I planned breakfast with Cooper at Lake Manatee State Park but am thrilled to have ended up at Rye Preserve instead. As far as nature walks go in Florida, this is a good one and a new one to us. The 125 acres located in Manatee County off of State Road 64 offers five walking trails, the remnants of a post Civil War era settlement, and people, dogs and horses are all welcomed visitors. Coming off a sun-blazed trail, it was a treat to take off our shoes and stomp through the cool water of the creek. On our way back to the car, Cooper caught the tail of a skink. The rest of it got away. That detachable tail—what a defense mechanism! It looked like a baby snake wriggling through the weeds. The spasms lasted so long that we finally got bored and walked away.
I’ve seen a lizard lose its tail more than once…when your method of catching them is to stand on a chair tossing baskets and hats at them as if it was a carnival ring toss game, a tail is bound to come loose. But the lizard tails have nothing on skinks! Really hoping not to see any more of those slimy skinks but looking forward to my next trip to Rye Preserve.Not our skink tail…YouTube’s: