Cubans in Florida

With Fidel Castro's health in serious decline the last few years, the media here in south Florida are waiting with bated breath to hear of the long-reigning leader of the island nation, and its communist government, to expire. Waves of human and animal exodus from the island have marked Florida, though. I discovered one in my garden this morning. Read more

Limbless lizards

It was a dry winter here in subtropical Florida, with quite a bit less rain than normal since November. The temperatures haven't been too unbearable, but the weekend before Easter brought a taste of summer: mid-80s, humid, and plenty of sun. That weekend also happened to be one of the few that I had time to get my hands a little bit dirty in the garden. So, there I was, weeding the cocoplum/palm/oak islands in the front yard. And then, when I couldn't take it any longer and moved over to a shady corner of the house, I discovered anĀ Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) hanging out in the cocoplum. As you can see from the picture, I was actually getting my gloved hands dirty:
Eastern Glass Lizard, dorsal view

Eastern Glass Lizard, dorsal view

Readers of this blog may remember that finding a glass lizard is a fairly rare occurrence around our house; I'd only seen one of these little beasties previously. Read more

Lizards; little dinosaurs?

During my frequent rambles through Fern Forest, I've run across a number of saurians, both native and non-native. Often they flee at my approach, not trusting the enormous disparity in our sizes to keep them safe. Apparently evolution has favored the flee-from-all-comers approach over the size-em-up approach. Today's walk, though, was pretty special. It got me to thinking about the dino, in addition to the saur... Read more