Crawly Creatures

I found this Two Stripe Spider in my water can. It is a very big spider about 2 inches long and for some reason was not bothered by me watering plants or filling the can back up.

The gigantic spider even made a web to catch bugs. Finding a spider in my watering can was bad enough, but I had no idea how many bugs were visiting it.

While weeding, a saw an interesting seed that moved a bit as I pulled weeds. I gave it a poke and it moved on its own and I realized it was an insect. It is sitting on a salvia leaf that is about an inch long. I have looked through insect pictures and could not find it, so if anyone can identify it let me know. (Try to ignore the pine needle under the bug.)

In the spring, mites get on plants which is a bonus for ladybugs.

One of my favorite creatures is the Rosy Wolf Snail. This mature one was looking for food which is other snails and slugs.

And again while weeding I found a baby Rosy Wolf Snail. I put it beside one of the mature empty shells had I found.

First Snake Sighting of the Year

I had my first snake sighting for the year. This is a baby Copperhead.

I had been weeding an enclosed area around the Dancing Lady Gingers. I started weeding on the opposite side and the snake never moved. I was glad I had my gloves on as I was very close to the snake before it let me know it was there. Of course, I had to stop weeding for a photo session. I find that Copperheads usually just stay still and watch,

Sugar Line

There was a bit of a lineup of insects trying to get some energy on a cold day.

The impatient wasp nipped the ladybug a couple times, but she would not budge.

The line was stalled.

When I checked back later, the ladybug had moved under the white ring and the wasp finally found the way to the sugar.

Someone is Watching Me

I was refilling the birdfeeder when I felt eyes watching me and sure enough, I looked up and saw a possum in the tree over the feeder. Then I noticed some movement on the ground and another possum was scurrying away. Normally, they are not out in the daylight and my family was concerned, but I did some research and found out possums rarely get rabies.

I have also been finding a lot of food wrapper trash in the backyard which is unusual. I can understand trash in the front from garage trucks and litterbugs, but I have a large front yard and a six-foot fence to get over before any street trash can reach the back. I think maybe I have found the culprits. Possums do like to raid trashcans.

One big mystery is do possums like beer? And can they crush a can when they are finished?

Squirrel Apocalypse or Helpful Pruning

The oak tree planted twenty years ago has been prolific this fall in producing acorns. I am not the only one that noticed. The squirrels have been gathering acorns for weeks.

I can put up with the squirrels taking the acorns and digging holes all over my yard and garden beds, but to get the acorns they have been cutting off branches and covering the bed under the tree and front yard with them. I am not sure if all of this pruning will be helpful to my oak tree.

Critters and Plants

I had a week of notable critter encounters and stand-out plants. This green anole took a trip across the yard in a shaky wagon as I moved this plant from its summer spot in the woods. The little lizard is staying in its plant home and greets me every morning when I head outside.

I got a few somewhat good shots of the hummingbird moth. Usually, it is busy during the night, but I caught it out in the daytime. Click to get a better look at its wings.

I thought it was interesting that the purple oxalis found a way to grow out of the bottom of the pot.

A Gulf Fritillary butterfly has been hanging out on the hummingbird feeders. I was finally able to get close enough for a photo.

I have a love/hate relationship with Swamp Sunflowers. They are very invasive, and grow ten feet tall, but are so happy and sunny in the fall.

Back to odd anole habits. This lizard is my regular porch anole that clings to the window screens most of the day. As it turns out the lizzie likes to sleep on my weather stick at night. When I check on it in the early morning hours it will have actually changed positions. I feel fortunate to have such a variety of plants and wildlife in my backyard.

An Armadillo at Dawn

I was sipping my morning coffee and glancing out of the window when I noticed plants waving in an odd way. And then I saw the grey body that was causing the chaotic motion. It was the armadillo that dug a huge hole in my flower bed outside my kitchen window.

I quickly grabbed my cell phone and started my early morning armadillo chase. I managed to chase it under the fence into my neighbor’s yard. I didn’t feel too bad about that as they don’t have flower beds for the armadillo to dig up. I’m sure are some point it returned to its den on my side.

Wildlife Visits

There have been several visitors to the garden recently. I found this box turtle crawling into a fallen container full of clay pot shards that I have been saving. I don’t know what the turtle was after and it sure looked uncomfortable.

I had my first sighting of a Cooperhead snake. Usually, I see them in the spring. And yes, I was handling the plant when I noticed something moving. As it was small I thought it was a lizard and not a baby Copperhead. I was lucky again and the snake went into the pot, curled up, and just stared at me.

Critter encounters that I could not photograph included being slapped in the shin by a Leopard Frog that was sitting in the grass, a sighting of a very long garden snake, an armadillo that I chased off my patio, and the weirdest wildlife situation I witnessed was a hummingbird stabbing another hummer in the breast while it was laying on its back on top of a plant. Can’t figure that one out.

Don’t Poke Your Fingers Into a Weep Hole

I found this very long Black Snake sunning on the cobble rocks next to the bed where I was about to transplant some seedlings.

Of course, I pulled out my phone and started taking photos. The snake turned and began coming towards me.

I took a few steps back and continued snapping.

As it turned out, the Black Snake was just trying to get away from me to the safety of a weep hole in the bricks.

I have found with my snake encounters, that they are just as afraid of us as we are of them. But in the future, I will not be poking my fingers into weep holes.

In the Weeds

Summer brings long-awaited flowers and of course many, many weeds. I found some good company while I was working on a bed. I had pulled quite a few weeds and began removing some big leaves when I realized one of the leaves was a frog. It is either a Leopard Frog or a Needle Nosed Frog, but either way, it wasn’t going to move and hung out for the entire weeding session.