Saturday, May 16, 2015

A visit to the Katzrin Reptile Center (in Israel)

 Yesterday me and my beloved spouse Einat visited the Reptile Center in Katzrin, in the Golan Heights. This is a large pet store which also houses a collection of reptiles and arthropods, especially snakes of various species, as well as Leopard Geckos, Crested Geckos,Madagascar Hissing Roaches, Tarantulas, Green Iguanas, Red Tegus, Blue-Tongued Skinks and several others. The visit was very enjoyable, and, despite her initial fear, Einat came to enjoy holding a snake and quite liked the hand-tame Ball Python housed there...

One man's garbage can... Is another... Gecko's restaurant!

And who did I meet at my mother's garbage box? None else but two well-fed Mediterranean House Geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus) who have made it their home and who grew fat on the flies attracted to the garbage bags put inside. These tiny lizards are very welcome guests at home - they devour flies, moths and mosquitoes and, apart from the occasional dropping, are very clean. My mother has around ten or eleven of those around her house, not least of whom in the garbage box. Other local reptiles in her house are a family of Star Agamas (Stellagama stellio), who are quite camera shy, and even a young Coin Snake (Coluber nummifer) who is also camera shy and also a VERY welcome guest, as this species of snake is non-venomous and completely harmless to human beings but preys on mice, rats and other snakes (vipers included!).

Also below the geckos there is another welcome guest at my mother' house - the Marbled Cellar Spider (Holocnemus pluchei); they each set up shop in a ceiling corner, spin a web and catch all manner of insects (especially flies). The geckos do not find them tasty and leave them alone, and they themselves are apparently harmless to geckos.

(this is in Kiryat Tivon, Israel).

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ACKS Kickstarter reminder - Sinister Stone of Sakkara

If you haven't heard of it yet, there is an adventure kickstarter for the Adventurer, Conqeuror King (ACKS) ruleset, called "The Sinister Stone of Sakkara" (not to be confused with the Sakkaran Empire of Barbarian Conqueror King fame). This would be a very cool adventure in the vein of B2: Keep on the Borderlands, but modernized and built specifically for the excellent ACKS rules.

The kickstarter has 7 days remaining and has some awesome stretch goals ahead of it - so go and back it! It will be a great adventure!