Posted on Leave a comment

The Sanibel Snakes Are Gone by Elaine A. Powers, Author

I have spent a lot of time in South Florida, nearly every year since I was born. I remember seeing massive Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes crossing the road. All the cars would stop and we’d get out and watch as the magnificent snakes slithered across, unconcerned by the humans nearby.

Curled rattlesnake
Image by Usman Khaleel (Moe) from Pixabay

My father, a physician, correctly diagnosed a bite a neighbor had received while working under his trailer at the RV park we stayed in. The man thought he had been bitten by a spider, but my father told him to proceed immediately to the ER, since he had been in fact been bitten by a Pygmy Rattler. This correct diagnosis saved the man’s hand. When I worked at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, I was privileged to see several Eastern Coral Snakes. These shy snakes were rarely seen.

Consequently, I thought Ft. Myers and Sanibel would be good places to peddle my book about rattlesnakes. I was surprised and saddened to learn that the native venomous snakes are no longer found in the area. Sadly, Eastern Coral Snakes have not been documented since 2002.

What a tremendous loss to the ecosystems.

Would a book like Don’t Me Rattle! have made a difference? Maybe if people had been educated, they would have worked to preserve these species. We’ll never know now.

But you can help educate people about the value of rattlesnakes, which eat insects and rodents we humans don’t like. And tell them their venom is actually a digestive aid and their only defense if something tries to hurt them. The rattle-sound is meant to warn, not to scare—just step away and avoid a meeting.

Not only is Don’t Make Rattle! filled with educational and entertaining information, you’ll find a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake workbook and a U.S. Rattlesnake coloring pages book on the LyricPower.net website.

A book cover, with a Native American 'feel,' and a painting of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

a white and light blue book cover with an image of a western diamondback rattlesnake

yellow book cover with rattlesnake image and list of workbook pages

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Does the Tortoise Go Out in the Rain? By Elaine A. Powers, Author

a tortoise on wet patio
Heading out to catch some rain drops!

It’s the start of monsoon season here in the Sonoran Desert. When the rain begins to fall, the tortoise comes out of her den. Why? Is it because she’s afraid the water will rush into her underground den and fill it up?

No, she comes out because it’s time to drink. The desert tortoise finds a depression in the ground where the water collects. Then she drinks and drinks and drinks until her bladder is full.

I’ve tried putting out dishes of water for my tortoise, but she won’t drink from a source where the water is still.  Sometimes, I pretend to be a storm and rain down water from my hose.

It’s a truly wonderful thing when it rains in the desert. We should all be more like the tortoise and go out and drink it in!

Here I am reading Don’t Call Me Turtle! to Myrtle.

If you’d like to know more about tortoises, check out my rhyming book, Don’t Call Me Turtle! My tortoise, Myrtle, asked me to write about the differences between turtles and tortoises because everyone kept calling her Myrtle the Turtle. She’d finally had enough! She likes her book a lot, perhaps just a smidge more than my young readers!

A children's book cover, green with a tortoise standing, coming out of a circle, finger pointed, saying Don't Call Me Turtle

And check our our workbooks on tortoises and turtles at our Lyric Power Publishing Workbooks page. They are full of information, and have lots of fun activity sheets for kids (and adults like them, too, I’m told!) that help to pass the long summer days.

a yellow and green book cover with an image of a desert tortoise

Posted on Leave a comment

June 16th is World Sea Turtle Day by Elaine A. Powers, Author

 

a green sea turtle in the ocean
A wonderful closeup of a Green Sea Turtle.

Please join me in celebrating World Sea Turtle Day on June 16. I have been honored to personally interact with a few sea turtles. I remember a wonderful snorkeling trip where I spent the time swimming around the reef with a Hawksbill turtle. Female Loggerhead #1295 will always be very special to me, since I tagged her on the beach on Sanibel Island. I hope she is still out there living the ocean life.

Turtles live in freshwater or saltwater.  June 16th celebrates those that live in the oceans. This date was selected because it’s Dr. Archie Carr’s birthday. Dr. Carr was a pioneer in the study and protection of sea turtles. He realized the importance of sea turtles to the ecosystems.  Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles are predators of jellyfish and sponges, while Green Sea Turtles ensure sea grass is kept short. These actions are necessary to keep marine life healthy and in balance.

Sea turtles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, mostly unchanged. Once you’ve got a good model, stick with it. Unfortunately, their existence is threatened in modern times. They may become extinct soon despite being around for 110 million years.

It’s estimated that as few as one in 1000 turtles survives from egg-hood to adulthood. The difficulties created by man start during nesting. People dig up the eggs illegally—this is called poaching. Some people eat the eggs as a food source, but others think they’re an aphrodisiac. More disgusting are people who kill the female turtles to remove the eggs before they are laid, believing that the eggs are more potent then. Not only are the current batch of eggs destroyed, but so is the female and her future babies.

Lights from buildings attract the hatchlings inland instead of them heading out to see.  Beaches covered with litter make it difficult for the females to create their nests and that same trash prevents the hatchlings from reaching the sea. Hatchlings have a hard enough time digging their way out of the nest, crawling over the contour of the beach, while avoiding natural predators without humans throwing up all these obstacles. Plastic pollution is causing extreme danger. Fifty percent of sea turtles are known to have eaten plastic, mistaking it for their food. Plastic bags look a lot like jellyfish.

We are causing the extinction of these animals needed for the preservation of our oceans, which are the source of a great deal of our food. It is up to us to save them and thus, ourselves.

Lyric Power Publishing is proud to offer substantial and comprehensive WORKBOOKS to supplement the education of children. They are used by teachers, parents and tutors. My Book About Green Sea Turtles is full of information about these amazing creatures.

A seafoam green book cover about seaturtles, with an image of a Green Sea Turtle