Monday, December 24, 2007

10 Blue Bird Boxes

Christmas Eve

All of us here are nursing our swollen bellies after a pre-Christmas feast delivered by Faye and Anthony yesterday. We had a relaxing day of food, drink, walks in the field and football. We wish we had more time to visit friends and the rest of our family, but Cymande is on-call for Christmas and we spent our vacation time early in the year. While Cymande is at the clinic I will spend some of my day tending to our newly hatched chicks. Finally, we have a broody hen that also is interested in caring for her chicks. In fact, she is not conviced that we are entirely benign entities and we are treated with a great deal of skepticism. Cymande has a small wound on her hand repesenting this relationship. I guess she (the hen) doesn't remember the daily rations of scratch and fresh water which has been generously supplied by humans. Charles and I built a developmental staging system for the coop. This is to avoid some harrassment and hazing activities that adult chickens like to subject upon the youngsters.

A couple photos here are a peak (pun) into the YL'S recent project, but the birdhouses are my creation. If you don't know who the YL'S are then I won't ruin it for anyone and they will remain a cryptic oddity of the rural south. There are also some images of the night sky and moon. We welcome the return of longer days and our migratory winter residents. Which reminds me that we recently went on the Hamilton County Christmas Bird Count. We identified 67 species and hung out with some truly great people/birders. If you ever find yourself in the rural south and are feeling alone or marginalized because your interests are...well...outside the local dominant paradigm...then you will feel better in the company of southern birders. A great moment on the bird count: Birder:"Have you seen any kestrels today?" Nice farmer on tractor:"Kestrels?" Birder:"Tiddly hawks." Nice farmer on tractor:"No tiddly hawks today."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Florida Crowned Snake

Tantilla relicta

Description: A small – 7 - 9 in (17.7 - 22.8 cm) – slender snake that is tan or light brown with a black head, chin, and back of neck. A light spot occurs on each side of the lower neck, and the belly is uniform whitish-yellow. Scales are smooth, and the anal plate is divided. This species is most easily distinguished from the similar Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata) by geographic range and by lack of a distinct, unbroken light ring on the back of the neck .

Range and Habitat: The Florida Crowned Snake is primarily restricted to Florida and has only been found in a few locations in extreme southern Georgia. They are found in well-drained sandhills and hammocks and are often associated with longleaf pine or turkey oak scrub habitat.

Habits: Crowned snakes are almost exclusively fossorial (living underground) and are seldom seen. They may be found under rocks, logs, leaf litter, and other debris and are reported to occupy pocket gopher and gopher tortoise burrows. Crowned snakes lay several elongated eggs in the summer. This species provides the principal prey for the rare Short-tailed Snake (Stilosoma extenuatum).
Creative Commons License
Old Wire Road Blog by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.