Saturday, March 26, 2011

one crappy post...

(like i promised!)

poop.  crap.  turd.  scat.

Noun:  scat.  'skat'.  Fecal matter of animals.

i've been yearning to do a post like this for a while.
yeah, well...when we're out hiking...
OR...just wandering around in the woods out back...
if i see a pile of pOOp, i can't resist taking a picture.
so i can tell what's been here. some of the turds i see
are from animals encountered in our yard...or while camping...
but other scat are from critters not encountered face to face.

i guess i just find it interesting...
it's the side of nature most people tend to overlook.  i think.
and believe me...they're not always so easy to identify.

so, when i told sam i was ready to do my 'one crappy post'...
he said   "well, better know your shit!"'s not always easy to identify the scat you come across.
we have 2 handy little books!
one is on a keychain which makes it convenient to carry...

the other is a small field guide...

i know...i's kind of funny, isn't it? 
are you picturing me wandering through the woods...
spotting some scat and then pulling my handy book out of my back pack...
trying to ID it?!  
well, it doesn't usually go quite like that!
i usually just snap a picture....and do the ID'ing later.

i thought i might add a nice flower picture between the poop ones.
you know...add a little sweetness to the post.
so it's not TOO crappy. 
(the flowers are from our gardens...past and present.)

SO, without further do-do...
i mean ado...
you are about to experience pOOp overload!

DEER scat  in the backyard.

RACCOON scat along the LaChua trail, Paynes Prairie state pk, Florida.

GOOSE scat at Elijah Clark state pk, Georgia.

BEAR scat. right along the edge of the low boardwalk/walkway
at Stephen Foster state pk, Georgia. they say that bears will back right up
to a log...and 'do their thing'. i guess the walkway
was in the right place at the right time. 

FOX scat in backyard.

now, admit it! have you ever seen such a perfectly placed pile of poop?
we spotted this while crossing the road in Mistletoe state pk, Georgia.
not really sure who left it. kind of a blob. no real form to it.

Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.   
~Harry S. Truman

hmmm...on the dark side. looks like it might have some berries in it.
tapered end. might even have a little fur. 
maybe FOX scat at  Mistletoe state pk, Georgia.

RACCOON scat at Manatee Springs, Florida.

BISON scat on LaChua trail, Paynes Prairie state pk, Florida.

this one's kind of a mystery. it was in our the edge of the woods.
it's long. slender. curls back on itself. almost looks like WEASEL scat...
but i've just never seen one here!??

RACCOON scat out back.

Always watch where you are going. 
Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.
~Winnie the Pooh 

this one isn't really SCAT! maybe you've seen me post these before...
it's an OWL pellet! they cough up the undigested material.
mostly bones and fur. 
i find them under the trees where the Barred Owls frequently perch.

i think this might be OPOSSUM scat...
OR maybe raccoon...LaChua trail, Paynes Prairie, Florida.

lots of fur in this one. and swirly. tapered.
maybe a bobcat...or coyote. Mistletoe state pk, Georgia.

BALL PYTHON scat.  our Monty.

and here's Milo. marking her territory. 

and here she is...covering it up.  good kitty.

well, that was fun. different. not for everyone i guess.
i'm sure you agree...that's enough POOP to last for a while.
but don't worry...if i come across a special specimen...i'll surely post it here.  :-)
you know it!

stay cool. OH! and don't forget to check the bottom of your shoes before leaving...

have a safe journey.  enjoy the ride.
:] laura

"The rich mind lies in the sun and sleeps, and is Nature."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

(damn! why do i always feel guilty about posting...before catching up on reading?!
oh's like THREE AM...i'm NEVER up this late! 
i'm usually waking up in an hour from now.
but i wanted to get this done.  yikes!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

alligators.wild horses.turtles.and the moon.

one morning...last week...early...
we went for a walk.
a short a park not far from here. La Chua Trail. Paynes Prairie.
it's only about a three mile hike altogether.
we've been to this park many times...nothing ever remains the same.
the water goes up...the water goes down...
the gators get bigger & BIGGER...and new ones are born.
the last time we walked this trail, was back in october.
the gators were a little sparse.  i did a post on that day's hike also.
you can check it out here if you WANT more GATOR: "el lagarto".

THIS day though...there were  SO many alligators!
probably because the weather's warming up and the water was higher...

the first part of the trail is along an elevated boardwalk.
you're looking down into the 'sink hole'. Alachua Sink.

"Don't taunt the alligator until after you've crossed the creek."
~Dan Rather

after about a half  mile, the boardwalk comes to an end 
and you're walking a dirt trail which runs along the edge 
of one of the Sink's tributaries.

these babies are about 2 weeks old. 
the ranger said they were born about a month earlier than normal.
their mother was right there...not 3 feet away...
(approx 8 - 12 inches long)

part of the Sink...where the water doesn't covered with algae.
and so is everything else that comes out of there...

turtles and in harmony...
for now.

a Snowy Egret...patiently waiting for a fish to swim by.

and one did! he speared it with his beak!

a the water's edge.

this one's debatable. hmmmm. right on the cusp...
teenager? adult?
but definitely not a baby anymore!
(they reach breeding maturity at 8 - 13 years, or  6 - 7 feet long)

this one's a toddler.
the banded tail means it's still fairly young...
(overall - approx 2 feet long)

they say you can estimate how BIG a gator is by the size of it's head.
measuring from the tip of the nose to the eyes...
if the head looks to be 12 inches long, then the gator is probably 12 feet!
ONE inch = ONE foot.

some of the gators we saw looked to be at least 15 feet long!

this same park also has Wild Horses and Bison.
a few weeks ago while hiking a different trail, 
we were lucky enough to have the horses stop on the trail ahead of us!

we just had to sit tight...and wait for them to cross the trail.
they  say not to get too close...the Alpha male is very protective!

we've never seen any of the Bison there. 
we've talked with other people along the trail, 
 who HAVE seen them...but they didn't see the horses...
so i guess it just all depends on your timing...luck.
we DID see EVIDENCE of the Bison though...ALL ALONG the trail...
watch your step!
(yes! this picture will be reappearing 
in my future post titled "one crappy post")

across the park...and back to the gators...

a Great Blue Heron...

and a flying turtle...

and so...the trail comes to an end...
see ya later alligator. in a while crocodile.

back home...the day comes to an end...
looking through the trees out front...the setting sun...

and then the moon...looking out back...almost clearing the trees.

and then rising above the trees...
what a nice way to end the day...
a full moon. the Super Moon...
the closest the moon has been to the earth in 18 years.

BUT, before i sign off...there's something i have to mention.
Blogger Awards.
i've talked about this before. 
of course, we all like to be recognized...we want to know that people 
actually READ what we write...and enjoy what they see. can i possibly pass on an only a few?
how can i PICK other bloggers out of those i follow?
i'm sorry - but i can't.

i am truly humbled...and honored.....that someone thought me worthy of an award.
everyone deserves an award. everyone deserves recognition.
(LOOK at my sidebar...the other blogs i follow! they ALL deserve a READ!)

so please know...with deepest gratitude...i very much appreciate the thought...
your acknowledgement of me.  :]
PLEASE...visit Keda at Journey Keeper
AND Susan at KardKornerKrib !!

(you'll be glad you did)
thank you  :)  
they are worthy of the awards they received...

anyway, enough said 'bout that!

thanks for wandering. stay cool.
have a safe journey...enjoy the ride!

:] laura

"What lies behind us and what lies before us 
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
~Walt Emerson