Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SSSnake - Eastern Rat Snake Scotophis alleghaniensis

This afternoon I was getting ready to sit down in the yard to take some bird pictures and this guy slithered up alongside me.

Eastern Rat snakes can grow up to 8 feet long, this one is between 5 and 6 feet.

Usually they are pretty slow moving, but this one didn't want to be caught.

They like to come indoors this time of year and also early fall.

I always try and catch them when they are close to the house so my wife doesn't get any surprises when doing laundry in the basement.

Another reason I catch and relocate them is my dog Betty. She is a curious pup and I wouldn't want her to get bit while trying to take a closer look.

Although not venomous, a bite from one of these guys can be nasty. Remember to wash your hands after handling too. This one looks like he's trying to whistle.

After this photo op I walked him back to the woods and released him far from our house, but I'll probably see him again before the summer is up. Watch your step!

Audrey Hepburn's Pet Deer - Mental Floss

Hepburn acquired the fawn when she was working on the 1959 film Green Mansions. Apparently, the animal trainer on set recommended that Hepburn take the deer home so that it would get better at following the actress around, and the deer and she soon got attached to one another.

Pippin slept in a tiny custom bathtub made for him, and he accompanied Hepburn everywhere-including to the grocery store. Once he grew too big for the home, Pippin moved into Hepburn's backyard-a move that made the actress' Yorkshire terrier, Mr. Famous, much happier!
Source: Mental Floss

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Backyard

Mr. Blue.

Betty keeps a close eye on the Bluebird house.

Mrs. Blue 



Betty needs a closer look.

Mrs. Blue doesn't budge, and with the shake of her beak sends Betty off to chase after the deer.

Our evening deer graze among the apple trees.

Good night.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Blues

A female Bluebird with gathered nesting material waits for the all clear signal.

After looking both ways she heads for the nest...

...with the male Bluebird providing over-watch.

Graceful in flight, she nails the landing.

The male looks and listens for any sign of danger.

He is a formidable foe for just about anybody that chooses to interfere, dive-bombing and chasing away all comers. 

Guarding the nest, he is tempted by a bug close by on the ground, but he remains steadfast at his post. 

He decides to check out his mate's work on the nest. 

But in no time flat, she is back with more...

...and more.

The opening to the nest box is a small target but as she lands, she digs into the wood with her sharp-toed claws.

She will repeat this dozens of times throughout the day until she is satisfied...

...or until the Catbird calls out "Break-time!"

My dog Betty, ever vigilant, hears the Catbird as well...

...and being proficient in trans-species communications,

takes the message to heart.

She quickly stands down to DEFCON-2...



Turtle guards are quickly posted to take up the slack.

They take their job very seriously.

Heroes in a half-shell...Turtle Power!

Happy Mother's Day

"My Mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
- Mark Twain