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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Some Florida critters I've met

I live in the area of Florida called the Big Bend which is where the pan handle coast curves northward on its west to east swing. Or east to west if you really care. Take a look at a map of Florida and you'll see. The area is sub tropical and unlike south Florida we do have a winter, though you wouldn't think so with yesterdays temperature being 80. This climate is highly conducive to a preponderance of animal species or in other words there are a lot of critters around! I remember seeing way too many snakes when I took survival class at Eglin AFB up near Crestview a long time ago. I've only seen two snake's here on the farm since I've been here-a juvenile black snake with a BIG attitude and a very docile corn snake. The only alligators I've seen were at the St. Marks River wildlife reserve. Of course the famous little anole or so called chameleon is everywhere. One day we caught around 25 just on the buildings here at the farm. They work on the local bugs so we let them all go after our little bit of fun.

Spiders are another story. I have seen dozens of different species here on the farm and it amazes me that I have seen NO black widows around since they are supposed to be so prevalent. I saw way too many up in Idaho but not a single one here. Yet. There are some huge orb weavers here such as the golden orb weaver or locally called the banana spider due to the shape of its abdomen. I read where they bite but not sure how poisonous. They build the most fantastic webs! Another one new to me is the orchard spider with its fluorescent looking orange and green markings. There is a big, beautiful lynx spider living in the banana trees. I see him buy the porch light some mornings taking care of any lingering insects. Another locally named spider is called the crab spider. I'm not too familiar with a lot of spider names but this name seems appropriate.

Every morning we see signs of armadillo digging during the night. They make a conical hole in the ground in their search for insects. From what I've read the eat earthworms and grubs as well as other critters. The local opossums are healthy and thriving. The neighbor has live trapped a few and we take them out in the way-back and release them. Ugly critters.

Here are some photos to give you an idea of whats going on here in sunny Florida. Please remember that these photo's are under my copyright. Feel free to download or "save image as" for your own personal use as long as you don't publish them. Enjoy!


                                                                           Alligators





                                                                         Anole's









                                                                          Spiders

spinybacked orbweaver Gasteracantha cancriformis

spinybacked orbweaver Gasteracantha cancriformis
              
daring jumping spider Phidippus audax

daring jumping spider Phidippus audax
orbweaver Araneidae

orbweaver Araneidae

green lynx spider Peucetia viridans

green lynx spider Peucetia viridans

green lynx spider Peucetia viridans

southern house spider Kukulcania hibernalis

orchard orbweaver Leucauge venusta ?

unknown orbweaver

to be continued.......

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