Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Backyard-- the Wonderful World of Wildlife

This has been a great day for wildlife in our yard (and nearby).

This morning, I found a black window spider in one of the dog houses.  The dogs very rarely use them, since they're usually indoors, but still-- I'm never happy to see a black widow, and especially not on our back porch.  Donald was working from home today, and between the two of us, we killed it.  Ok, so he did the actual deed, but I helped.  Anyway, the point is there was a happy ending, after all.  I saw another one near our rock pile a couple months ago, but that one got away from me before I could kill it.  (I have no mercy on black widows.  They all must die.)

I could tell you about the birds that visited our feeder today-- the sparrows and some sort of finch-like bird with a red head... the multiple sizes of doves... the bluebird... the family of cardinals (with the adults still feeding the fluttering-winged juveniles)-- but that's nothing unusual, so I guess I won't (only I just did).  ;o)

Similarly, I won't bore you about the many (comparatively slow, lazy) green anoles and (paranoid, skittery) skinks that can be seen in our yard at practically all times of the day (if you know where to look).  

Instead, I'll tell you that Donald saw what must have been a hognose snake on the easement, today.  From his description-- mean/dangerous-looking, hissing, flattened out like a cobra-- there's little doubt that it was another hognose.  I'm glad it wasn't something worse (like the moccasin Molly found a month or so ago). 

Finally, do you remember that time (not quite two years ago) that Trixie discovered a headless rabbit in our yard, first thing in the morning?  Back then, she came right in when called, like a good doggy.  Well, this time she wasn't so well-behaved after finding another headless rabbit (this time with the front legs missing as well).  Instead of coming when called, she decided that it was a clear case of Finders Keepers.  She was basically a brat about the whole thing, ate goodness knows how much of her prize, growled at Donald when he tried to get her to leave it, and stubbornly ignored even the most tempting of our Emergency Squeaky Toys.  Donald finally managed to put a large leaf rake over the rabbit so that she couldn't get to it, and while she was distracted, he got it out of the yard.  (Molly didn't see what it was, so we got her back inside fairly easily.  Otherwise, there's no telling what might have happened...)

So.  Such is life in the Great Wilderness of Southwestern Alabama.  Trixie has a wild streak of vicious wolf hidden just below the deceptive surface of silky-softness, intelligence, and faithful companionability.  And something needs to stop making a habit of leaving headless animals in our yard.  (Please?  Why not take it home with you for later?)