Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wildlife in the Garden

Life in the garden is not all blooms and scents. A garden is home to many things such as this cute little Anole lizard. These little things are all over our garden and yard. They especially enjoy our retaining brick wall for the warmth. The fun thing is when I find the baby Anoles. They are the cutest little things. These lizards turn from green to brown depending on the color of the surface being a Gecko of sort. I captured this Anole in a nearby Botanical garden.

To the left, you will see another type of lizard. See how his color blends in with the pine straw? I did not really care for lizards until we moved into this house. I came to realize how many bugs they ate and truly believe they have a place in the garden right along side of my flowers and plants.

We also have skinks such as this one. Compare his size to the brick of the house! He is a big fellow. I know this one is a male due to his bright orange head during mating season.

I don't have a fear of lizards but this one did intimidate me a bit so I kept clear of him. I can only imagine the dance I would do if he got up my pants leg! Arggg...

We have a dry bed that acts as a creek during rainfalls so we get an occasional salamander. This one was a bit off track as it was in the grass far away from the creek. I spotted it as I was walking back and forth to the garden and I made sure to keep him in my sight so I would not accidentally step on it.

Of course frogs and toads are in the garden taking advantage of the many bugs but have you ever seen one this size before? I am not sure what type this was but it was so large that it intimidated me and I would not pick it up! I don't have a problem with frogs but look at this one compared to the Saints hand! Now that's a frog. I snapped this picture then we rustle him into the woods for protection. I then tried to look the frog up in my reptile book but could not find anything similar at all. We may have had a new species of frog and let him go!

My favorite frogs are the little green tree frogs. Anonymous, your little Sidekick would love these little cuties! Some live on the front porch in the table top water fountain. Most of the season, I cannot turn the fountain on as they take shelter in the channel of the fountain! I fear I may drown them if I turn the thing on. Wildlife rules my every decision around here!

These frogs can make people do the Frog Dance. Imagine sitting in the swing taking in the peace and quiet of nature. Then out of the hanging plant jumps this frog onto you! My dad has both hips replaced but he did one heck of a dance for a frog one afternoon. If only I had a video camera in my hand for that one! Ha...

After a good rainfall on a summer afternoon, the box turtles start to come out. I spotted one and ran to get my reptile book to research them a bit. I found out they eat worms. So I dug up a worm and dangled it in front of a turtle and he ate the thing! I was hand feeding a turtle in the wild! That was so exciting for me.

I had never seen such a small turtle in my life (in the wild) until the day I spotted this little guy! I kept finding this tiny creature in the yard over a period of a week. I was so afraid of killing it with the mower or by stepping on it, that I finally took it into the woods in the front so it would go on with its life of being a turtle in a safe environment.

This little turtle was about the size of a quarter! Now that is a small turtle and to think, I kept spotting it in the yard over a week period of time!

You knew it was coming didn't you? All gardens get snakes at some point. This little green snake was in our Japanese Maple tree.

I killed snakes the first year we moved into the house. One day I felt such guilt after killing one of Gods Creatures that I decided to no longer kill them. Instead I got on the computer and tried to educate myself on them. Now only the triangle headed ones meet my wrath!

We found this little earth snake dead and snapped a picture to show you how small they are. They are about the size of a earthworm and look very similar to them. These little guys are burrowing snakes and we often find them under the pine straw...

Here is a Rat or Chicken Snake, named so due to their appetite for Rats and Chicken Eggs. These snakes are harmless to humans and we hope they eat their fill of Moles and Voles in the yard! When we spot one, we just direct them out of the yard and into the woods.

I am not a fan of spiders but I must say, this is the most beautiful spider I have ever seen in my life! I see them in our yard but have never gotten a good pictures of them. I was lucky enough to capture this shot at a Botanical garden.

What would a garden be without a Bushy Tailed Gray Squirrel? My answer, paradise! I have a love hate relationship with the squirrels. I enjoy watching them scurry about playing with each other. I enjoy watching them steal the fake snow off my front porch winter display each winter, but why do they have to wreak havoc in my flower pots and perfectly spread pine straw? I guess that is what a squirrel does and each day is a new challenge where the squirrels are concerned!

