Cat Private Eyes and Lizard Spies

Mr. Flower and I recently visited the beautiful but not so peaceful

Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce Coast, Florida.

The gardens are all themed and connected by shady walkways.

I truly enjoyed wondering along the paths and examining the flowers.

But I could not shake the feeling of being watched.

I slowed my paced and quieted my breaths.

Yes. I heard tiny footfalls through the vegetation.

Yes,  there were little eyes peeking out at me.  Were they guarding the bonsai?

Not only that, I was being followed.  I was tailed by one pursuer, then another.

Every time I turned around with my camera, my stalker would sit down and look the other way.

I even tried to hide in the facilities, but there were eyes everywhere!

This lasted longer than Mr. Flower’s patience. He wanted to get on the road toward home.

While I was running for my life, he was lounging on this lovely bench.

He cared nothing about my being spied upon.  When I pointed out the culprits, he only laughed.

He wouldn’t know a good mystery if it jumped down from the tree and bit him.

I guess I should share some flower photos from Heathcote Botanical Gardens.

Stay tuned for more.

FLOWER in no Fool.

Too Many Toads

As I was walking my morning rounds on Thursday to inspect the gardens,

I spied two toads locked in an embrace on the rocks outside the pond.

IMG_7704

Now I am no amphibian copulation expert, but I do know the fertilization is external and therefore requires water.

Was this a rehearsal? A practice session before entering the pond?

I took photos of the entranced toad couple and went about by business as they went about theirs.

IMG_7716

Many hours later, I walked back by the pond. They were still there.

The top toad, who we will call Mr. Backpack looked dry and maybe a little sunburned. (or was it afterglow?)

Mrs. Squeeze( the bigger, bottom toad) had turned a bit, but was still on the same rock as hours before.

IMG_7719

I began to wonder if we had a defective toad population.

Did they not know that this activity should be done in liquid?

By this time I was regularly checking the toads out of irritation rather than concern. Must I do everything? Can’t anyone do anything right without my help?

Must I lead a horny toad to water?

As I was weeding that afternoon I pulled up a clump of weeds with what I thought was a bulb attached.

When I pushed the “bulb” back down onto the ground, it smooshed and wiggled…another toad.

IMG_7711

Even after dark, the two aforementioned toads remained on the rocks. I should have dropped them into the pond,  but as a biologist, I did not want to aid and abet defective genes entering the pool. (No pun intended.)

IMG_7721

Finally, about nine PM, I spotted a pair of toads in a wrestling match in the lily box. I am yelling a blow-by-blow to my grown son and the neighborhood.

“She threw him off. He tried to get back on. She kicked him in the head. She kicked him again.”

IMG_7740

I suddenly stopped. Really? Another toad? By the pond on the rocks.  Were these even the same toads? Mr. Backpack looked too light colored.  Was it another Squeeze on the rocks or another Backpack?  I was thinking there were too many toads in our yard.

Here a toad, there a toad, everywhere a toad or two.

As I was walking past the carport to the weed pile, I saw a familiar silouette under my car.

IMG_7733

No worries.

IMG_7760

IMG_7761

There will be more toads.

FLOWER

Rats, Camera, Action!

After hours of “Operation Caddy Shack”(another ridiculous movie), we can say with great confidence that there are no more rats in the bunny yard.

I guess our bad neighbor was a lone wolf, so to speak.  I did not check the cadaver’s gender before the burial.

I would have posted sooner, but I felt faint toward the end of the events and had to come inside to hydrate, shower and lie down. I am not sure what caused the spell.  It could have been due to excitement, exhaustion(from digging and laughing) or smoke inhalation.

We found many tunnels along the base of the basement.

Tunnel opening with smoke coming out.

Mr. Flower started the mission with fire, followed by smoke and last, but certainly not least, water.

Billows of smoke from another tunnel.

I must say the most disconcerting part (other than flames shooting up the side of my dwelling, fanned by my husband with a shop-vacuum) was the amount of water used.

Mr. Flower playing with fire and power tools at the same time.

After the use of flames and smoke, we placed hoses in the holes to fill the tunnels with water. The hose ran and ran and ran, but we never saw any water coming out from any other holes or drain pipes.

Water disappearing down one of the holes.

Where did it all go?  I do not know.

After my much needed rest, I had to go down and remove the mess from the bunny yard. They knew something big had happened.

I might add that one of my children’s favorite books was Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

 I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had been outsmarted. Perhaps somewhere up the hill, in the woods, was a group of rats watching us, and laughing.

LESSONS:

Never underestimate the enemy.

Know your neighbors.

Know your enemies.

Put out the flames before blowing smoke

 

I will be glad to get back to gardening. This has been way too much action for the Flower.

FLOWER and Mr. Flame

 

 

My Dead Bad Neighbor

The digger has been relocated to a different hole. One that was dug by Mr. Flower.

We never did get a picture of the culprit. If you can’t get a photo, a little poo will do.

I must say that I suspected its identity all along.

My head knew all the signs pointed to rat, but my heart wished for weasel.

You will not be seeing any photos of dead creatures on my blog. I made this rule years ago when a dead raccoon was found in the fairy garden.

My children insisted that I include a blog post about the “Fairy Fatale”, but I refused.

I knew that the poor little thing had fallen from the tree the previous night during our bonfire gathering. He had climbed up into the tree above to spy on us. The young raccoon was so scared by the ghost stories, that he lost his grip and fell to the rocks below.

The fairies just finished him off.

Thus ends the mystery. I hope my readers are not as disappointed as I am.

“Why the Critter Cam then?” you ask.

Mr. Flower suspects that the culprit did not act alone. He has been studying up and making plans. He seems rather excited. He has been referring to this Friday as ‘Ground Hog’s Day.’ For you readers who may not know this, it is the title of a movie starring Bill Murray. I hated to remind Mr. Flower that the aforementioned film involved a rodent out-smarting a human.

If you’re local, you may want to drop by tomorrow. (Bring a lawn chair.)

FLOWER