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Columns

April 2, 2013

Reflecting on a Florida trip

(Continued)

A tug-of-war followed, with the man’s golf mates pulling from his shoulders and the gator struggling to drag the poor guy into the water. The alligator was winning the battle when it suddenly decided to let go of the leg and the men were able to haul the bloodied golfer away.

Lizard in the grass

On a lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon, we were relaxing in the backyard when we noticed a large snake slithering along a nearby hedge. Since I hadn’t seen even a small snake as yet, I had to get a closer look at what turned out to be three-foot Black Racer.

Of course, I had heard of Florida’s black snakes but didn’t know about the “racer’’ part. I quietly edged closer to get a good look but didn’t realize the reptile was stalking a brown anole, which is one of the common 6-to-8-inch lizards often mistakenly called geckos or chameleons. 

Apparently I startled the lizard, which took off across the yard. Those creatures are fast; just try catching one if gets in the house or lanai. Well, that snake raced after it and within about 10 feet snapped up the lizard, shifted it around and there it went down the hatch, head first.

I had never seen a snake move so quickly, and until then would have put my money on the lizard in a contest. Stunned, I also realized that in a short sprint that snake could have beaten me to the finish line. Fortunately, they are not poisonous and will only bite when cornered, which I decided I would never try to do.

King of the ant hill

Lions may be the kings of the jungle, but for ants scurrying about the yard, the ant lion is just as ferocious.

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