Thursday, June 26, 2008

BIRDS, REPTILES, AND AMPHIBIANS

Tell you what, I can hardly get out of my yard without something new popping up in the way of wildlife or outdoor amusement. This afternoon I had 2 different snake species, a frog, and a bird feeding chicks all within 30 minutes of each other! Of course, I had to grab the camera and get some pic's for the blog! First of all these sweet, little, insect-killing Carolina Wrens have been raising their second batch of young this year in my hanging gourd. She (and he) seem to be taking pretty good care of their brood and putting a dent in the insect population for us at the same time. It seems like they bring back a new morsel every 20 minutes or so, pretty much round the clock. You can hear the parent birds chattering nearby and then they sneak up to the gourd as fast as they can, deposit their catch, take a look around in there to be sure everything looks OK, and then off they go again!
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After wren watching for awhile I lowered my attention back down into the garden to finish my chores and turned to come face to face with a cute little Leopard Frog staring at me from beside the patio. Yes, we have a few frogs and toads in this yard.............but I'm thinking we should actually have a few more.......

Because we all know what frogs and toads attract......





SNAKES!!!






Actually, a Texas Rat Snake showed up first. He must have been offended by my garden watering and he crawled up onto the front porch. Well, we can't have that so we caught him with our snake tongs (modified from garbage pick-up tongs), and put him in the snake transporter (garbage can w/lid) to relocate him a bit farther from the house. We had no sooner started walking toward the truck when we saw a large Yellow Bellied Racer head across the walkway. Now I am thinking, "What is this, snake day or something????!!!" Anyway, YB Racer's are really beautiful snakes and non-poisonous. And they don't call them a 'Racer' for nothing! They can really scoot and they are very hard to catch and even harder to videotape! Tx Rat Snakes are also non poisonous, but they are kind of ugly (to me), usually get really BIG, and they are also very common here - so common that we get tired of seeing them. Neither snake is venomous. I have read that a rat snake can bite pretty good, but a YBR doesn't have the teeth to do much harm to a human (at least I'm hoping not).

Well, we couldn't catch them both as I only had one snake transporter and it was in use at the time. So.....I grabbed the camera again instead and got a video of him! Hopefully this guy will take off now that he's been spotted near the house (but I doubt it). I don't want to have to change my blog sight to 'Adventures in Snake Bites' if you know what I mean! :) Until next time, I'll keep those tongs handy......

video video

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