Ad Fail?

Studly Doright and I recently drove to Dallas from our home in Florida, most of the time taking advantage of the interstate highway system. I took a few photos along the way—none of them very memorable.

But in Texas a billboard ad campaign caught my eye.

Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?

Maybe I’m being a wimp, but I don’t exactly relish the image of a rattlesnake seatbelt. I call this an ad fail.

Now, a similar seatbelt billboard didn’t bother me. In fact, it’s pretty clever.

It’s a western belt. In Texas. I like it.

Am I wrong? Would the snake ad make you want to buckle up?

Peace, people!

“Take That Emily” Reblog

I love it when someone reads a blog post that I’d completely forgotten about. The post shows up in my stats and I get to read it again and remember the day I wrote it.

Take That Emily recalls a time when I encountered a snake in our backyard. I was brave that day. I’m seldom brave, so it’s worth noting.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2016/04/13/take-that-emily/

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Most, if not all festivities celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. have been cancelled. I’m sure children who remember to do so will still pinch their unsuspecting parents who’ve forgotten to wear green, but hopefully from a safe distance after which they’ll vigorously wash their hands (front and back—not just the fingertips) while singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”

I do not look great in green, so I was always the pinchee and seldom the pincher. When I taught, I made sure to wear a sprig of green on my blouse lest I risk my arms being pinched black and blue by day’s end. Little darlings who caught me unprepared paid for their cheekiness when grades came out. (Not really. I’m not vindictive in that way.)

St. Patrick who, legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland, could certainly help us out today, if we could only persuade him to drive the current ‘snake(s)’ out of our lands. COVID-19 needs to go, along with several people whose names I need not mention (one rhymes with Tronald Dump).

Maybe if we all wear green, forgo pinching one another, and wash our hands relentlessly, good St. Patrick will save the day, but we might have to suffer awhile longer.

Peace, people.

Snake It Off

Since my close encounter with a cottonmouth snake (below) I’ve been hyper aware of anything serpent related.

News stories about invasive snake species in south Florida interest me:

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/environment/2019/04/13/florida-invasive-animal-species-wrecking-native-ecosystems-non-native/3456294002/

And I look for opportunities to learn more about snakes just in case there’s a next time.

This past weekend the Tallahassee Museum held an informative session for folks like me. Well, mainly for folks 12 and younger, but I didn’t let that stop me.

I listened earnestly and watched carefully. The most important thing I learned was to let snakes be. Leave them alone. Give them space. Don’t crowd them. If it’s a snake like my cottonmouth (aka water moccasin), don’t get between it and a body of water. Even if you’re positive the snake isn’t venomous, don’t pick it up. Non-venomous snakes can have nasty bites that might take months to heal.

If you’re bitten by a snake, stay calm. Try to snap a photo of it for identification purposes and then get to an emergency room. Don’t apply a tourniquet! That just exacerbates the injury.

Most of this wasn’t new information to me, but it never hurts to have a reminder. And, oh, the snakes were cool.

Look at these Banded Water Snakes

Note that the one on the right is digesting a big meal.

That’s an Eastern Indigo Snake above. These guys are endangered and non-venomous. I’m fairly certain that this is the type of snake we have living in our front garden area. Sure glad I saved him from the guys repairing our driveway!

Watch this guy, an Eastern Diamondback, who seemed as interested in us as we were in him.

This pretty guy below is a Gray Rat Snake. These are non-venomous and fairly common. They blend in perfectly with the bark of oak trees, so there’s no telling how many I pass right by every day.

So, I’m still no snake expert, but I did know the answer to one of the instructor’s questions when none of the other kids, I mean, participants did. She said that some snakes move in a concertina style and asked if anyone knew what a concertina was.

I played it cool,

But soon it was obvious no one else knew the answer, so it fell to me.

I didn’t get a gold star or anything, but that’s okay. Just knowing I was right was reward enough.

Peace, people!

Lessons Learned from a Snake

I do not hate snakes. That being said, I’d just as soon not encounter a venomous one in close proximity to my home, as I did one day last week.

The night following the encounter that cottonmouth occupied my dreams every time I closed my eyes to sleep. In my waking hours I mentally retraced the steps I took prior to noticing his presence next to the garage and realized I’d likely come within inches of stepping on him. It was a sobering thought.

I’ve changed some of my habits after my snake experience, and I thought the lessons learned might be worth sharing. If nothing else, they’ll help me solidify what I gained from the experience.

