Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reviving Little Critters

The insects, reptiles, and other residents of Florida are not used to the cold. Sometimes they need to be helped to take flight, crawl off, or play golf.

Here are a few stories about aiding a few of our smaller friends.  My memory is pretty fuzzy on the details because I was mostly a bystander, but this is what I remember.

It was a cool morning and we were cleaning up our state park rental cabin, getting ready to leave.  The previous day had been very rainy and the night had been even colder.

A lizard was the first animal rescued.  Too cold to run off when approached, I think it was on the sidewalk leading up to our cabin.  The younger generation named it Lizard Bob, picked it up and decided to move it from the shade to some direct sunlight.  The logical theory being that the poor cold-blooded animal needed to warm up so that he was not so sluggish.  But where to place him safely?  The safest, warmest place found nearby was the metal top of a garbage can.  One critter restored!

Next up was the dragonfly.  As far as I know, it did not receive a name.  I'm not sure where they found it, but when I saw it, it was warming its wings slowly in the sunlight, perched on some hands.

I'm sure I'm anthropomorphizing, but it seemed like the poor dragonfly couldn't decide whether to play dead for safety or continue to stretch itself in the pleasant sun on the balmy palm.  When it did take flight, it surprised us all, and at least one shriek was heard.  Two creatures released!

Finally came Lizard Joe.  It was several hours later at a local spring, but it must still have been cold, because Joe also didn't move when picked up.

After a few minutes studying Joe at a close range, he was placed in the sun on a chair.  The third living being warmed and revitalized!

Just another frigid morning in Florida.

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