke down a neighboring cactus; so I brought it home to plant. Prickly pear fruit is so good.

Prickly-Pear-Bloom

Prickly-Pear

Deer Moss

This stuff is increasingly rare; but I know of a few patches where it still thrives.

Deer-Moss-Patch

Deer-Moss

Carpenter Bee

This guy was miffed about my invading his territory. He buzzed me for a long time; often hovering inches in front of my lens. Unfortunately I am not equipped for shooting fast moving insects.

Carpenter-Bee1

Carpenter-Bee2

Black Racer

Nature was bold today. I heard a rustling and looked over to see this snake emerge from the brush. It was preoccupied with its search for food and didn’t seem to notice me at all.

Black-Snake-2

In this shot the black racer was so close I could have reached out and grabbed it. Unfortunately, I was not equipped for photographing snakes either. Sorry for posting blurry shots.

Black-Snake-1

Back Home

Synchronized Cat Rolling

Llami and Smokey are on the same wavelength.

Cats-Sleep

Cats-Roll

Dinner From the Garden

The lettuce is finally growing. I know I should thin it out and let a few plants grow large, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I plucked the outer leaves from all three varieties (Bibb, Romaine and Oak Leaf).

Bibb-Lettuce

Lettuce

Not sure if AJ realizes he ate weeds for dinner; but I also put some Purslane in our salad.

Purslane

This is all you will hear from me for a couple of days, unless something spectacular happens. I have housework and work work to get done before the weekend is over.





Another Week Gone by in the Trailer Park

28 02 2009

Since we have to work in the morning I consider today to be more like a Sunday instead of Saturday.

It’s past 3:00pm and I’ve yet to do anything productive. This morning was cool and the light was nice so I took my second mug of coffee outside and hung out with the cats. Once they had all been sufficiently fed and petted I picked up my camera and took a tour of The Oasis. Yesterday I spotted a red-tailed skink in the compost heap. I looked it up online and decided that it must be a Peninsula Mole Skink (Eumeces egregius onocrepis). I also saw a Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) hanging out on the shed, and a Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) which casually glided into a shrub and then quickly propelled itself upwards at a brown anole, missing by only an inch or two before it continued on along it’s hunting trek.

This morning it was too early for most reptiles to be active, but I did capture a Brown Anole (Norops sagrei) sunning himself on a bamboo stake in the garden. We have built a fence, a garden enclosure and trellises with locally grown bamboo. The anoles immediately set up housekeeping inside the hollow tubes and can often be seen peeking out from the tops of the poles.

Brown Anole (Norops sagrei)

Cuban Anole

The Sweet Basil and Dill are also taking advantage of the mild weather and are steadily growing.

Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Sweet Basil

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dill

Jorgi, the gray tuxedo cat, does not allow me to inspect The Oasis without his assistance.

Jorgi

The recent cold weather and wind has taken a toll on the banana trees. Even in their worst condition, these lovely tropical plants are elegant and interesting. Backlit, this dead banana frond resembles a piece of burlap.

Banana Frond

The Bromeliads have shrugged off the recent weather and are doing nicely.

Ball Moss (Tillandsia tenuifolia L.)

Tillandsia recurvata


The endangered Giant Wild Pine (Tillandsia utriculata) which I rescued from the asphalt of a parking lot, where it had fallen from its host tree.

 

Tillandsia utriculata

Although I have plenty of important work to do, I believe I will take another tour of the property and try to roust up the native reptiles.