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May 17, 2017


Hank Phillippi Ryan

Awesome! We were wondering what to do for vacation… And now we can have fun and get new clothes too! Thank you so much!
And then there's the story about how Massachusetts was going to try to increase the population of timber rattlesnakes in Massachusetts by dropping them on an island in a local reservoir so they could breed in safety. I mean sure! What could go wrong?

Deb Romano

I am speechless!

Elaine Viets

An island full of timber rattlesnakes -- I see a novel there, Hank. I always thought Florida was weird because of the intense sun, but maybe the long dark winters have the same affect on the Mass. lawmakers.

Elaine Viets

If only our politicians were, Deb.

Cathy M

And don't forget the paid python hunters. The South Florida Water Management District has a 60 day pilot program to remove pythons from the areas under their management. They are paying minimum wage to selected hunters as well as additional money for each python captured. The bounty is $50 for each snake of at least 4 feet plus $25 per foot for each additional foot. There is also an additional $100 for capturing each snake guarding a nest of eggs. One snake caught was 16'10" and the hunter was paid $375.

Florida also imported a couple of snake hunters from India in January. I think their success inspired the hiring of local talent.

So. . . Florida has been beset by bufo toads, tegu lizards, iguanas, lion fish and pythons. Sometimes it truly is a jungle out there. I think this whole situation sounds like a Carl Hiaasen novel.

Elaine Viets

How about the Giant African Snail, which eats houses -- or at least the stucco on your house? I tell everyone that Hiaasen writes documentaries, Cathy M.

Maria K

I'm sure you could weave these serpents into your stories. I don't think the hunting pays enough to risk being squeezed to death. They also have a mouthful of needle like teeth. Elaine please be safe, find some snake repellent or an oversized mongoose to follow you around. :-)

Elaine Viets

I'm doing my best to avoid the pythons, Maria, though I like the idea of an over-sized mongoose. Maybe I'll have two. What is the plural of mongoose -- mongooses or mongeese?

Storyteller Mary

Tempting as it might be to sign on for python hunting, perhaps writing is a better option . . . I know reading is the better option for me. <3
Curses on those who release their "exotic pets" into the wrong eco-system.

Elaine Viets

Believe it or not, there's more to the snake story than releasing pets in the wild, Mary. Supposedly some of these snakes escaped when an exotic snake exhibit was destroyed during hurricane Andrew!

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