Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lawn Centurion

Because lawn jockeys are such a cliche...

Lawn Centurion

Monday's walk took Mary and me to one of our town's two water towers, for a round-trip of somewhere between five and six miles. It gave us a chance to walk down some streets we hadn't taken before, which led us to this lawn centurion.

The centurion's owner, Ron, told us that it is made of solid concrete, which presented a bit of a challenge to someone who'd tried to steal it. The would-be Visigoth had managed to topple the statue over, but could move it no farther.

Shortly thereafter, we reached our target:

Water Tower

We had dinner on the return leg. As we crossed the strip mall afterwards, I spotted the critter at lower left and exclaimed to Mary, "An albino lizard!" I thought I had found a rare anole with a mutation of some sort. Then I saw the other two and realized I was looking at a species I'd never seen before.

Mediterranean Geckos
Large view

According to the Wild Florida ecotravel guide, these Mediterranean Geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus, Family Gekkonidae) "are native to Europe, but they are highly successful colonizers and well established in Florida. There are no native nocturnal lizards in Florida, and geckos seem to have filled the niche." They are grayish with light pink and dark brown spots during the day, but lighten up at night.

Back on Friday we took a jaunt through Whispering Pines Park, a 290-acre, multi-use facility in the Citrus County seat of Inverness.

Aster/Daisy at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

This flower is probably in the aster/daisy family, but I haven't yet found an ID for a plant with this distinct type of tri-lobed (or is that four lobes?) petal. It grows outside the entrance to the park's outdoor pool, not far from these Gaillardia:

Gaillardia 1 at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

Gaillardia 2 at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

This is probably Gaillardia pulchella, also called blanket flower, firewheel, and Indian blanket. Asteraceae/Compositae (aster/daisy) Family. Source: www.floridata.com/ref/G/gaillad.cfm

Here's one with a visitor:

Gaillardia 3 With Wasp at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

We explored a couple of hiking trails, where this moss flourished:

Moss 1 at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

Close-up shot:

Moss 2 at Whispering Pines Park
Large view

I used part of the close-up to produce this moss mosaic:

Moss Mosaic
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Mary on the trail:

Mary at Whispering Pines Park
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Looking back after passing the palm tree:

Whispering Pines Park Trail
Large view

Fantasy mirror trail:

Mirror Trail
Large view

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[end of entry]


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