Saturday, June 13, 2009

666 Gets me Wildlife

By Skeeter

Dawn sent a request my way and I decided to follow it today. Go to her blog at C&G Design to see the challenge along with some wonderful crafts if you like. Basically, you need to go into your photo files and count down to the 6th folder. Open the folder then go to the 6th picture and share it with everyone. Then you are to request 6 more people do the same. I will partly play along showing you my pictures but will not pick 6 people to forward. It was fun doing this as pictures are a way for us to remember many things. I take a lot of pictures so I was still in the "A" folders which was the first letter for the word Animals.

On this sunny day here in Georgia, we went to one of our many wonderful State Parks. While peering over into the stream below we spotted a large grouping of turtles. We had never seen such a grouping as this in the water and were amazed as to how there were splashing around.

A few more feet along our stroll along the boardwalk and we spotted a baby alligator. I recall us seeing 2 babies that day and also a rather large alligator we assume to be mommy or daddy. We did not get close enough to see which but with all wild animals when around their young, be aware of your surroundings.
Since we are on the topic of animals, lets just keep the theme going shall we? Here is a opossum that decided to visit my parents back porch in Tennessee where they keep food for the neighbors visiting cats. Here Bob the Tuxedo Cat is saying hello to Ollie the opossum. My dad named him Ollie. My mom was not too happy to see Ollie on the porch so now when the sun goes down, the food goes inside for the night.
Animals are a big part of our every day life whether in the house or outside in our gardens. Here Sheba gives my new chair a Cat Scan after the Saint puts it together making sure it is sitting quality. Good Sheba kitty.
We cannot pour a glass of milk without an animal getting involved. I had poured this glass of milk and set it on the desk then made the mistake of turning around for a second. Just as human children, you cannot take your eyes off your fur children for too long or they will be into something. Bad Cheetah kitty!
Our fur children are inside only kitties but our neighbors pets come to visit us daily. Here OJ (Orange Juice) enjoys napping in my flower garden. Poor Yarrow is getting squashed by that darn cat! Bad OJ kitty...
But look how sweet of a face on that boy. Sure does remind me of my Skeeter kitty. How could I run him out of the garden? He is my little garden buddy and keeps me company in the garden.
I cannot walk through our woods without spotting some type of strange wildlife. How I spotted this is beyond me but when watching where you walk in the warmer months due to the possibility of snakes, I guess your eyes see things even when so small. Lets move in for a closer look shall we....
I have no idea what these things are but see them often. At first I thought they were ants but not so. Whenever I see these things they are in a circle such as this one with all facing outwards as if protecting the one in the middle. The term Circling the Wagon comes to mind here. Does anyone know what these red bugs could be? I have never seen them on my veggies or flowers but on leaves in the woods and once on the trashcan of all places.
Peter cotton tail is back again and will only show me his back on this day. Since OJ kitty hangs around, we don't see Peter, Paula and the rest of the gang as often as we did last year. Oh well, maybe some plants will not be nibbled on by them this year. A good trade off for allowing OJ to lay in the yarrow.
Mr. Toad is not seen as often since OJ's arrival either. They are fascinating creatures to my mind.
I spotted our first snake in the woods a few weeks ago. I was on the lawn mower and had the camera in my hand. Yep, only a garden blogger or a crazy gal would mow the grass with a camera in hand.
Here is a closer look of my friend. He is a Rat, Chicken or King Snake as some call them all of those names at times. He is a harmless snake and will eat rodents such as mice and voles so welcome in my yard as long as he does not mistake my ankle for a mouse!
This Anole (lizard) was on the front porch while shedding his skin. I really do enjoy these creatures and find them so much fun to observe. They are bright green one minute then once on a dark surface, they change to a brown color.
A closer view shows him expanding his throat. They do this behavior when establishing territory or trying to get a mate. Hum, wonder if he liked the way I looked or was trying to run me off as I was not his type?
I was in the garage when I spotted this cutie pie with its tiny head hanging over the nest. We have been keeping the truck out of the garage so as to keep OJ kitty farther away from the nest.
This little guy must have only been a few days old when I spotted him. Such a little baby at this point in life.
I went to check on the baby's and to take an updated picture of them to find an empty nest! I found OJ lying under the car which was parked away from the nest. I looked near him for feathers but did not find any in the garage. I feared he had gotten to them. I then spotted this little one under our boat next to the garage. The little things had just fledged. OJ came out to see me and I had to get his attention away from the direction of the bird. If he had seen the baby bird, it would have become a meal as kittens are so quick on their pounce! I was rubbing him with my left hand while snapping this picture with my right hand trying to be so steady and focus. I was shocked that I got a clear picture of the little Phoebe bird. I coaxed OJ to follow me to the patio where I stayed with him while sweating in the humid heat of the day! I stayed with him until he started to nap then I made a quick dash for the cool house. I made sure he stayed in the backyard away from the boat for the remainder of the afternoon. I did not see Phoebe again and can only assume it finally got enough strength to flutter into a tree per Mommy's request. Yippee, the truck can now go back into the garage!
We see plenty of wildlife at the lake as well. Do you see it in this picture above? Lets move in closer then...
Ah, there is the turtle keeping warm in the sunshine from above! We see turtles with every lake visit.
We checked on the two known nests on power lines with our last lake visit. The Osprey are on both nests so they are still flourishing at the lake with belly's full of fish.
We find these bird nests very interesting. They are located under the bridges of the lake. The nest is made of mud and hold the babies of swallow birds. The nest to the left has a baby looking out waiting for mommy to bring a treat! The sun was in my eyes and I could not get a better picture plus the boat was moving a bit faster then I wanted it to be moving. Saint, next time, let me snap a good picture okay?
Even though an animal lover I do partake in fishing. I know how could I be so mean to a fish. I am a county gal and we fish. Sorry and maybe one day guilt will take over and I will no longer fish. We do practice Catch and Release and I was proud of this fish I caught last weekend. I snapped the picture then the Saint carefully placed him back into the water.

