I fished a large skink (approx. 30 cm from nose to tail) out of a bucket containing about 2 cm of water this morning. It perched calmly on my hand for about twenty minutes and then panicked and escaped when I started to stroke its back.
While I’m pleased to have saved its life, I’m also aware that its predicament was my fault: I should have stored all the buckets in the backyard upside-down just to prevent this kind of thing.
[Edit, 18 Sep 2009] This is one of the skinks that make their home in my backyard. Note the missing toes on the left hind leg, and the scars left over from dropping its tail and growing a replacement.
Could it be my rescuee? Well, maybe. It’s about the same size…
Tentatively identified as Eulamprus quoyii, or Eastern Water Skink.
I hand-pollinated a Sarracenia flava flower a couple of weeks ago. By this morning the petals had all dropped off and the stalk straightened out completely. The whole structure is completely up-ended and the developing seed capsule is now protected by an umbrella that used to be a bucket.
A second flower is showing signs of the same movement, so I assume that it’s been successfully pollinated by insects (probably ants).
The third flower opened yesterday. I’ve hand-pollinated it this morning and will indicate in an update the time it takes for the 180-degree re-orientation to take place.
Update (20 Sept 2009): The third flower is now 90° from the vertical. Petals are still on.
Camera: Pentax K100D Super with Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED zoom lens. Ambient light only. Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.
I used this picture by Adam.J.W.C. (snagged off Wikipedia) as a placeholder in the original version of this post: