All text copyright  Eitan Grunwald.  All photographs copyright  Eitan or Ron Grunwald  except photographs by others are copyright per photo credits.  All rights reserved.  Terms
FLORIDA
December 2008
1 of 1
FLORIDA
December 2008
1 of 1
          
An Everglades break during our annual family vacation to Florida.  This year my nephew Ben joined Ron and me for a day of swamptromping and a night of roadcruising.   We walk a canal looking for Burmese pythons, but all we find is this Ribbon Snake stretched out on the limestone levee.     Next, some trash sites, where Ben flips a gecko and peels his first Corn Snake from under the bark of a fallen Australian pine.      Back to the wetlands, hoping to see pythons.  No snakes, but on the banks of a pond we spot the most massive crocodile we’ve ever seen in the Glades. At another pond, a considerably less formidable subject.     Nighttime on the roads produces the usual collection of Garters, Ribbons, Moccasins, and various Water Snakes, plus a few species we don’t commonly see.       Still no pythons, so we head home, resigned.  On the way back we drive down a side road, see nothing, and decide to turn around.  It’s just past midnight, the first few minutes of my birthday, and at this point I don’t expect any wishes to materialize.  But then almost immediately after our U-turn, right where we had just passed, our headlights pick up a thick white speed bump that wasn’t there a moment ago. We scramble from the car, make our grab, and proudly have the invader in hand.  Next day we make our contribution to science by delivering the snake to a research project, but not before taking a few celebratory photos.       
Ben and Frog  2002 Ben and Frog  2008
Peninsular Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus
Tropical House Gecko Hemidactylus  mabouia
Corn Snake Elaphe guttata
American Crocodile Crocodylus acutuss
Roseate Spoonbill
Florida Cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake Sistrurus miliarius barbouri
Mangrove Salt Marsh Snake Nerodia clarkii compressicauda
Brown Water Snake Nerodia taxispilota
Burmese Python Python molurus bivittatus