Thursday, November 18, 2010
Walking around Little Manatee River State Park last week, I ran into Diamond. He is the Diamondback Rattle Snake that is featured in Tilly's story. He wanted to know if Tilly ever learned how to speak armadillo. I was happy to inform him that she did. Mrs. Coyote has taught her a few lines. "Whyssss on Earthsssss would ssssshe wantsssss to do thatsssss issss beyond me." he said.
Diamond is a 5 foot long Diamondback rattlesnake. He likes to stretch out across the path in the sun, about mid-day. I caught him quite by surprise. As the weather gets colder snakes do not move as fast as they do in the summer. So if you are out in the woods, especially sandy woods that are filled with palmettos be extra wary of snakes. I came within three feet of him before I saw him. Diamond is almost five feet long. If we had not seen each other at the same time, Diamond could have easily bit me.
He is part of the family of snakes knows as Pit Vipers. At five feet, Diamond is about full grown. He has cousins and brothers and sisters that are almost eight feet long. Diamond's venom is what is called a hemotoxin as it destroys red blood cells. Although humans are rarely bit, the bite of a rattlesnake can prove fatal to humans, if you do not receive treatment. Anti-venom is available at most hospitals in Florida. If you see this beautiful snake keep a safe distance! If you hear the rattle, move quickly. To a rattlesnake that means, they have tried everything else and are about to strike out in defense.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
"I'm glad you asked me about the story.
I meant to talk to you today about how much I liked it, then I forgot all about it, duh!
I thought it was very good and you should continue down that path. I think you should start a nature blog for kids."
So here it goes!
"While they munched on grass, Tilly and the deer talked about how the humans use fire to control the tall grass, called the scrub, in the park.
Tilly explained to the deer how fire plays a major role in keeping the parks’ ecosystem healthy and how it helps remove species of plants that don’t belong here. “Did you know our friends, the scrub jays, depend on the fire to survive?”
They all agreed that fire helps bring the land back to the way it is suppose to be. Tilly and the deer agreed that it gives all the animals more to eat."
Did you know that most of the fire damage that you see in parks was intentially burned? Called Prescribed Burning, fire plays a key role in the health of our national, state and local parks. Animals, like Tilly the gopher tortoise, can't survive for long periods of time without fire. Check back to see how Mrs. Coyote is doing preparing her family for a prescribed burn.