Oh look at those cute Bambi! I enjoy seeing the baby deer (fawns) come into the yard for the first time. They don't seem to do as much damage as the squirrels but I do have to keep my eye on them. The deer recently ate all the leaves off a small dogwood we have been babying! Time for us to move the tree to a new location.

We had this Buck, Doe and twin fawns one summer. They would come into the yard to eat corn as we sat at the patio. They were not shy of us at all. We have not had an entire family since that summer. With all the building going on around us, they are a bit shy now...
We find that providing them corn keeps them occupied mainly on one side of the house and we knew it would be a mistake to plant the dogwood tree near the corn so we blame our self for that one!

Ah, I started this posting a while back and today as I update it, I found 7 blooms missing on the new Sedum I planted about 2 weeks ago! I had to treat the area with some store bought granular stuff. Plus, I hung up bars of Dial soap around the veggie garden.

Can you see all 6 deer in this picture? Hint, look for the heads...
They do enjoy the corn we provide them.

Here is Rocky Raccoon! This raccoon was so busy stealing the compressed corn cob that he could have cared less that we walked right up to him and snapped this picture! He would look at us as if to say, "Do you want me to say cheese"

Gray Foxes once trotted through our yard every morning and evening.

Since the coyote showed up, they disappeared. I saw 3 at one time and that was exciting! One time the Fox were eating food at the same time as the Deer! The picture did not come out well as that was in the days of my 35 mm Camera. We spotted a Red Fox one time but he did not hang around long enough for me to get the camera.

We spot an occasional opossum walking through the garden. We usually see them under the bird feeders hunting for fallen seed the squirrels have missed.

This opossum was caught on my parents back porch stealing cat food! What a brave little creature to pose for the camera!

Another love hate relationship I have would be the rabbits. Here you see Peter and Paula playing in our yard. I think they are cute as can be until I catch them munching down on the Liriope and Hosta amongst other plants of mine! Arggg, go back to Mr McGregor's Patch!

Our gardens are full of beauty, scents and wild visitors such as the ones I have talked about today. Each day seems to be a new experience with a new wild visitor into my gardens.

The most vivid memory of a wild visitor would have to be the day I found a Long Horn Cow in the garden! Yep, we had a full fledged Texas Style Round-up in the yard complete with rustling dogs and cowboys! The cow had gotten loose from a nearby pasture. I reckon all the wildlife told him to come to my yard for the warm Welcome!

Each day I wake up and wonder, who the next visitor will be in my gardens...

I hope you all enjoy Wildlife in the Garden as much as we do at our home...



  1. We had a bear show up last year. The Princess drove up to find him on our porch, scared her so much she left again and called us to see what to do. Because the drought was so bad last year and we had that late frost there was nothing for them to eat so they came out of the mountains looking for food.

  2. Wow Skeeter you have quite a few critters running around! That little turtle was certainly in danger, it's a good thing you move him. The deer seem to be gone from our neck of the woods. I guess it's good since e like plants but we enjoyed seeing them from time to time. I have yet to see a snake near our house. We have skinks though!

  3. Good morning to all and it is good to see you Skeeter as I have missed your great humor and infor.
    Great job capturing all that wildlife!!

    Oh my Jillybean, a bear!!! I have had a moose in my yard but never a bear. My aunt had a birdfeeder on a big wooden pole right outside her picture window and a bear pulled the pole right out of the ground and took off to the woods with it. She got a great pic of it!!

    Hope all has a great day.

  4. Oh yes! I do enjoy the wildlife-more so in your garden with the wonderful pictures! Fox and coyotes? Wow! Maybe they will eat the rabbits and opposums and squirrels? Continue the food chain as Mr. Fix-it says. I like that little turtle. Do you know what kind he is? And I had never heard of the earth snake so that is REALLY cool. I may have seen some in MS, but thought it was a big earthworm. Too cool. Good morning all! Time to plant seeds today. Will it ever end? I'll look for some wildlife too Skeeter! ttyl

  5. Wow! That's alot of wildlife. I'd be scared over the steer, never know where they are going to go or what they are going to do.
    The little green snake reminds me of the grass snake we had as kids.

