Sunday, August 31, 2008

Folsom Lake


The kids and I went out to Folsom Lake today. It was more like Folsom Pond. Or better yet Folsom River. We parked at Beals Point and then walked what must have been a quarter mile down to the water. I think we were standing right in front of the dam.

In twenty years, I don't remember the lake this low.

While we were there a fire helicopter came and sucked up some water

This was an old road along the valley edge

This looks like an old row of trees, by the way this is looking back up towards the parking lot and the dike around the lake.

Man I hope we get a lot of rain this winter!!!


Humming Birds

I love birds. I love to take pictures of birds. And best of all I love taking pictures of humming birds. This little girl comes by the back yard everyday. She'll get right in your face if your not careful!

I think it's the speed that they fly at that fascinates me the most. Their little wings beat so fast you can't even see them. And when you get 2 or more, they fly through the back yard like a couple of world war 2 air planes in a dog fight. Zipping around trees and poles and people. Climbing straight up in the air and then zooming right back down and around.

We have mostly Anna's humming birds but in the spring Rufus and Black Chinned hummers will show up occasionally. We have a couple feeders in the back yard, so there is always a show.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baby Snake

As of Friday, we have a baby snake. It is an albino corn snake. We have both the parents as well. The baby is about the size of a #2 lead pencil. The partents are about 3 feet long in case you've never seen an adult corn snake. One is orange and the other is green.

Funny story, in May, Erika called and said that the snakes were acting funny and she thought I should get some "feeders" on my way home from work. So, I stopped and bought the feeders, and tried feeding the snakes when I got home. But, alas, the snakes were not hungry. Strange. Normally both snakes go nuts when I put a feeder in with them. When I feed the snakes I take them out of there cage and put them in a different container. Each snake is fed seperately. I was letting the green snake crawl on the counter while I tried to feed the orange snake. When he didn't eat, I let him crawl out of his container. Here is where it gets funny. We never knew the sex of our snakes. It takes an expert to tell male from female. I never really gave much thought to it. So, the orange snake (the male) crawls over to the green snake (the female) Starting at her tail, he slides along her body all the way to her head. Right on top of her. Meanwhile she starts twitching as he is sliding alond. The whole time I'm yelling for the kids and Erika, "Hey, come here, check this out!!" When the male is even with the female, they start doing it. Both snakes have a hemi-penis. Male and Female. Both hemi-penis' come out and lock together. Pretty cool. We all stood there and watched the snakes do it for about 15 minutes.

So now we know we have a male and a female snake. We let them do it a couple more times and then waited to see what would happen. Our female laids 11 eggs on June 6. Of course we read up on what to do to try and make sure the eggs hatched. It would be 2 months before they did. 1 out of 11 - not very successful on my part. I think some eggs got to wet and drowned, while the others dryed out. It's hard to duplicate the exact conditions. Plus we went on vacation to Oregon during this time and left them unattended. Not that we need any more snakes, but once it happened it was cool to see it all take place.

Our cockateils were also having some fun at the same time. We had 7 cockateil eggs at the same time as the snake eggs were first laid. Unfortunately, none of the bird eggs were fertilized. Our male, Bob, isn't quite doing it right. He gets on top of Bird-Bird sideways. Maybe next year the birds will have babies. Right now we have enough going on.