Here is one last wild thing I want to show you. Yes, that is a tiller hiding amongst the weeds of my neighbors Wild yard. Notice the hood up on the car in the background. I don't really care what they do over the fence as it is their yard to do with as they see fit, they pay the mortgage and not me. But where do you think some of those dandelion seeds will fly to? Yep, my yard to become my problem. Argggggggg....

So Dawn, there you have it, 666 GETS ME WILDLIFE,
In the Garden...
Note: Dave identified the insects as Assassin bugs! They are beneficial to the garden. Go read his blog about Assassin Bugs to find out more... Thanks Dave! Blogging is so grand!!!


  1. Very nicely put together. An enjoyable read with my first cup of coffee this morning..

  2. Wow, what great wildlife you have. I love Ollie! I think baby birds are born naked (without feathers). The snake is so cute! I saw a large snapping turtle in my yard yesterday. fascinating but also a bit creepy (I don't know why; I reacted to it a bit like how many people react to snakes, but I don't!).

  3. What a great post this was !
    I love all the animals and baby birds (not so much the insects .. ugh !) and of course being a cat person .. the cats were gorgeous : )
    Emma is a COFFEE addict .. we both have to watch our morning mugs here ! haha

  4. Good Morning everyone! We have a long list of tasks for the yard today and calling for another 94 degree day so we are up and at it early this morning. Saint has already been into the attic to see if he could figure out what the noise was that I heard over night. Hum, nothing spotted by him. Time will tell on this saga as always.

    Darla, I am glad to entertain you with your coffee this morning! LOL We aim to please here at In the Garden. :)

    Monica, you are so right, baby birds are born naked and I know that. Dont know why I said Phoebe had just been born as it did have some feathers on its head. Duh, on my part and I must correct that statement. Thanks for the reminder. I have seen so many baby birds in our yard and should have not written such a mistake. Oh well, we all make mistakes. Thanks for reminding me. Turtles are so neat but we dont mess with the ones at the lake as they do have some jaws that would chop off a finger! That is probably why some people fear them such as snakes.

    Joy, Funny that Emma is a coffee kitty! I have only known of cats that knock over coffee trying to get morning rubs but not one that sticks their nose in it! These two do keep us laughing from day to day with their funny antics.

    Well, we need to get to the yard.

    Everyone have a nice day!

  5. Monica, I went back and read the line and it should have said "a few days old" and Not "a few hours old". I corrected it. I should have caught that myself. Thanks again for the correction!

  6. Nice post Skeeter, I figured you would have alot to show, I've enjoyed all your wildlife. To bad about your neighbors, maybe keeping the hood up on the car they figure someone will come to their aide and fix it!

  7. Skeeter,

    You should take a look at my post today, it will answer your insect question. (They are actually beneficials) Ironic that we had the same bugs up there! You have some pretty feline friends! When I was a kid I kept anoles as pets. Pretty neat lizards.

