May 4th, 2006

breeden

(no subject)

Went to pick up my buddy Kathy at the airport this morning, but her flight was delayed by two hours. However, Lake Crabtree is right there, and since I have my handy binoculars in my purse, I spent two glorious hours birding, seeing thrashers, warblers, bluebirds, some lovely skinks (not birds, but neat anyway!) It was productive, to, since spring migration is in full swing--got a confirmation on that black-throated blue warbler, logged an eastern kingbird (and was able to spot the white tail tip that distinguishes it from the phoebe) a common yellowthroat, and a spotted sandpiper. The sandpiper was exciting just because I have very, very few shorebirds on my list at all--I mean, I've got kildeer, and that's about it, and I first saw THAT in the parking lot of a chiropractor--so I was stoked.

The yellowthroat was cool just because it was a male, and they have these wonderfully bold black masks, like nature designed them to fight crime. Of course, when your wingspan's right around five inches, you're limited to very small crimes. Worms embezzling dirt, slugs beating up snails for protection money ("Nice shell youze got here. Be a real shame if anything was t'happen to it...") things of that nature.
breeden

(no subject)

The skinks I saw were, it turns out, the lovely male broad-headed skink (a skink worth looking at, and I may have to do a painting of one at some point--his head was a wonderful coppery orange shade--and what I think was a southern coal skink.


Broad-headed skink:
http://www.herpsofnc.org/herps_of_NC/lizards/Eum_lat.html

Southern Coal Skink
http://216.109.89.105/reptile_amph/reptile_amph_l/AR0613_2l.jpg


Skinks are so cool. They're all rubbery looking, but they move with that ha-ha-I'm-not-a-mammal kind of whippy speed. The broad-headed skink actually went up a tree when I finally moved and startled him, which surprised me. I know intellectually that lizards hang out in trees all over the place, there are plenty of arboreal lizards, my Dad had emerald tree boas for a bit that he had to feed with pinky mice in a bird's nest to get 'em to eat--but the back of my brain still secretly believes that in a sane, normal world, reptiles are on the ground and birds are in the air. If I ever visit a tropical rainforest (and god, someday I hope I do) there will be a rude awakening somewhere back in the lobes.