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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1561
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    Treb, you ever had a garter snake try and attack you? As in, actually lunge at you?

    I did, once, when she (presumably) decided I was getting too close to her baby...I was just kind of crouched down saying, "Aren't you a cute little guy," when mama snake comes flying out of hiding at me. I jumped back, though, and she decided to let me live.
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  2. #1562
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Treb, you ever had a garter snake try and attack you? As in, actually lunge at you?

    I did, once, when she (presumably) decided I was getting too close to her baby...I was just kind of crouched down saying, "Aren't you a cute little guy," when mama snake comes flying out of hiding at me. I jumped back, though, and she decided to let me live.
    That's interesting to hear. I handled a lot of garter snakes when I was living in the NY/CT area when I was young, and I never had one try to attack me without provocation (though I'm afraid that I did get a few bites that were due to my own actions). But I don't remember ever dealing with baby snakes, so presumably they get a bit feisty in that situation.
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  3. #1563
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    I was interested to learn while looking them up yesterday that garter snakes are actually mildly venomous! And no, never had one lunge at me. I felt bad for this little guy because I kept having to go back and forth past where he was sunning and he'd have to slither away.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #1564
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I was interested to learn while looking them up yesterday that garter snakes are actually mildly venomous! And no, never had one lunge at me. I felt bad for this little guy because I kept having to go back and forth past where he was sunning and he'd have to slither away.
    wikipedia
    Garter snakes were long thought to be nonvenomous, but discoveries in the early 2000s revealed that they in fact produce a neurotoxic venom.[8] Despite this, garter snakes cannot seriously injure or kill humans with the small amounts of comparatively mild venom they produce, and they also lack an effective means of delivering it. In a few very rare cases, some swelling and bruising have been reported.[9] They do have enlarged teeth in the back of their mouths,[10] but their gums are significantly larger, and the secretions of their Duvernoy's gland are only mildly toxic.[9][11]
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  5. #1565
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    Last night, The Wife and I spied 'our' snowshoe hare below our living room window, munching on some fireweed. He's in full summer dress now, with the only hint of white remaining was some dustiness on his rear feet.
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  6. #1566
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    I once ran over a garter snake with the lawn mower (didn't see it until after I went over it). I thought I had injured it rather severely because it was flopping around pretty violently but not going anywhere. Then I looked closer and realized that all that happened was that the vortex of the mower blades had twisted/wrapped some blades of grass around it, toward's the tail end, and it was just stuck. I was able to pull the grass loose and it slithered off.

    Also one time, coming home from work, I opened my front door and saw, out of the corner of my eye, something fall to the floor. It was a garter snake, that had apparently been climbing up between the door and the jamb - until I opened the door and took the support away. I think the whole incident probably surprised it more than me.

    Now that I think about it, we had a lot of garter snakes in that neighborhood - all three of these stories were at the same house, but I don't think I've seen even one in the dozen years we've lived in our current house.
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  7. #1567
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    I scared "Sneaky" off again this afternoon. Hope he isn't to traumatized.
    Oh, and not in my backyard, but I did see a four-point (each side) buck in the middle of Port Townsend today! The deer here are entirely unconcerned about humans
    Or should that be "dear hear". Gosh but I hate homophones!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #1568
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    My back yard, just a few minutes ago. Sorry about the zoom, or lack thereof - cellphone camera. She stood there for several minutes, until one of the neighbors actually went out on their deck and scared her off.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #1569
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    Backyard Wildlife

    Last Saturday, I took my bicycle out for a ride shortly after daybreak. As I rounded a corner, a raccoon was slowly crossing the street. I was concerned, because we had a rabid one in the area last year, and I’ve never seen one around here in daylight.
    I gave it a wide berth, and it waddled on its way.
    Mrs. Extravoice claims to have read that mother raccoons sometimes forage during daylight hours this time of year.

    BTW: The rabid one ran across a woman’s yard to attack her, then followed a neighbor into *her* house. They trapped it in a bedroom. Scary stuff.


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  10. #1570
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    My back yard, just a few minutes ago. Sorry about the zoom, or lack thereof - cellphone camera. She stood there for several minutes, until one of the neighbors actually went out on their deck and scared her off.
    I bet if I look out the window right now I'll see at least one of those in the neighbor's front yard.

    ...Nope, not just now, but there've been a doe and a buck pretty consistently there lately. Might just be back under a bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Last Saturday, I took my bicycle out for a ride shortly after daybreak. As I rounded a corner, a raccoon was slowly crossing the street. I was concerned, because we had a rabid one in the area last year, and I’ve never seen one around here in daylight.
    I gave it a wide berth, and it waddled on its way.
    Mrs. Extravoice claims to have read that mother raccoons sometimes forage during daylight hours this time of year.

