Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Critters

I have some interesting and usual critters to share this week.

We have a group of paper-wasps who have constructed a nest from dead wood and plant stems. The open combs are used to raise their young. The combs with caps have eggs in them. Unlike yellow-jackets, these wasps are not aggressive, so we are taking a 'live and let live' attitude.

We had a very small lizard in the garage.  I think he was not more than 2" long.

And here's a Western Skink. It's been hanging out in the heat of the back patio for a month now.  But it moves so quickly, I've not been able to get a photo until now. 

Young skinks have bright blue tails. They are active in warm season, preying on spiders and sow bugs.  They lurk in leaf litter and dense vegetation (and among my flower pot on the back patio). 

Now on to bunnies...

I saw six of them in the backyard the other morning.

Hop to it!

Nose to nose.

looking left and looking right.

Feasting on cauliflower plants on the compost pile.

Feasting on blackberries.

Lately I have just seen a single fawn.

This one stays pretty close to Mama Deer.

Do you think this could become an Olympic event?

Warning - the next photo is rather graphic and not for the faint of heart.

Remember I posted photos of a group Turkey Vultures?  
Here's what they were working on.  A fawn was hit by a car, and our neighbor let the Turkey Vultures do their important work.  The carcass has picked clean except for the legs and hooves.  You can see the rib cage quite clearly.  When I went over to take a look there was no smell. Not a happy event, but not a waste of a life either.  Nature Is.


Kristen said...

Thank you for the warning.

daisy gurl said...

Wow, what an array of critters! That last photo is amazing. Thankfully, the vultures do what needs to be done.

Robin in Portland Oregon said...

We have paper wasps under our eaves each year. I took quite a while to convince my husband they were benign (within reason). But we also had wasps living in a ground hole in our backyard when the landscapers came to put in a whole new backyard - Wow! were they angry! (Both the wasps and the poor men!)

I've always wanted to see a Blue-tailed Skink. My son found one when he was young and described the blue as looking so unusual as to be fakey and painted on. Now I see why. I also heard these are the kind that can lose their tails and regrow them, hence the bright color, to lose a tail is to save their life I guess.

Barb said...

My Dad would be so with you on your comment about nature! The bunnies win the cute award today!

LDR said...

The Western Skink is so interesting and what a pretty color in the tail. Good to have around to keep spider populations at bay.

Margaret said...

I love seeing something different on your blog. How do you know so much? I would never know about paper wasps versus other types of wasps, or western skinks, etc. Very interesting post.