Our First Brush With Florida Reptiles

Nope, it wasn’t alligators; just snakes. And they weren’t in our backyard. We actually had to go looking for them. The Lyonia Environmental Center next to the library sponsored a 1  1/2 hour talk on local reptiles. Axa and Raj sat raptly through the whole presentation, which was very well done, I thought, by the seventeen-year-old daughter of the president of the Lake Region Audobon Society.

At the end of the presentation, they let everyone (everyone who wanted to, that is) come up and hold the snakes. Raj consented to touch a snake with one finger only, but Axa was in poikilothermic heaven.

Here she is holding a Scarlet King Snake (not to be confused with the deadly coral snake that resembles it almost exactly).

I had no idea that the Ball Python is so named because its habitual position is curled into a ball. Pretty snuggly for a snake, I guess.

The Corn Snake was beautiful too, and very lively. Wait, where is that snake, anyway?

Even Tony got in on the action. This snake was really too heavy for a kid to hold alone.

As well as snakes, Axa also held a friendly Box Turtle.

One of her favorites, though, was a reptile native to Australia, not Florida: the Blue-Tongued Skink! Yes, that really is his tongue sticking out. And he’s not actually as out-of-shape as he looks.

In the end, I pretty much had to drag Axa away from the reptiles. And she is more firm than ever in her goal of working at the zoo when she grows up.

I love letting other people homeschool my kids for me. I guess we can cross off our herpology for the week!

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