Monday, August 20, 2007

Creatures round-up

Here's the latest batch of creatures we have spotted.

In addition to these, we have spied a snake! I think it was a Texas Brown Snake although it seemed to be more yellow and black in colour, but that's the closest match I can find. It was about 12 inches long, hanging around in the long grass at the edge of our lot.

Something has been attacking our bird feeders, too. Often we'll come out in the morning and they will be decimated, with all the seed on the floor. Probably squirrels or raccoons.

Here's a very big giant grasshopper on our window. He was about four inches long and slowly walked up the wall.

This is a Ground Beetle. They're quite cool, they's about 2 inches long and they scurry about, minding their own business.

This nasty mess is a big gaggle of daddy long legs. They are not true spiders as they don't have two part bodies, but they do have eight very long spindly legs. They cluster together like this, often under the eaves, and if they feel threatened the whole mass of them vibrates. They're a bit creepy but apparently they eat insects so they're probably doing more good than harm.

A nice butterfly to counter the creepiness above :-)

An Eastern Dobsonfly sitting on our gate post. It is a type of lacewing, about 2 inches long.

A Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver spider. This is a wierd little thing, with spikes on. He is pointing downwards in this photo. It made a huge web, with thick bits in the silk, like pulsations as he built it. Hard to describe.

A Rabid Wolf Spider. This is a small one, about an inch and a half across. We have one or two big ones resident in the garage which are about twice that size and have more black on them. These are good guys, they eat insects.

A Ground Skink. We have discovered these live in the ground at the bottom of the house. It is the smallest lizard in North America; this one was about three inches long.

Finally, here is a Hummingbird that got itself into our garage the other day. It was trying to fly out of the window. This window can't be opened, so I spent a merry 40 minutes trying to entice it out of the garage with every bright red thing we own dragged outside to attract it. Hummingbird instinct is to fly up, not out, when cornered so of course the daft thing wasn't finding the door. Eventually I hung the hummingbird feeder where it could find it and left the vicinity. Ten minutes later it was gone.

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