Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Taxman Cometh!

Sorry - was going to title this post "We get by with a little help from our friends ...", but I just couldn't resist.

The snapping turtle (I named him Big Guy) made himself right at home in my little fenced courtyard. Monday when I got home, he came over and started banging on the sliding glass door - he had already figured out where his Spam was coming from! Tuesday morning, he was guarding the front gate, so I had to delay getting the newspaper until the coast was clear. He was growing on me - I was actually considering constructing some sort of mud hole and painting a sign - Beware of Guard Turtle. Fortunately, Jim rescued him from what would have been a pretty boring (and monastic) existence, took these fabulous photos, and released him into Turkey Creek. I love these pictures - I sized that top one large so you can snag it as a screensaver!
"... with a little help from our friends" also applies to David McRee's review in his April 10 Visit Florida Beaches and Surf Expert column of our new Space Coast Eco blog. David not only "gets it", he can articulate it! He doesn't talk "eco" as a marketing ploy - he's a native Floridian and loves the biodiversity the state offers. In his personal blog, Blog the Beach, he frequently writes about birds and sea critters - one of my favorites is his video on pelican rescue. I've written before about the FREE ocean safety e-book he offers on his BeachHunter web site. It's a must-read for beach-goers.

As I was thanking Jim for rescuing me from yet another wildlife adventure, he reminded me that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) folks were meeting today to consider stronger conservation measures for freshwater turtles. The commercial harvest of freshwater turtles is a significant conservation threat in Florida, and the FWC, with strong support from the Governor, is proposing new restrictions. I've been remiss in not talking about this sooner so you could have added your voices to those supporting this much-needed protection of our turtle friends, but I'll keep you informed as to the outcome.

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