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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Praying Panties & Sparkles the Alligator

Praying mantis

We bought some Praying Mantis egg cases (you can get them from Gardener’s Supply) – one of them finally hatched and we all watched in wonder as hundreds of Praying Panties wiggled their way out of the egg case.

Yes, only my kids would call them Praying Panties and get away with it.

I know you’re going to ask…WHY?!?!? PM’s are beneficial insects and we let them loose in the garden to keep the bad bugs away. Survival of the Fittest at its finest. One of the egg cases hatched last weekend, and Andrew and Nathan had fun releasing them in the garden.

Fill in the blank…
“In my book, ‘Praying Panties’ would refer to ______!”

Can you tell who’s holding the camera????

Andrew certainly has a fondness for stickers. Small, annoying stickers. They are ALL OVER MY HOUSE.

Sparkles the Alligator

Remember I told you about an alligator pond in my backyard? Here’s a baby alligator – we saw him sunbathing yesterday and the boys named him, “Sparkles” because alligators are pretty damn ugly and we just felt that he needed a radiant name. Sparkles the Alligator is about 3 feet long. Scott and I have to be careful watching the kids when we are out back now … where there’s a baby alligator there’s also a protective mama alligator close by. The pond is just 15 yards from my back door, so we’ve got to be really watchful now.

See Sparkles’ peeping above the water? To answer your questions, we don’t ever feed them because if they become too comfortable around humans, and vice versa…that would be bad. Last I checked, an alligator’s’ sharp teeth are more ferocious than my Lee Press-On Nails. Generally, they are scared of humans. Let’s keep it that way!! Crikey, mate, it’s not that we CHOSE to live near an alligator pond…we chose to live near a pond. Just so happens that 1) this is swampish Florida 2) our home was built new 3) alligators weren’t served an eviction notice by the builders.

Actually, most all the homes in our community back up to a man-made pond – we all have a screened in lanai and pool area, it keeps the gators and the annoying pests away. I know it sounds exotic and all, but it’s pretty much the norm here. I’ll have to take a photo for you to show you what I mean.

When we first moved here, we were in awe of all the wildlife in our yard. I mean, we had just moved from downtown SF, where the only wildlife I knew was on the corner of Broadway and Columbus – and they usually wore pleather not fur.

Enjoying the sunset with Sparkles the Alligator…can life be any more beautiful than this?

I’ll title this part . . .“Not Herbs”

And look! My sugar snap peas are popping out!

Gorgeous flowers from the Kalamansi Lime Tree. The tree is covered with flowers and I’m hoping one of you have some good recipes you can send my way! Especially mixed drink recipes. The Kalamansi Limes are about 1.25″ diameter, thin-skinned (actually the skin is pretty sweet and you can eat the thing whole), light orange-ish flesh and a have fresh, puckery-zing. Have you ever tasted a Kalamansi? I also have a Kaffir Lime Tree and a LimeQuat (cross btw lime and a kumquat)



56 Responses to “Praying Panties & Sparkles the Alligator”

  1. Colette — 4/1/08 @ 1:18 am

    I moved to Florida 4 years ago, from California. In that 4 years, I’ve studied everything I could Google on alligators; fascinating animals! But dangerous, for sure. Your boys look so cute by the lake, but please have them stay farther back from the water’s edge. They are in striking distance. Janie Melsek, who died in an alligator attack a year or two ago, was gardening 15 feet from the water’s edge. Granted these beasts like to sneak up on prey, but they will also attack head-on. Please don’t take any chances at all with your boys. Alligators lose their fear of people just by being around them; not as fast as being fed by people, but you never know if it’s going to take them 6 weeks or 6 years to lose that fear.

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