  1. Don’t walk and read simultaneously. The mail can wait to be sorted once you’re in the house. What a sad tale it might’ve been if I’d stepped on a viper while perusing a Talbots mailer.
  2. Not all bad guys give a warning. If my snake friend had been a rattlesnake, chances are I’d have been warned off from the start. This guy lay silently, coiled and waiting for some clueless broad walking and reading a Talbots catalog to blunder into its sharp fangs.
  3. Scan your surroundings. There’s a mnemonic acronym motorcyclists use to help avoid accidents–SIPDE. That stands for Scan (keep your eyes moving), Identify (note possible hazards), Predict (make an educated guess as to what the hazard might do), Decide (plan a course of action), and Execute (make it happen).
  4. Please note that we Executed the snake. That’ll teach him.
  5. Don’t trust your eyes, but scan anyway. He was camouflaged fairly well in his driveway matching color coordinated way. Look twice, then look again.
  6. Always carry a bazooka. (Note to self: buy a bazooka.)
  7. Don’t assume a snake is asleep just because it doesn’t respond to outside stimuli. It’s probably playing possum in hopes that you’ll be lulled into complacency. Or that you’re admiring a skirt in a fashion catalog.

I’m sure there are other lessons to be gained from my interaction with the snake, but thinking about it too much gives me the heebie jeebies.

Peace, people.

(I found the photo directly above on twitter in order to show off the cottonmouth’s cotton mouth.)

Snapshot #241

For some reason today’s post magically disappeared from my WordPress site. Thank goodness two of my blogging friends had already liked it, so I could copy from my notifications.

Be sure to click on the link for the story–I kind of had nightmares last night.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2019/06/14/snapshot-241/

Is 62 Too Old for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights? Asking for a Friend

For Mother’s Day, or our anniversary, or some other holiday Studly Doright bought us tickets for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando. He knew that would thrill me more than just about anything else. Even at 62 I still enjoy such foolishness, and I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.

Tonight (Friday) will be our fourth trip to HHN, and each time has been a hoot. Think of the scariest, most elaborate haunted house you’ve ever experienced, multiply it by ten and add another 50 on top of that, and you’ll get an idea of how incredible Halloween Horror Nights is. The makeup, the costumes, the vignettes–all are based on movies or television shows and are incredibly realistic and spooky as hell.

Tough guy Studly gets every bit as scared as I do. And if there are fake snakes involved, he really freaks out, and I get to be his protector.

Hopefully I’ll have some photos for the blog tomorrow. If we survive, that is.

Peace, people.

Wakulla Swim

On Tuesday morning I took our granddaughter, Dominique, and her friend, Sophia, to Wakulla Springs. Sophia had never seen an alligator outside of a zoo setting, so we had high hopes for a sighting.

When we first arrived at Edward Ball State Park rain was falling, and tickets for the boat ride weren’t being sold yet due to the possibility of lightning down the river. The girls donned their hoodies so we could go exploring.

That’s the diving platform above.

The small blue markers strung across the river are the only demarcation between swimming territory and all manner of wildlife including gators, manatees, and snakes. According to the park rangers the only real thing keeping wildlife out of the swimming area is the presence of people.

Occasionally an alligator will cross the line and have to be removed. While the girls were swimming I watched two other swimmers each pull a snake from the water. They assured me that these snakes weren’t venomous, but eeek!

Around noon we were cleared for the boat tour. The rains had cooled everything off, so while we saw a good many gators, they were all in the water.

And I managed to fail at getting a photo of anything other than my fellow passengers, trees, and swampy water.

After lunch the two Texas girls swam in the Florida sunshine for over an hour.

Meanwhile I reclined on my brightly colored blanket and read.

The girls slept all the way back to Doright Manor, while I sang along to the 60’s channel on Sirius/XM. Now, I need a nap!

Peace, people.

My Morning View

Our little piece of the lake behind Doright Manor is my happy place. From my favorite spot on the sofa I watch the day unfold.

If you look closely you can see one of two fairy houses in the bottom right hand corner. The fairies are stealthy, though, and we only get glimpses of their daily activities.

Occasionally a snowy egret sweeps low over the lake. A pair has nested here every year since we moved in, and most likely long before that.

We haven’t spotted an alligator yet this year, but I’m always watching for the telltale bubbles.

Fish jump, turtles perch on logs, and frogs, who are quiet right now, have a concert scheduled tonight and every night this summer.

Lizards provide entertainment for my cats. They climb the window screens, secure in the knowledge that their furry nemeses are stuck inside on this late spring morning.

Oh, let’s not forget the snakes. We’ve seen a few this year, but the birds and the squirrels give us warning. I click to the squirrels and whistle to the birds.

Who’d have ever thought a girl who grew up in the dry, dusty Texas panhandle would ever get to live in such a place? Certainly not me. It’s heaven.

Peace, people.