  8. 666 Wildlife in the garden sounds like something from a horror show. I had no idea what you were posting. All I can think is deer munching my plants and rabbits run amok-possums too. That was a good shot of the kitty and the possum! Enjoyed it all, especially sweet OJ and that snake! I've not seen any here this year and wondering where they are:(

  9. I like the photo when OJ napping, so luck, no worry in life, enjoy sunshine and beautiful garden.

  10. Awww, cute kitty cats! Great photos! I would be so terrified to come up on an Alligator!! I love the photos of the anoles! Very cool!

  11. I was going to say I thought those were the same bugs Dave just feautured (assasin bugs)!
    These animal pictures are so cute. OJ is a beautiful kitty with a cute name! Love the sleepy-lookig baby bird!

  12. WOW! I thought I had wildlife! :-)

    Love your story and photos. We have a rat snake that hangs out in the cryptomeria grove above the waterfall. She comes out everyday to sun on the east side. I don't mind her purpose -- she keeps things in check. But, she does make my skin crawl! LOL

    Off to Virginia for the Musician to play. This is his weekend and he deserves it!


  13. You always get such great photo shots for us to all enjoy. Love the lizard.

  14. I bet Bob is thinking WOW I found me a Texas size mouse!

  15. You're right only a garden blogger would mow with a camera in hand :) Never know when a good photo op will show up!
    You sure have seen lots of interesting wildlife. The anoles are really pretty, we don't see anything like that around here. Mostly raccoons and squirrels.

  16. Love all the wonderful wildlife shots today Skeeter. You have a variety of animals that I thankfully don't have to deal with. I would of freaked to see that big snake while mowing, lol. ;)

  17. We have two house kitties. Plain yellow tabbies but cute. They're owned by my two teens. I don't much care for cats but will tolerate them. I'm giving a bug talk tomorrow (Sunday) but don't mention assassin bugs. I have 70 slides with about 60 photos, I give a lot of attention to one of the most dreaded here, the Japanese beetle. I think assassin bugs even fear them!

  18. Good evening everyone! We had a long day in the yard today. It was only 92 and not as humid but ever so hot in the sun while working. We got some of the tasks on our list accomplished and some not. We also ended up doing other tasks not on the list. Ha, thats how it goes around here...

    We were at it for about 8 hours and still so much more for us to do. I have a headache and am ready to relax a bit...

    Dawn, Yep, wildlife it was on number six! The hood has been up on that car for over a month now and no takers to help them out. The tiller has been in the weeds for many months and we are tempted to take it as they would never miss it. Rusting away and what a shame. Sigh...

    Dave, Thank you so much for indentifying the Assassin bugs for us! I found them interesting the way they arch their backs like they are Billy Bad Assassin. :-) I wish I had known they were assassins as I could use them on the cabbage now! The kitties are sweet hearts even though they keep us on our toes. OJ also. He was laying in the Liriope then in the new planter today as we worked. The Anoles are the cutest things! We really enjoy watching them around the yard. The Saint had them as pets when he was a child also. Too neat...

    Tina, the snakes are in my yard! I spotted a really big one today while I was blowing debris off the driveway! It was coming out of the driveway culvert and one I have never seen before. Must get my snake book out and try to ID it to find out if it is a good or bad one. It was a big one with orange belly! When it saw me, it went back into the culvert. I called the Saint and we got the flashlight and looked at it and I snapped a pic but not too good. I did not get too close as I did not know what kind it was... Yikes...

    Vuejardin, Yes, if only we could all be so lucky as to nap in the nice sunshine and do nothing else but occasionally catch a lizard or bird. :-)

    Lzyjo, The kitties are our little baby's since we dont have 2-legged children. They keep us on our toes with their fun antics as they are playful cats which are so humorous to live with. Alligators are not so bad as long as you keep your distance and be aware of them. I was lucky to see the Anoles shedding its skin. That is something we dont often see them do...

  19. Ginger, Yes, those are indeed the Assassin Bugs! I read Daves post and was so excited to now know what they are called and to know they are beneficial in the garden! Blogging is so great for such wonderful reasons! That little baby bird was so cute lying with its tiny head over the nest. Am sure it perked right up as soon as mommy came with a bug though! OJ is a mess with a sweet personality...

    Cameron, the snakes do not bother me as long as I know where they are located! Which we never know around here so I am on my toes when in areas where I think they may be. Today we spotted a big snake with an orange belly! It was beautiful in color but a bit large and intimidated me. I need to try and ID the thing to learn if it is poisonous or not. We do have the wildlife around here, that’s for sure!

