Tag Archives: reptiles

A busy week off work

We have had an interesting week thus far. Both Mrs. Poolman and I have the entire week off work.

On Monday, Mrs. P and I drove down I-95 to meet her sister and brother-in-law and our 11-year old great-niece, Christine, for lunch. Christine returned to Savannah with us. There some problems with child care over her Christmas break from school, so we invited her to visit us for one of the weeks. We ate leftovers for dinner and watched an age-appropriate movie we had rented, “Monte Carlo.” I am happy to report that, although the movie is clearly aimed towards a younger audience, it was cute and entertaining, even for us old folks.

On Tuesday, we got a late start and ate lunch before heading out. We cruised downtown Savannah for a while. Christine enjoyed some of the antique (She called them “junk.) stores – at least for awhile. Eventually, everyone’s patience wore out and we returned home for a dinner of take-out pizza, and a viewing of “The Help.” Poolboy and Girlfriend came over to watch with us, and Christine was very excited to see someone other than Mrs. P and myself. (We don’t take it personally; we understand.)

Today’s big event was ice skating. Each year at Christmas, the Savannah Civic Center creates an indoor ice skating rink for several weeks. Christine had been very excited about the prospect — until it came time to step onto the ice. Both Mrs. P and I had brief discussions with her and advised her that a “whiny brat” act does not work well with us. Christine ventured out on to the ice, and seeing that this is Savannah, she was not the only novice out there. She stuck close to the side and only fell once, with no damage.

On a personal note, I stayed up, but it was touch-and-go all the way. When I was a young teen, I was fairly good on skates. There was a skating rink within walking distance of our house. It was the “go-to” gathering place for all our classmates on Friday nights. My brother and I had season passes and probably went ice skating two to three times a week for several years. We taught our younger sisters how to skate.

Of course, that was 45 years ago, and  I haven’t been on skates in more than 20 years.  But I thought, “Hey, it’s like riding a bike, right?” Wrong! I looked and felt like a complete novice. Eventually, I got somewhat into the rhythm, but was still “jerking” all over the place. Fortunately, for me, Christine did not want my assistance. She much preferred the side-boards. The two of us flailing around together would have been a truly ugly experience.

After the ice skating, we drove over the Savannah River Bridge to visit the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.

The Savnnah National Wildlife Refuge was formerly old rice fields.

In warmer weather, this is a great place to see alligators. No such luck today. But it was a beautiful day and the drive through the refuge was very picturesque.

Mrs. P and Christine at the Wildlife Refuge.

Lots of birds, but no reptiles.

I believe this is an American Coot, but I wouldn't swear to it.

Another movie rental for tonight, and we are ordering wings for dinner. Should be a good evening.

Critters in the pool

Part of the “excitement” of owning a pool is to discover what I might find it on any given morning. It is long established that I can tell the time of the year by the plant material there. Pine needles, live oak leaves, pine pollen and oak seed pods all have their seasons.

The big surprises are the animals. One day, Mrs. Poolman looked out to find a family of mallard ducks, complete with the babies. Fortunately, they didn’t stay long because to paraphrase the old saying, “Does the duck s*it in the pool?”

This week I found this little guy. A fiddler crab is no big deal around here, but I am mystified how he got there. It is nearly a mile from any habitat that would support him. That’s a long way to hike for a dip in chlorinated water.

The biggest excitement came several years ago when I walked out on a Saturday morning to find a very large alligator snapping turtle in the pool. This picture is not of MY turtle, but it does represent how attractive he was.

An alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii which is Latin for big, nasty, mother f____

If you are not familiar with the species, you should know that they are not nice, cuddly creatures. They are mean.

I took my pool net and chased the sucker all over the pool. He was not interested in being caught. Eventually, I was able to get under him and flip him up onto the pool deck He was a big one, with a carapace (shell) a good 15-18 inches across. My plan was to use a cardboard box to carry him down the road to a pond. I went to pick him up with my hands on either side of the shell. I expected him to just pull back into the shell and let me do it. Wrong! He stuck is VERY long neck out and came back across the back of the shell to get a piece of me.

Mrs. Poolman was watching all this out the kitchen window. I yelled for her to come and help. She shook her head “no” so violently, I think she wrenched her neck.

I eventually got the turtle into a box and down the road to the pond with no further damage. I am certain the turtle did not appreciate the life-saving favor I had done for him. Ingrate!