Monday, May 30, 2011

Wild, wild life

Even though I have lived in this semi-rural part of Southern New England for over 11 years, I am still in awe of all of the amazing wild life that calls our backyard and woods home.

We have deer (who graze at our all-you-can-eat salad bar, formerly known as our yard), coyotes and foxes (who run off whenever I try to snap a picture of them), a really annoying pileated woodpecker (whom I refer to as Woody), more types of birds than I can identify (or care to, including one I refer to as "the alarm bird," as it sounds like the annoying beep beep beep of an alarm clock and goes off every morning around 5 a.m.), and just this morning I was stopped by a rather large, ornery common snapping turtle (which despite its name is an uncommon site around here) on my way to the gym.

The wife of the neighbor who was conducting traffic around the turtle and I guessed it was a female about to or having just laid a clutch of eggs as 'tis the season. And man was she ornery (the turtle, not the neighbor).

Also, for those of you who have never seen a turtle run, it is an awesome site. (Click on the link to see what I mean.)

I am only sorry I was unable to videotape this baby in full motion, though I did catch her (?) as she was about to take off (see above). Am now totally rethinking the whole tortoise/hare story.

And if seeing a two-foot long snapping turtle dash across the road wasn't cool enough, check out this freaky moth that was hanging out on our doorstep the other day. Let us call her Mothra! (Click on the picture to see a larger view. Check out those antennae!)

Seriously, that was one creepy looking moth (can you hear that bug beside it screaming for help? Can you?), though the spouse thought it was beautiful.

Maybe my friendly neighborhood toad will eat it.


Anonymous said...

Good gads!!!

The things in your backyard. Makes my moose and wild turkeys seem tame!

J. said...

I can't believe I forgot to mention the turkeys! ;-) No moose. Yet. (Btw, I figured everyone had squirrels and chipmunks and raccoons and groundhogs, which is why I didn't include in the post.)

Dave S. said...

Looks like you've got a Tulip-tree Silkmoth there - that's spectacular! Note that they have no digestive tract.

Put a name to your pain - get a birdbook and binoculars and start your Life List! I added one just last weekend - the Veery.

I have to say that if I saw a snapping turtle I would head in the other direction - those things are nasty.

Dave S. said...

As a followup, the early-morning bird might be a robin - they're usually the earliest ones up around us. Or it could be a Carolina Wren or perhaps a Song Sparrow. The mockingbirds will sometimes sing all night, retaining sufficient energy to attack you if you come within a half-mile of their nests.