Category Archives: Critters

Wait – Snails Lay Eggs??!!

WTAF??!!

Count me among those who are having our minds blown by the fact that SNAILS LAY EGGS!

I’ve admittedly never given just a whole lot of thought to the reproductive methods of snails, but if I had to guess on Final Jeopardy, “eggs” would not have been in the top ten choices.

Read the comments and look at some of the other pictures this guy has there – the snails in question are “archachatina marginata ovum” and they’re literally as big as the guy’s arm when they’re adults.

Still… EGGS??!!

I hope I didn’t bet too much on Final Jeopardy!

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Lunch With A Stranger

“Go to the park!” they said.

“Have a nice, relaxing lunch!” they said.

“Get a little fresh air!” they said.

Ever have the feeling that you’re being watched?

Yes, there was PBJ involved (and I’m not talking about the bomber!). This destroyed all pretenses toward maintaining a separation between nature and my lunch.

Has this little bastard had his shots? Don’t they carry plague?

A bit of apple bought me the time to make a run for the car, escaping the little rodent terrorist to live and lunch another day.

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Mothra

When I was getting up at 03:00 to be leaving at 04:00 to be on site at 05:00 last week, I found this monster hanging around on the wall by the front door. I figured it was a rare catch, or at least unusual, and it would fly away at any second.

But then it was still there when I got home. And the next night. And the next.

Finally it was gone, with just a gooey red streak on the wall where it had been. Not quite sure what that all adds up to.

But it was a honkin’ big moth!

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EMHE Build – Day Five

Trigger warning – spiders.

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I’ve put a LOT of work into this block wall recently. It’s one of a gazillion dozen little things that we’ve been juggling in dealing with the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build experience, but it’s a really big one.

Part of what that involves is lugging a LOT of blocks around. They arrive on pallets, but there are a few different types, they get mixed and scattered, people pull them to use for their own purposes here and there. They need to get picked back up, they need to get moved to where they’re being put onto the wall, and so on.

My experience today, when I moved and lugged a LOT of blocks, was that about every 1 in 20 had an occupant.

I probably squished fifteen to twenty of them today. No mercy – I hate the little fuckers. But I was surprised how little anxiety or outright terror there was when I started running across them.

First of all, I had seen their distinctive webs, so I was pretty sure they were around. There wasn’t any surprise factor to deal with.

Secondly, I was wearing work gloves, so the chances of actually being bitten were negligible.

Still, it made a long, hot day a bit more interesting.

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Filed under Critters, Homes4Families, Paul, Photography

The Nest

We’ve got a couple of bird nests on the back porch. We’ve seen the adult birds flying in and out, but I haven’t been bothering the nests or trying to peek in there to see if there were eggs.

Then it got noisy this weekend. REAL noisy.

By my account, there are at least four babies in there. Sometimes I think that I can see a fifth, but I never got pictures with all five, so we’ll call that fifth one Schroedinger.

There’s the troublemaker, who was already out and down on the vines. I’m not sure that’s a good career move at this stage of life, but you do you, dude! Then there’s the one above them, not in the nest by out on the 4×8 beam. They must have gotten tired of being in that crowded nest, where the two “good kids” have stayed where they were told to.

That was yesterday.

Today they were quieter, but I only saw three of them early in the day.

Later today, when I caught them being fed, there were just two.

Then this guy was seen hopping around on the ground

He wasn’t flying, he was hopping. I opened the door and he took off like a flapping little bat out of hell into the bushes. I let him go, despite my doubts about his life expectancy out of the nest.

He didn’t look close to being ready to fly, and out of the nest he wasn’t going to get fed. It was well over 100Β° out there, so that wasn’t going to help.

We put out some water and bread crumbs. We never saw this little guy partaking, but the mockingbirds and a squirrel were grateful.

Does anyone know what the mortality rate is on house wrens? I’m guessing about 50/50, but it’s a small data set. Either way, there seem to be plenty of them around. They’re hardly endangered.

We’ll see how many are there tomorrow.

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Not Stopping To Smell The Flowers

It’s not that I don’t stop to smell the flowers – god knows there are enough pictures of them here. But as a comment on how you should slow down in life and take the time to enjoy the little things, my preferred activity would be to stop and listen to the birds.

And there are few as entertaining to listen to as the mockingbirds.

I understand that not everyone appreciates them, especially when they’re singing all damn night at top volume outside your window. My first wife in particular sort of hated them, while I look at it as Nature’s lullaby.

We’ve got several pairs in the neighborhood. While they’re not sounding off every night, 365 days a year, right now seems to be a prime time for them. (I know that it’s only the bachelor males who sing all night long.)

The other night I wandered out and recorded a few minutes of one particularly noisy (and presumably particularly horny) male, along with a passing motorcycle down on Valley Circle Drive and all of the neighbors’ air conditioning units rumbling in the background:

Enjoy! The range and variety of song just goes on and on and on! (Whether you’re trying to sleep or not…)

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Found In A Driveway In Vermont

We had come out of a store. It had been raining. This guy was in the driveway, still fluttering.

I don’t know from butterflies – well, for all I know this guy’s a moth. Either way, I didn’t know if it was hurt, just trying to dry off from the passing shower, or preparing to go for the throat of the next Rottweiler that passed by. So I just took the picture.

I also notice that the asphalt driveways in Vermont are MUCH more colorful and rocky and interesting than our plain, dull, black ones here in California.

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