"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Creature Feature...............Just when I think I have nothing new to show you or to tell you

something always comes crawling along
and captures my interest. As most of you know about me by now...........I love the world of nature.......especially reptiles and insects. Snakes I do not handle.........although I got too close to one like this one, a few years ago,  and was bitten on the hand. It is a Coachwhip, non venomous, and very fast.
The bite was not the usuall two fangs, but it left a ring of small holes on the top of my hand.

This one did not want me to get too close, so it quickly dashed up the tall mesquite tree that grows in the back yard. These snakes are excellent tree climbers.

They can easily stretch to another tree or limb without falling.

I love snakes....................only for their design and beauty. I know what you might be thinking............snakes have no beauty..............

but if you look close enough at any thing................every thing has it's own beauty............and we all look and find that in a different way.
 Just click onto the photo.............you'll see what I mean.

Just like the very common Horned Toad in our area. It certainly is not a toad............but a lizard covered in horns and spikes. I refer to them as little prairie dragons.

They blend in well with their territory and are famous for eating red ants.

Their skin and spikes are thick enough that they can sit in the middle of an ant den and enjoy a full day buffet without getting stung.

They are very gentle and don't bite. Sometimes, if they are frightend, they puff up like puffer fish and stay real still.

Out in the deepest part of the woods, I found this gigantic spider home.

The web stretches at least a foot wide. I am curious as to what kind of spider lives here.
I do not handle spiders, but I love the color and design that they possess.
They are such interesting creatures.

As you can see, they live in the deep hole in the mesquite tree.
I knocked on the door, but they would not come out.
I think not seeing them is alright..............their web is spooky enough
don't you think?
So............are there any bug lovers among you there??
What about snakes or any other creature???
I would love to hear!


pbrenner said...

I love snakes - but am picky about which ones I want near my house. We have a home in Arizona and in Texas - in Arizona, we are visited way too often by Mojave rattlesnakes, which have bitten our dog twice (and $$$$ trips to the emergency vet to save him!) and my horse once (she could not be saved unfortunately). If we see them near the house, they are goners. During the summer rainy season, we see lots of tarantulas, which absolutely fascinate me- they are also gentle (just don't squeeze them, then they get ornery). When I taught high school, I got *big* cool points for picking up tarantulas and gopher snakes, lol.

In Texas, I had a rat snake get into my chicken coop, so it had to go, because it was eating my eggs. I would have rehomed it versus killing it, but hadn't seen one before and its triangular head scared me - if I find another one, I'll catch and release it far, far away. That said, any other non-venomous snakes are admired and appreciated for the work they do keeping vermin under control. I've been seeing checkered garter snakes in my backyard lately - very cool looking with their distinctive checkerboard markings.

Least favorite critter right now - the dang scorpions that keep turning up in my house ... their sting hurts worse than anything I've ever felt!

Thanks for a fun post ... you gave me the opportunity to write quite an essay, lol!

Happy June!


Ian H said...

Something that eats red ants? I'll take a dozen. :-}

Terra said...

I feel just like you do about all the critters God made. The horny toad has a beauty all its own; I don't touch snakes but they have a purpose and are welcome in our garden. We once had a daddy long legs that lived in our bathroom and we put up a sign so visitors would not bother it.

Michaele said...

I really liked this post. I love the desert and this was just refreshing!

Magnolia Tea said...

Whoa, that is some snake! I think it would make me a lil but edgy. We see a lot of black snakes and garter snakes, but I don't stick around when I see one. I'm a big 'fraidy cat when it comes to snakes.

We have little blue-tailed lizards that are cute. I usually have to save a few now and then from drowning in our stock tanks. They climb in for a drink, but they can't get back out on their own. Sometimes we put a small tree branch in the tanks for them to be able to climb out on their own.

Have a great week!

Wonky Girl said...

Yikes, we had a coach whip living at our chicken coop last summer. The poodles ran it up a tree, I was surprised. That snake kept the population of mice down then sadly it tangled in garden netting and died.
We have other kritters here like you do, I don't mind them as long as they keep away from me.

lil red hen said...

I have no affection for snakes, brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders. I prefer small things like ladybugs, butterflies, and toads. ;) However, I do like little black jumping spiders.

Sherri Farley said...

I like all creatures except scorpions. The give me the creeps!

Muddling Through said...

Isn't it so neat, Katleen, that God made so many and varied creatures to inhabit His earth? I love seeing all of them, just like to keep some at a distance. I think my favorite spiders are those big scary looking orb weavers. Their webs are so beautifl and intricate.

Daisy said...

Oh my, Kathleen, this post made me shudder! Haha! I agree those creatures are all beautiful in their own way, but I would keep a good distance from all of them! :)

Mary @ Colony Mountain Folk Art Dolls said...

My liking for the Horned Toad began with "Old Yeller" when little Arliss pulled a "horny toad" out of his pocket...

You do have some unusual critters in Texas, but you might say the same thing about some of ours!

Agrigirl said...

I'm the same way. Critters don't bother me a bit but snakes freak me out! And I can't fathom seeing one up in our mesquite tree.

Kelly_Deal said...

Great pictures! That horned lizard is so cute! I also see the beauty in every living creature too. That's probably why I love komodo dragons, Galapagos tortoises and sharks.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Oh, what incredible critters! It's interesting to see the kinds of animals you have in Texas. These photos are great.

Paula Fraker said...

This was wonderful, Kathleen... we have black snakes aound here that keep the mice and rat population down, but when they run out of those sometimes you will find them in the chicken coop eating eggs!! *UGH* (Then I get mad and get my hoe. *haha*)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

No lizards or snakes in our yard, Kathleen, but we often get some cute little garden frogs.

Marie said...

You know what...you have a wonderful variety of critters to share, and I am glad you enjoy them and are willing to take the photos, because we enjoy seeing them! My daughter used to have a pair of horned lizards in their back yard (even though they had two big dogs) that kept the ant population down, which was very nice! Love your pretty snake! I am more fortunate than your first commentor, as where we live in Tucson we never see rattlesnakes or scorpions, though I do know they are here...just not in my neighborhood, which suits me just fine! :-) I had a horrible scorpion situation in Texas, and don't want to repeat it.