You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Fun Day at Work

Yesterday, we celebrated our re-opening at work (eventhough we've technically already been open for a couple months now). One of the commissioners came, our department director and LOTS of kids from neighboring parks. Our naturalist contacted the zoo and this very nice guy brought over an alligator, gopher tortoise, striped skunk and a BIG Eastern Indigo snake (all native to Florida).

The skunk was so cool...very friendly and social, and NO he didn't smell bad at all! His musk gland had been removed. The tort was, well...a tort... and the Indigo was just gorgeous and very well-behaved.

I got to hold the little gator all day. His name was "Tootsie Roll" and he was a sweetie. I even removed the rubber band that was on his mouth. He never snapped (though I know he could've!) and was very patient with all the llittle hands feeling his rough, bony back and long tail.

All the kids loved being able to actually touch a gator, as well as the other critters, though the big snake freaked alot of folks out. One little girl was amazed and told me how cool it was to be so "close to nature", then she whipped out her cell phone and started taking lots of pictures. Touching that one girl in a positive way made the whole thing worthwhile.

It was a good day!

Last weekend, a bunch of us went for a cache called "The Ghost Orchid" in the Fakahatchee Strand. I'll post about that adventure later as I am trying to get things together to go kayaking up at Oleta River State Park. Just a few m,iles north of here and yet I have never been there!

Ya'll have a great weeked!!


misti said...

Cool! So, it is open to the public now? Chris wants to check out some of the plants we looked at that one time!

Sandcastle Momma said...

As afraid of snakes as I am I've still always wanted to see an Indigo. Baby gators are so cool - it's hard to imagine that they grow up and might eat you LOL
I can't wait to hear about your Ghost Orchid adventure - you are a brave woman!

ChrisB said...

It's lovely when children can experience nature close up. I often think I ought to offer to take my tortoises to the local pre-school for the children to see.

SwampAngel65 said...

Misti, anytime you guys want to come down, just let me know. As long as we don't have a group in, there shouldn't be any problem. The cigar orchid just bloomed again, but that seed pod still hasn't dehissed!

Ann, I'm not brave at all. It's just an act. One of my goals is to go caching with you one of these THAT would be brave! hehehe!!!

Chris, You SHOULD take your tortoises in! The kids would love them, I'm sure!