Seeking Heat

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A Norther blew in and the temperatures dropped into the 30F’s.  I was surprised to see this very fat Skink sunning itself in the corner of the garage. They are usually not seen this time of year.

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A Buff-bellied  hummingbird appeared in the garden just after Thanksgiving.  The bird was not enjoying the cold and the chill slowed down the very active hummer long enough to snap a photo through the kitchen window.

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The Buff-bellied is about 4 inches in length, which makes it a big hummingbird in this area.  It has beautiful dark green and buff feathers when lit by the sun.  Enlarge the photos see the colors better.  The last time one visited the garden was the summer of Hurricane Ike.  The small bird rode out the storm and was feeding the next day.

But never mind about the weather as they say down here, just wait a minute and it will change.  The wind has shifted and is blowing  from the Gulf bringing the temperature up 30F degrees and summer will be here later in the week as the mercury hits 76F.


Snakes in Gardens

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For some reason I am seeing Copperhead Snakes everywhere.  Usually, they are around mostly in the Spring, but there seems to be a new brood of snakelets this Fall.  The first photo, taken on September 10th, is a medium sized one, probably a juvenile.  I was cleaning out a bed when I spotted it.

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While volunteering at our botanical garden on the 13th, I was pulling weeds around this baby Copperhead that was molting.

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On September 19th, this big snake was exploring outside my kitchen window.

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It caught my eye because the rabbit was also in the same bed and was acting strangely.  The only predators for Copperheads are the occasional hawk and  humans.  But I swear I saw a rabbit kill a Copperhead once, the rabbit had blood on it and the snake was dead.

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This was an interesting situation and I watched it play out while safely inside taking  photos through the window. The rabbit took a non aggressive stance and kept an eye on the snake until it moved on.  When all was clear, the rabbit went back to its favorite napping spot under the Camellias.

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Two days later, I spotted a little head from the other side of a flower pot, but it turned out to be a rather large Five-lined Skink.