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Reptiland

Part two of our journey to Pittsburgh. We’re back in dreaded Pennsylvania. Don’t get me wrong, the state is green and lush and gorgeous, but the driving (or in my case, riding) is slow and stressful. Today’s stop was Reptiland. Its easy to get to, just 6 miles off I-80.

This was Mr. S’s paradise! He had the camera and was busy snapping shots of the interesting creatures we saw. We got to see the alligators get fed “alligator chow” and some of the snakes got pinky mice (newborns). They are really well fed and the facility was clean.

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Florida Still Has a Hold On Us

We’re in this “off the highway” little RV park, a quarter mile from the mechanic, called Casey Jones RV Park. There are mainly year-rounders here, but there is a large center section of grass with full hookups intended for transients like us. And really, it’s just us. Another fifth wheel pulled in when we did, but they’ve left already.

This is what the off-season looks like.

The people here are super nice, even if there isn’t much to do. It does allow for focused school days and work days. And attempted fixing of general maintenance items – aka leaks.

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Foiled by Lizards

The other night, Mr. S decided to figure out a way to catch the elusive skink that’s been evading him for weeks.

After doing a bunch of research online on how to safely trap them, he found a nice DIY solution that would work with what we had on hand.

The basic idea: find a plastic bottle that has a tapered spout (i.e. 2-liter soda bottle or larger water bottle), cut the spout off, invert it and set it back into the bottle, then tape the two pieces together. This provides an easy way in, and a difficult way out. You then set some bait in the bottle, place it strategically in a lizard zone, and wait.

He decided to use a few pieces of baked sweet potato as bait, and set the trap in the evening after dinner. The next morning after the sun was up, we both went to check the trap and found the bottle, still sitting snugly in its location, with a nice hole in the bottom!

He was disappointed, but amazed.

Given the type of bottle and size of the hole, and given that it didn’t look like it had been moved at all, his guess was that something got in, and chewed its way out (rather than vice versa). Either way, something had a nice snack.

His next iteration is to create an in-ground trap, where the critters, hopefully the skink, would fall in and get stuck.

He’s persistent!

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Our Budding Herpetologist

Mr. S is smitten with reptiles. Actually, “voraciously impassioned” might be the more appropriate description. He’s able to identify all of his catches and has begun writing a book about his finds. He’s extremely gentle with them, and they are all catch-and-release. The other night we watched a NOVA documentary about the Lizard King, a biologist and expert lizard hunter, and Mr. S has now discovered his purpose in life: to be a reptile scientist like the one on the show.

NOVA Lizard King

In the park where we’re staying now, there is apparently a 6 inch long skink he’s been trying in vain to capture. It’s apparently very elusive and fast, and lives in a wood pile. He’s seen it 3 times so far, and attempts to capture it daily.