Saturday, March 19, 2016

Waiting For The Sun

We met our new neighbor a couple of days ago - a magnificently massive boa constrictor.  No idea how long it has been hanging around, but it is certainly well-fed, judging by its size.  It has been waiting for the sun (click here for oddly appropriate music) each day this week to show itself in its brush-pile lodging at the edge of our property.

This morning's sunrise promised us a hot day.
Ten minutes before sunrise.  The air still has the night's coolness - if you call 70F cool.
When the sun rises up through the morning haze like this, the day is guaranteed to be a hot one.
Eighteen minutes after sunrise.  We start work early here to avoid the heat.  Tiger is off-loading our plumbing supplies.  Already 75F when I took this shot.
The weather forecast predicts a high of 98F(36C) today (it is 95F at noon as I write this).
You can almost see the heat at 8:00AM.
By 9:00, the boa's wait is over.  I took these photos today and day before yesterday.  It is so huge that I still haven't seen the whole thing all at once.
Not all the way in the sun yet.  Its head is double-backed to the left of center.
Standing next to it and comparing it to my thigh, I estimate that it is about 18-20 inches in circumference at the widest part I could see.
Here you can see its head resting on its body.
 Although I would love to see its full length, we didn't want to disturb it.
Beautiful markings.
It must have shed recently because it was so shiny and fresh looking.
Look at the gorgeous iridescence of its scales.
 Waiting for the sun.
Its head is larger than my fist.
 Waiting for you . . to come along.
Sparkling eye.
An impressive animal.

29 comments:

  1. A stunning sunrise Wilma and an impressive snake. He looks huge in those pictures.
    I would guess if he's left alone, he wouldn't be a threat to you?

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    1. It is a pretty huge snake, Keith. It could easily strangle and eat a small dog or an infant child, but their usual diet is rodents, lizards, birds. They don't tend to be aggressive and they are not poisonous to humans, but they could give a nasty bite if you provoke them. I was able to stroke this one without it giving any reaction to my touch. I just couldn't resist feeling its shiny scales! My curiosity satisfied, I now will leave it alone.

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  2. You do have some varied and fascination neighbours Wilma. I don't know whether I could have got that close. As for 36C. I would definitely need strong air conditioning in that. I guess it's a question of acclimatisation and what you get used to.

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    1. Good thing I like snakes! I suppose if I didn't, we would never have moved here. That heat is oppressive when you are out in the sun, no matter how acclimatized you are. But with our deep, shady veranda and the sea breeze, we are at least 10 degrees (F) cooler. We tend to do our physical labor in the mornings and evenings and take it easy during the heat of the day.

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  3. Love your new neighbour Wilma! Not so keen on the temperature though :-)

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    1. Thanks, Phil. As I told John above, we stay about 10 degrees cooler on our shady veranda that catches any little breeze. I even made sunshades that we lower in the mornings to keep out the direct sun as it rises. Very effective at keeping the veranda and inside of the cabana cooler. We also have a pergola on the west side of the cabana that mitigates the heat of late afternoon sun. We manage to stay pretty comfortable 90% of the time.

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    2. Could certainly do with one or two of those kind of days here in the UK at the moment, just to warm the place up. After that, yes, it's too hot and thankfully, we don't have neighbours such as yours, otherwise I might be missing my dogs.

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    3. I think your dogs would be an attractive meal for that snake! But the boa would probably prefer a little possum or rat. Today is not quite as hot as yesterday; some welcomed rain is on the way.

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  4. Your pictures shift from spectacular to terrifying. You're a brave woman to get so close to that creature. Great, scary close-ups.
    Have a nice week, Wilma.

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    1. Thanks, Robyn. Boas are really sweethearts. I keep my distance from poisonous snakes. :-)

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  5. Oh, now I'm really jealous! I live in Louisiana and don't even have an alligator in the neighborhood.

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    1. You are obviously in the wrong neighborhood, then, Bill! We even have crocodiles back in Black Creek behind our place. :-)

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  6. I wouldn't have stroked it, it might have grabbed my arm and not let go................

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    1. I must not be as irresistible to snakes as you are, Stuart. ;-) This snake just wanted to bask in the sun and did its best to ignore me.

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  7. Hi, Wilma. I didn't know who WLL was on my Amazon page. From Janie's blug, I've discovered it's you. I like to thank my reviewers personally (or at least virtually). I really appreciate your review. It brought a big smile to my face. Thank you kindly!
    Glad you enjoyed the Verge. Be well.

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    1. Yep, I am WLL. Hope you get your 50 reviews soon, if not already, and that sales stay strong. Have you started your next book yet?

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    2. Hi again. I've taken notes for the next book. And another book or two. So much writing to do.
      Thank you!

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  8. Snakes terrify me. I need to get to know you so I understand why you live with snakes in such heat. I don't think anything is wrong with your choice. Some people think I'm crazy to live in Florida. We all have our reasons.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi Janie - Snakes fascinate me. Skeletally, they are a backbone with jaws and perhaps rudimentary hips. I am amazed at how they can climb and slither and swim with no limbs, much less opposable thumbs.

      It isn't always this hot here. The highest temp we have seen at our place is 98, and that is rare. It got hotter than that in Minnesota where we used to live. More importantly, the lowest temp we have endured here is 58, compared to -34(!) in Minnesota. We did move here for the weather and the natural history. Crazy helps.

      Cheers, Wilma

      P.S. - I have an English usage query/complaint on which I need your input. I'll put it in comments on your blog after April 15th. :-)

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  9. You got way to close to take some of those shots! Hopefully he was just visiting and move on to another location.

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    1. Hi Nick and Silke - we haven't seen it for a few weeks now. The weather has gotten so warm that it probably doesn't need to bask in the sun these days. Hope the Big Island is treating you right. Cheers!

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  10. Hi, Wilma! I hope you see this comment. I don't seem to have an email address for you. Today on my blog I address your question about gift as a verb.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie - thank you so much! It is comforting to know that I am not alone in my irritation.

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  11. Wilma,
    What's happened to your blog, have you run out of ideas, got fed up with it, got internet problems. Miss reading about your life in paradise.

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    1. Internet has been horrible. It has taken me 30 minutes to get to this comments box! Hope to have it sorted out by June 1. Lots to write about, so you aren't free of me just yet! Thanks for your concern. Life (other than than the crap internet) is still good here in paradise. :-) Enjoying a refreshing G&T and cheese plate on the veranda while listening to the waves roll ashore. Hope to be back on the blog soon. Cheers!

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    2. Good to hear! Say hi to Dennis for us. :)

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