    BTW: The rabid one ran across a woman’s yard to attack her, then followed a neighbor into *her* house. They trapped it in a bedroom. Scary stuff.


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    Raccoons. I hate those things.
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  11. #1571
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    For the last few days, a grounded fledgling has been attended by mama robin behind out house. A cute, mouthy, and scruffy little thing.

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  12. #1572
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    We subscribe to receive a physical newspaper on weekends, but this past Sunday we didn't find one in our front yard.
    So, I called the newspaper office to let them know.

    Today, I got a call from the carrier. He said that he delivered all his papers, but four were reported missing from my neighborhood.
    He had a suspect, though. One of his customers spotted a fox stealing the paper from his walkway.

    Perhaps the newspaper makes good bedding. Or perhaps the foxes in this neighborhood are more well read than most.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  13. #1573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    We subscribe to receive a physical newspaper on weekends, but this past Sunday we didn't find one in our front yard.
    So, I called the newspaper office to let them know.

    Today, I got a call from the carrier. He said that he delivered all his papers, but four were reported missing from my neighborhood.
    He had a suspect, though. One of his customers spotted a fox stealing the paper from his walkway.

    Perhaps the newspaper makes good bedding. Or perhaps the foxes in this neighborhood are more well read than most.
    Clearly he subscribes to Fox News.

  14. #1574
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Clearly he subscribes to Fox News.
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  15. #1575
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    Reminds me of when my Dad and I used to play golf at a small course surrounded by houses. One of the homes had a cat that would run out and steal golf balls.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #1576
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    Here are some photos of the 2-tone squirrel I mentioned earlier.

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    I recently saw another variant with the same tail color but with the body of a common gray squirrel.

  17. #1577
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Here are some photos of the 2-tone squirrel I mentioned earlier.

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    I recently saw another variant with the same tail color but with the body of a common gray squirrel.
    We have ones like that around here. The black ones have been around for decades and Kent, Ohio is pretty famous for them. They are a color-variant of gray squirrels, but apparently there has been some inter-species breeding.

    Smithsonian

    Despite differences in coloring, eastern gray squirrels and so-called black squirrels are actually members of the same species. As a new study published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology explains, squirrels sporting black coats owe their distinctive appearance to interbreeding between gray and fox squirrels, which carry a faulty pigment gene known to give some members of the predominantly reddish-brown species darker fur. This gene variant, passed from fox to gray squirrels via mating, is the same mutation responsible for black squirrels’ coloring.

    “People have spotted ‘mixed species’ mating chases, with a mix of grey and fox squirrels [pursuing] a female,” lead author Helen McRobie of England’s Anglia Ruskin University says in a press release. “The most likely explanation for the black version of the gene being found in the grey squirrel is that a male black fox squirrel mated with a female grey squirrel.”
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  18. #1578
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    Eurasian Collared Doves.

    This is a species which, four hours ago, I didn't know existed, let alone that they lived in my area. And I've probably been seeing them for years here thinking they were mourning doves or plain old pigeons. My wife figured out what they were.
    The population will probably be increasing; I saw a pair (perhaps the same ones) mating on that fence a couple of days ago.
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  19. #1579
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    Apparently, I need to buy a new trail camera but even so, it managed to capture the south end of a north-bound black bear as it wandered through my back yard yesterday.

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  20. #1580
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    Wow. Our backyard trail cam mostly gets squirrels, but there are some cute videos of baby raccoons and baby deer (including a pair of twins) and a funny one of a raccoon dancing around a skunk one night.
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  21. #1581
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    I hope the raccoon got sprayed but good! I hate those things.
    They are very smart, of course. Years ago my wife looked out the window of our bedroom and saw one making a big arc through the driveway. It had figured out the exact radius of operation of the motion sensor light.

    Perhaps I should get a game cam. Hopefully I would capture no bears, but would likely get deer and bunny rabbits. Now that I think of it, I've seen no raccoons here lately.
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  22. #1582
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Wow. Our backyard trail cam mostly gets squirrels, but there are some cute videos of baby raccoons and baby deer (including a pair of twins) and a funny one of a raccoon dancing around a skunk one night.
    I spoke too soon. Had another visitor yesterday evening (sorry for the sideways)
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  23. #1583
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    Foxy!
    I've been getting more and more frustrated with the sideways stuff. Especially when I post stuff here and it rotates 90 degrees between the thumbnail and the enlargement.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #1584
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Foxy!
    I've been getting more and more frustrated with the sideways stuff. Especially when I post stuff here and it rotates 90 degrees between the thumbnail and the enlargement.
    I'm going through that with iPhone videos, at the moment. I shot them all in landscape but when I import them into the video editor, they're in portrait orientation. Fixing them has been a bit of a pain.
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