  6. Skeeter, Are these baby snakes the ones which were all over your yard?

  7. Good Morning everyone! I missed y'all but we had a blast the past week with my parents visiting us. Got the boat out on the lake twice and planted some flowers in the garden also....

    Jillybean, We saw on the news two nights ago about a bear being hit on I-75 north of Atlanta! One was sighted near our house a few years ago and I know it is only a matter of time before one comes to our yard to visit. News seems to spread amongst the animal Kingdom! LOL...

    Dave, Believe it or not, about two weeks ago, we found another turtle in the flower garden about the same size as the one in the picture! Again, we gave it a lift to the woods for protection. I try to keep the yard and woods clear of debris so as to not attract snakes but I dont mind the non-poisonous ones at all, they just startle me a bit when I walk upon them...

    Jean, A Moose would be exciting to see in the yard! Don't think we will ever see one of those down here in our yard in Georgia! The cow was exciting though...

    Tina, When the Fox and Coyote trotted through on a regular basis, we did not have a bunny problem! This morning I spotted 3 full grown bunny’s in the back yard playing together! I fear what will happen if the "Food Chain" does not continue. Yep, those cute little Earth Snakes are the ones we find all the time. They eat worms and we often find them under the moist pine straw. I think the turtle was a Box Turtle as the larger one...

    Dawn, the cow was a bit scary but I was smart enough to stay on the front porch out of harms way. I have been to rodeos so I know what a cow can do to a person...

  8. Oh and Tina, that is as large as the Earth snakes get! Cute things...

  9. Those earth snakes are cute. Boy, sure is slow lately. What is up? I am tired but still. It is about time to turn on the a/c. Hot. We tried to replace the swimming pool liner today, zain't happening today. Maybe soon. Anyone ever done this? Hard work. Skeeter have fun moving your stuff around and here's hoping for a restful day for all.

  10. Rest, what is that Tina? I got plenty of rest during my surgery a while back. Now energized and ready to take on the world! LOL...

    Since my parents left this morning we have…
    Mowed the grass.
    Washed the boat cover, dried and put it back on boat.
    Washed the car and truck by hand.
    Scrubbed two bathrooms.
    Washed 4 loads of laundry.
    Removed mini blinds, window boxes, stain glass, etc from the windows. New windows are here and will be installed Tuesday! Yeah, I am happy about that!

    Sitting for a few minutes break then moving stuff downstairs from guest room back to our bedroom…

    What is the problem with the pool liner Tina?

  11. OMG, where do you get the energy? The pool took all day to drain, then it rained last night! Finally got it out but not enough time to put the new one in. sigh. It is empty, no pool liner or anything and I am hopeful it will not collapse before Mr. Fix-it fixes it! We did put the rails back on at least. We'll see.

  12. Loved the post and all your critters.
    We have snakes but I don't really pay attention to them anymore! My neighbor was in her yard and a complete snake skin fell on her head.
    It was huge...I am glad they don't show their little reptile face very often.

    I miss the lizards and skinks....I wonder where they have gone.


  13. Tina, we have replaced our pool liner, not something to do by yourself. Make sure enough sand is banked on the inside walls of the pool because as your filling, you need to tug and pull in order to get the floor placed. A pain. Takes awhile.

  14. What a wonderful post Skeeter. You sure have an assortment of animals going through your garden. And a cow even!!!! Do you suppose that the little turtles were babies from the box?
    Glad you are back, so to speak. I hope you enjoyed your trip then to have your parents visit. That's great. Must be somewhat of a "let down" after your parents left. But I'm sure you had plenty to do to keep you from missing. I always kept myself busy so not to think.

    Hello All, hope all had a beautiful day & received all the glory that each of you deserve. Have a lovely night.

  15. Tina, good luck with the pool.

    Gail, I would have peed in my pants had a snake skin fell on top of my head! LOL. The fear I have of snakes is reaching into the middle of a plant to pull a weed and one biting me from its fear....

    Lola, Thanks for your kind words as always. I doubt that baby turtle was from the large one because I think turtles stay on the move and I snapped the adult turtle a long time ago. But ya never know, could be an offspring...