    Jean, thanks! I do enjoy nature and the abundance of wildlife in our world! I could not imagine my life without animals in it...

    J&R, Bob showed no fear what so ever of the big rat! It was funny but my mom was not too happy about the visitor on her porch...

    Catherine, We have our share of Raccoons and Squirrels also. We no longer put out corn cobs for the raccoon as they were getting a bit too brave. We could walk right up to them and that is not a good thing so we dont see them as often as we once did. The squirrels wreak havoc in my yard on a daily basis. I try to live in harmony with them but they make it difficult for me. The little stinkers...

    Raquel, you got me to chuckle calling that a big snake as I thought it was rather small for a Rat Snake! Now the one we saw today was big in my book and I need to decide if it is poisonous or not. He was pretty but not pretty if a threat to me! I hope he eats some voles tonight then moves on...

    TC, I think that cats pretty much tolerate us as well. :) They can be such moody creatures at times cant they? Good luck on your bug talk tomorrow! I have been on the look out for Japanese beetles but so far, not seen any this year. I am hearing the cicadas though. I like the sound of them at night. Soothing to me for some strange reason...

  20. I really enjoyed this post, Skeeter. You never know where you'll end up when you go digging in the old photo files. In this case, it took you to a very cute place.

  21. I'm glad you saved that baby Phoebe Skeeter. He is precious. That's why I don't like my cat to go outside. You have quite an assortment of creatures around your garden. Snakes always startle me but as long as they don't bother me, I leave them alone. Wish we had some anoles here but no such luck!

  22. Hi Skeeter --posting every boys paradise again, eh?? The Sidekick has dreams of your yard I am sure:) hahahaha It was indeed a busy day for me today --two small people joined us today for the entire day. This mommy was happy when bath and bed time came around. I don't know why it's harder when someone elses kids are over? I have adjusted to my group but two more was just WILD!!!!

    Tina --please feel free to invite all the slithery guys from my yard over to your place --I will NOT miss them --Sidekick might but his mommy will not:)
    Hi Jean, Lola, Dawn and Nina --hope you all have a great weekend!
    I did trim some crepe myrtle from the bottom of my young tree --just shooters but it looks much better. And, clipped some lettuce from the garden for sandwiches at lunch time:) We have several bell peppers on the plants --can't wait to fry them up with some onions and steak:) Yum --better get to bed I'm hungry just thinking of that, hahaha -Night!

  23. Hi Skeeter! Now I know where you live. You live in a zoo!

  24. Wonderful post Skeeter! I love the picture of Ollie in the milk and OJ on the Achillea. Years ago we had a 13 pound cat who could lay down on the pansies, and when he got up they were not smashed at all. lol No one knew how he did it.

    Great pictures of the snake, anole, and birds too. The baby Phoebes are adorable.

  25. Oops, sorry! I meant Cheetah in the milk! As soon as I hit publish I knew I'd typed in something wrong.

  26. Great photos, Skeeter! You certainly have a lot of wildlife around you. Right now the "wildest" animal here is my six-month-old puppy Sophie. Seeing Cheetah drinking the glass of milk reminded me of Sophie who is now literally in the doghouse. She ate the rest of our take-out pizza last night when I wasn't looking, and just an hour ago ate Daughter's nachos while she left the room for a minute. I'd better go now--I need to find out if you can give Pepto-Bismol to dogs:)

  27. JGH, thanks it was fun going back into the files to see the alligator and turtles...

    Kathleen, Am glad you enjoye the wildlife pictures today :) I do worry about the birds now that OJ comes to visit us. He seems to stay over here more then at home and we have never fed him to keep him here. He just seems to enjoy the attention we give him plus the activity with the wildlife in our yard...

    Anonymous, our yard is definitely a wild life paradise! Sidekick would love it as would the rest of the kiddos. Probably better if we had a pool to jump in after all the exploring! LOL. Am glad you had a nice day even though a bit more work with extras around. But as long as the kiddos had fun, it is all worth it right? :-)

    Tatyana, Funny and yes, pretty much so at times!

    Sweetbay, I knew what you meant and too many names to keep up with so understandable. It does amaze me how OJ can sit on the flowers and not harm them too much. But a 15 pounder? Wow, that is amazing for sure!

    Rose, Puppies are sure a handful as are kittens and you must keep them entertained or they will entertain themselves! LOL, Be careful with the foods as some people do not know that anything with onions, onion powder, grapes, raisins and chocolate can harm a dog and cat. I did not know this until a few years ago and to think, we kids use to share our candy bars with our little dog and she lived to be 17 years old!