Eastern Coral Snake

An unexpected treat in early January (I still forget that I'm in the deep south), I got to see my first Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius) at work. Stuff like that really makes my day.

Some of the coral snake mimics have similar red/yellow/black bands seen from above, but those patterns are often broken on the belly. Here, you can see how the bands continue on the belly.

Not the best photo, but it does show some of the beauty of the snake's color and form.


Home for the holidays

We had a great time spending a white Christmas in Minnesota with Kelly's family this year. The chill in the air and snow on the ground only added to our holiday cheer. (In our opinion, 'tis NEVER the season for Christmas lights on palm trees.)

We got to meet our new niece Rowan for the first time! She's a cutie!

Out for coffee on Christmas Day, with Mary, Grandma Jones, and Kevin. Yum!

The Como Park Conservatory had a beautiful poinsettia display on Christmas. We also wandered through their other exhibits, including a jungle where we got to watch a sloth sloooowwwwly changing position:

The day after Christmas, Kelly and I went up north for a little birding. The highlight: Two Great Gray Owls and a flock of Bohemian Waxwings. We got to watch one of the owls hunt mice through the snow--it would listen for them, then swoop down on it, sticking its head and talons into the snow, with only its wings and tail sticking out. These owls are more than two feet tall--the largest owl in North America. (Kelly likes to point out that in one year's time we saw both the smallest and largest North American owls.) Check out it's wingspan as it flies from perch to perch:

Kevin goes for a spare. Nice shoes.