Y’all, I am so sorry about not choosing a winner for the Rin Tin Tin book last week. No excuses. So I’ve gone to the random number generator and have come away with a winner. And the winner is …
Yes indeedy! Gizmo, of Terrier Torrent, is the winner of the book giveaway! Gizmo is in Florida, from the looks of the blog. Today’s post features manatees and herons. Gizmo, where in Florida are you? We lived near Orlando (Winter Springs and Oviedo) for eleven years and I LOVED the manatees. We called them big blue ticks. I loved even more the sand hill cranes. And the spoon bills.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t miss Florida. I appreciated the wildlife. As long as it didn’t try to live in my house. The bugs. *shudder* I even liked the snakes, as long as they stayed outside.
Did I tell y’all about the times our first Aussie, Clee-o, would find gopher turtles in the backyard? I’d hear her outside barking like crazy, then peek out the window to see her barking at the ground. It was almost always a turtle. We’d pick it up and set it in the woods behind the house, on the other side of the fence. That dog went nuts for turtles.
She was a gentle dog. Clee-o loved the cats, every one which came in the house. She got along well with the cockatiels. Even our rabbit, Brian, was a friend. But don’t let a turtle in the yard. I guess she thought they didn’t belong there.
The gopher tortoises we’d find in the backyard were always at least a foot in length, which means they weren’t spring chickens. From what I can tell, that length means they were probably about 15 years old. I did quite a bit of research back when they visited, partly because they dug big holes. Evidently their boroughs are used by a large variety of wildlife and the turtles are on the threatened species list. Very cool little carapace critters.
One of my least favorite wildlife visitors in central Florida was the coral snake. They look a lot like the corn snake. The kids learned, pretty early on, the saying, “Red and black, friendly Jack. Red and yellow, kill a fellow.” In fact, I think they learned that little ditty about 30 seconds after one of the children found a pretty coral snake curled up on our neighbor’s front porch. I had to dredge up those lines to make sure it was a poisonous snake. We were constantly finding indigos, black racers, in the yard. The kids liked to chase those snakes, bring them in the house, frighten friends with them.
My kids all miss their life in Florida.
But here we are in Tulsa. No snow for Christmas. Ice on the ducks’ tails. A fire in the fireplace. Different dogs. Different friends. Different family. And life is good. Shoot, we even had a different dog for Christmas Eve.
I hope all of y’all had a great time this week with friends and family. Decking halls, not decking relatives. And Gizmo? Email me at flea @ jonesnaturalchews dot com, please, with your mailing address. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book when you’re done reading.
Until I write again …