    Yes, it always is a bit depressing when my family leaves me and yes I do get busy to keep the thoughts occupied...

    I hope everyone had a nice day, we were expecting rain but as usual, it seems to have fizzled out before it reached us... Good night and sleep tight all....

  16. Yup a moose. I was so excited I ran outside to get a better look but by the time I got there he was gone. :( When I worked at the tank farm we used get 1 about every year that would swim over from another island and would always have a hard time getting him to leave. We had al ot of deer and fox that stayed in the safe fenced in area of a couple hundred acres of the tank farm and they were very happy. However, 1 lone moose would end up being very unhappy, esp when in rut so would open all the gates and then it was a waiting game till he found his way out. One year a moose got in the generator building and did'nt dare leave for a few hours.
    Poor thing, but I guess all's well that ends well. I used to love the wildlife there but the seals were my favorite. The red fox pups are so sweet. They play just like little fluff ball puppy dogs. They are born blonde and get red as they grow. Cute as can be. When I worked 2nd shift I would cook supper over there and David would come over and all the leftovers got put out in the same spot for the fox. They are pretty smart as they got to know hat time to be out there waiting for their food. I'd like to send some moose down to you as we have too many here. Many car / moose accidents. They do a lot of damage.

    Tina when we had the 12' and then the 18' pool we used to take it down each year and it is a job and a half putting the liner in and I think yours is 24' so I would not even attempt that. Our pool now is 16' by 33 or 36 (can't remember) and if we have to ever replace that it will be a job to hire someone for. Terri-Lynn and I went to Portland today and bought a new pump as ours did not get in the basement last fall and it froze and crack, sigh. Did'nt have to buy new motor, just the outside part. Was going to get a new solar cover but they did'nt have any that size so will have to look elsewhere as they would'nt order one cause they said they were negative 12. I felt like saying "well, hello, go order 15 or more and make some money". Fools!!! The one we have has had a few years use and is starting to shed little pieces of blue plastic in the pool. Also this fall we will need another winter cover and that will be the 3rd one of them. Never ends. Well, anyway, I sure do wish you well with the liner.

  17. Hi all! Dawn, thanks for the info on the sand, I was actually afraid of that. Much sand left the pool with the old liner.

    Mom, It is hard but the cost of having someone install the liner is more than twice of the cost of the liner! Mr. Fix-it says we can handle it. We shall see.

    Gail, I am betting the lizards and skinks are there, just well camoflaged.

    Lola, I had a super day. Saw an old neighbor who bought a house in the country. Lovely home and it was nice. Late though.

    Skeeter, Thanks for the luck wish. What we need is some of your energy and strength and time! But I'll settle for luck. Will let you all know how it goes.

  18. Gosh, I love the cute turtles!!!! SO adorable! Looks like your garden is truly a home for mother nature's animals! I'm so impressed with the wide variety of animals that it attracts. I hate snakes, but the cute turtles and deer certainly make me smile!

  19. DP, While watering this morning, I found another baby turtle! This one is not as small as the one in the picture but cute all the same!

    Jean, I have enough animals so keep your moose! LOL... The Tank Farm sounds like a nice haven for animals. I am thinking of fencing in the flower garden but dont know how to keep it part of the yard. I fear with a fence, it will become a separate entity and I want a natural flow but it sure would assist me in keeping munching critters out....

    Wow, I think an in ground pool might be easier then an above ground but I will never have either one as the Saint will not let up on that wish from me. Leaves, pine needles, snakes, etc. Blah blah blah….

  20. Skeeter- I posted a really nice comment yesterday only to have the site not working. No time to repeat today, but I am a huge animal lover and this entry. Thanks for the pics!

  21. Skeeter, Wow! I can't believe the wildlife traffic - how fun! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Christinelynn, Sorry about your comment messing up. I am glad to know you love animals but I expected as much with your mothers love of them also!

    Sarah, We do get lots of wildlife in our yard. The county is starting to build a lot in our area and I fear we will loose some of our furry friends. But who knows, we may gain a few new ones also...