Great day at the park! Just my random babble, really...
Went to the Old Settler's park today, in Round Rock. I was walking along the bank, and lo and behold, there's a dead fish. With the aid of a friend who likes gross stuff, and a pair of latex gloves, I got the lower jaw of the fish. The skull was wrecked, but it's probably a catfish of some kind.
Next someone else found a large turtle shell in the lake, and since I was the one who waded in to get it, I got the skull! Yay! It's missing the lower jaw, but still cool.
Then I saw a huge snake in some weeds, and promptly found myself a long stick. I lightly prodded him with the end of a 5' stick, and he poked his head up, stared at me, and slid into the water. Guess what. It was a 4' water moccasin.
A few minutes later, I found a turtle egg on the bank. It had been washed out of its nest, apparently, and since I didn't know where it was supposed to be, I wrapped it in some paper towels and brought it back. It's now in a container of wet sand.
After about 20 minutes, we found a big turtle, who had only his head out of the shell. Oddly, he didn't dive, even when we grabbed him, and we found out why after a minute. Poor thing had a bunch of big leeches on him!
Fortunately, I had some tweezers and packets of salt in my backpack, and we were able to get most of the leeches off. A few were out of reach, but I smothered them in salt, and they shriveled up and died.
45 minutes later, I smelled something pretty bad, and after poking around, found myself a small dead duck. I put that in a plastic bag, using latex gloves of course, and put it in my backpack.
While I was fishing it out of the lake (it really stinks!) my brother found about a quarter of a small turtle shell, with the leg, hip, and vertebrae still attached. The leg is mummified, but I should be able to clean it.
Later, I randomly decided to ask someone if they could guess what was in my backpack. When I told them, two other girls walked over, and one asked to see the duck. In the process of getting the duck out to show them, I attracted several others, and when I took the other things out to show them, the rest of them turned up! Apparently it was a high school soccer ball team or something. I ended up showing something like 15 girls my collected dead things!
Well, that's one way to draw a crowd.
My adventures in keeping Indostomus crocodilus, the crocodile toothpick fish. AKA armored stickleback, paradox fish, and freshwater pipefish. Care is (to the best of my knowledge) exactly the same as Indostomus paradoxus.