Monday, January 14, 2008

Do I Really Need Another Reason??

I gots lots of comments (on the last post) on how wonderful our backyard is. It is a really nice backyard.....to look at. You can't go back there. For a couple of reasons.

Reason #1- We live in Florida. Anyone who lives or has lived here knows that kids pretty much don't play outside a whole lot (and not simply because the grass here feels like shards of glass stabbing into your skin when you touch it...they avoid that by playing in the street..nice, huh?). They especially stay out of the woods. Why? Because of the Florida wildlife. We have fire ants. Never head of 'em? Consider yourself VERY lucky. Ever been stung by a bee? Ok, well maybe that's not a good example because I haven't...at least not that I can remember. Have you ever used your finger nails to pinch a really, tiny amount of your skin really, really hard? YES? Hmmm, maybe you should be spending some time getting some fresh air rather than sitting at your computer reading blogs all day long. Anyways....so the ground is COVERED with these fire ant hills. You are strolling along, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you feel a slight stinging sensation. The stinging begins to get worse. You look down and these little pests are crawling ALL over you. You start to squish and flick them and swat them off, but that just makes them angry and you end up with bites all over your hands as well. It's not abnormal for you to end up with 50 bites in a ten second period when they start to swarm. And they HURT!! The bites turn into these little welts that resemble pimples and itch like 5 times more than a mosquito bite. I didn't have a pic of myself when I was viciously attacked, but I found this pic on another site... Not pretty, huh?? Plus, we have snakes. Big, ugly, "hiding under the brush so you have no idea I am here until you step on me" snakes. Like this guy who decided to take up residence on my lanai. At least I know enough about snakes to know that he was big and black and scary but NOT poisonous. Know what to do if you end up with a non-poisonous snake on your lanai?? Use the hose. My mom taught me that. I just propped the door open and gently sprayed in his direction until he retreated out the door. Know what to do if you have a poisonous snake on your lanai?? Scream and never, EVER go out there again. That's what I would do. And don't even get me started on the alligators here. Oh, and did I mention there are black panthers around as well??

Reason #2- The second reason for not going back into those woods (as if you really need another reason) is that you would be taken out in handcuffs. It's actually a nature preserve back there and, by law, we aren't allowed to step foot in it. And I have to say I have never been tempted to be a rebel and venture back there (refer to reason # 1).

So, yes, it is wonderful to look back there and see the interesting wildlife it brings...such as deer and armadillo and frogs that "sing" (ask one of my children what a frog says and the answer isn't "ribbit." The first few times I heard them singing after a rainfall I thought it was some kind of bird).
I just went and found this on youtube....

They get so loud it keeps you up at night until you get used to it. It's actually really neat for the first 15 minutes or so.....then it tends to get a little old. But anyways...So I wanna know what sort of critters you all have to deal with in your back yards!!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have rats in our backyard in CA! Other than that I am sooo thankful I don't have to deal with snakes! Do you get tarantulas?? yuck!

Lisa

Dawn said...

Well we have our two cats, and occasionally the neighbor's cat and that's about it- not nearly as exciting as black panthers, alligators, and snakes!

Valarie said...

Lisa- Yeah, we have rats, too. But they are the least of my worries! And no, we don't have tarantulas thank goodness!!

Dawn- Yeah, we have 2 of the neighbors cats that like to hang out in our back yard. Every once in a while they make a dash for the front door when I leave to take my daughter to school in the morning. I don't mind them so much... I figure they help to chase off some of the snakes.

Kellan said...

That video was crazy!!! I have all those critters too in my back yard + possum (I don't know how to spell that), racoon, deer ... I got um too! That snake is bigger than any I've seen in my yard though - WOW!

Hey - thanks for coming over and leaving the well wishes - I am fine - only need to remember about that bra thing the next time I ever have to call 911. Hope to see you tomorrow. Kellan

Lucille said...

WOW!

I was sitting here dreaming of some nice WARM weather (I'm in WI) and I have to say after reading about all those snakes and fire ants I decided to grab a sweater and not complain! LOL!

Our backyard is relatively simple. I have deer and a beautiful red fox who I think is making a home under our deck. That doesn't sound good but it is better then a snake!

Thanks for sharing!

desirae said...

I think if I ever saw a snake (poisonous or not) anywhere near my house, I would never ever ever set foot outside again. There would be no need to use a hose, as my scream would scare it off. (and probably anything else that dared come within a 30 mile radius of me, until I passed out.) I hate snakes..

Liz said...

Okay, I'm convinced. You make it sound soooo attractive: why do you live there?! Snakes, urgh!

We have squirrels and foxes and they say you're never more then 15' away from a rat so I guess we have those too. But nothing quite as ferocious as yours.

Beth said...

Wow! Who knew you had all that life right outside your door!

We have possums, raccoons and chipmunks. In the field across the street from our house we saw several deer a few days ago but nothing nearly as exciting as what you have!

Family Adventure said...

Oh my. That's a lot of wildlife right there. I can see why you wouldn't want to venture too far...regardless of reason no. 2!!

Heidi

One Scrappy Gal said...

When we lived south, the news was always broadcasting a warning about keeping small pets indoors, lest the gators should get them.

girlymom said...

Ok, those frogs are ANNOYING!! You have me beat in the wildlife area, we live in town and have neighbor cats, dogs, tons of squirrels and surprisingly a few skunks- but nothing really dangerous. I don't think I would go in your backyard either! Now I'm scared- and yet very happy that when I go to FL for SB I am going to the BEACH. The kids are scared of the crabs- this will be interesting.

Kathy said...

I live in Kentucky and mostly deal with raccoons and possums. I live close to town though, if I drive out to friends' houses, I encounter deer. I have experienced field mice and garden snakes a few times, but nothing like that! I feel for you!!

www.kathy-iamwhoiam.blogspot.com

Katie said...

SICK! SICK! SICK! SICK! SICK! I read this post yesterday and I have a dream about it last night. No, dream is not the right word...nightmare. I woke up panting. I was somehow locked in your back yard and ran into every creature you mentioned. Luckily, my boys have been watching Jungle Book so when I found I couldn't outrun the black panther (not even in my dreams) HE turned out to be nice.

Thanks a lot. I don't like creepy creatures.

Valarie said...

Liz- I have asked myself that MANY, MANY times.

One Scrappy Gal- We worry about our dog getting out ALL the time!

And to those of you who said you didn't have many "wild" animals near you because you live in the city....guess what? SO DO I. I can't even imagine what it is like in the country here.

Leah said...

Remind me to never come visit you there! evil bugs and snakes and frogs that sounds like baby chickens cheeping into microphones... aughhh!!!!!

I'll take my WA rain, thank you very much. LOL!!!

Stacie said...

That really sucks that you can enjoy such beauty...but I do not blame you one bit, i would be indoors too!

Bryce and Candice Blood Family said...

I am a new lurker to your blog; my husband and I really appreciated the laughs after stumbling upon you blog the other day. We also have fire ants. I stripped my 1 year old in the front yard a few years back when she stuck both hands in a fire ant bed and they headed up her coat sleeves and down her shirt then into her diaper. Amazingly, she doesn't react like my other daughter and the bites were gone in a few hours.

We will soon be moving from the South to the South west and do not look forward to the triantulas! However, we won't miss those darn fire ants, flying roaches, possums (my husband is a veterinary and swears the are the vilest of creatures), cicadas, etc.

As for snakes, you catch the non-poisonous ones and scare the mail lady with them. That's what I use to do with my brothers on the farm we grew up on! Oh, the memories.

Thank you for sharing your memories and laughs with us!