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Monday, June 2, 2008

Wild Kingdom

**Updated to add another photo**

(Warning - Please forgive my formatting on this post. Blogger sometimes makes me crazy with formatting issues. I really wish I could afford to pay for a blog elsewhere.)

I don't know about you, but we see a myriad of wildlife around our house. I sometimes wonder if we live in suburban Texas or on a wildlife preserve. Now, I actually am talking about real animals here... not my children.

Below, I give you some photographic proof of what we've seen since living in this house for 2 1/2 years:

A mama duck and 8 ducklings.

One of many lizards. This one was missing its tail.

A peacock.

A different peacock seen the same day.

Another of many lizards we see. These flare out their throat and it turns bright red. They can also jump quite amazingly as well.

A road-runner... yes, "beep-beep" a roadrunner. He started out on top of my house. This picture was taken down the street.

A rather large snake that was drivng my dogs insane. Mike caught it and took it to animal control. It is a non-venomous water snake of some kind.

A large wolf spider.

Yet another lizard.

(Have I mentioned that formatting on blogger makes me crazy???)

My man has also seen a fox around several times, but I don't have photographic proof of that.

So, with all these creatures, along with various worms, lady bugs and other beetles, I ask you, could I not host my own Wild Kingdom show?

It's great for the kids. There's always something to see. And my little princess is usually the first in line, especially when it comes to bugs and reptiles. You'd think it would be Nathan, but he hasn't truly hit his boy stride in this area.

No, it's Sarah who is enamored by them. In fact, the first place she usually wants to go at the zoo is the herpetarium (reptile house). She can't wait for them to open up the new one. It's going to be so cool and it has a neat name, too.

The Museum of Living Art.

Sounds sophisticated, doesn't it?

I'm sure they'll have some kind of black-tie opening for it with lots of muckity-mucks walking around sipping white wine. I'll be invited, to be sure. But I won't be able to afford a ticket. Because of course, it'll be a fundraising event that will be so expensive that I'd have to raise funds just to attend.

What a rabbit trail...

So, my point is...

My kids love the local wild life almost as much as they are the local wild life.

Yeah, that was my point... I'm the queen of my very own Wild Kingdom.


Kay said...

We live in "the burbs" too and have noticed some wildlife as well. Something I am constantly surprised by! Bunnies are my favorite.. but we've had snakes, lizards, geckos,a wolf spider-learned the name of that one while working on THE Bug Project of 7th grade w/daughter, a fox sort of thing that caught my eye running across a busy street and of course, lots of squirrels. Love your blog... you're a hoot! Sometimes rabbit trails make the best posts ever! :) Kay

Greg said...

The "lizard" without a tail? That's a horny toad. Phrynosoma cornutum to be precise.

Some interesting facts from Wikipedia:

"The Texas horned lizard is the largest-bodied and most widely distributed of 8 species in the United States. It grows to a maximum length of 4-6 inches. Although its coloration generally serves as camouflage against predation, when threatened by a predator, a horned lizard puffs up its body to cause its spiny scales to protrude, making it difficult to swallow. The Texas horned lizard, along with at least three other species, also has the ability to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of the eyes for a distance of up to 5 feet. This not only confuses would-be predators, the blood is mixed with a chemical that is foul-tasting to canidae predators such as wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs.

About 70% of the Texas horned lizard's diet is made up of harvester ants, though they supplement these with termites, beetles, and grasshoppers. In recent years, the Texas horned lizard has declined in about 30% of its range, though there is some indication it may be making a comeback. The decline is usually blamed on overuse of pesticides and the spread of non-native, but highly aggressive and fiercely territorial, Brazilian fire ants. Both eradicate harvester ant colonies, destroying the horned lizard's principal source of food. The Texas horned lizard is now a protected species and it is illegal to take, possess, transport or sell them without a special permit."

Donna said...

Actually this particular lizard is just that. A lizard. I, too, thought at first that it might be a horny toad and I thought how cool that would be. But not only were there others running around that did have lengthy tails, but it looked nothing like a Texas Horned lizard (horny toad).

This is closer to what we have...

not this...

Brittany said...

Ewwwwwww!!! I'm glad I live in Illinois! No wolf spiders or lizards here!

Your peacock is super cool, though!