Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Note: I'm not especially a bird watcher but I do see a lot of them - and other wildlife because I like to take the dogs out for a walk about a half hour before sunrise, especially in the summer so we can beat the heat. We saw an armadillo this morning, which excited Gracie, and we see rabbits, raccoons, squirrels by the hundreds, and all kinds of birds. The occasional armadillo seemed a little strange because when I was in grade school they were supposed to be from South America, but there are so many exotic species around now that I wouldn't be surprised by anything.
I ran across a Burmese Python on the east-west trail near the Long Center in 1993. I didn't know what it was, found a picture of one without any name, and finally learned that the Herpteological Society met at Raccoon Lake on Wednesday evenings. A guy there said that they did like to hang around water (there was a creek beside the trail) and it probably wouldn't last the winter because they can't take cold weather. They were the calmest of the constrictors, and this was probably one that had been a pet. All I knew was that was a big snake, and then I went back and measured the width of the trail (five feet) and decided that it was probably about ten feet long because the front half was across the trail and the other half was just as long.
I tried to go around the back of it, but it whipped around to look at me, so I went around the front, keeping my bicycle between me and the snake.
It was a big surprise.
Another is that the green 18 inch long birds that hang out around here are "parakeets". I always thought birds that big were parrots, but I guess it has something to do with where they come from.