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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Well yeah, otherwise it would be wrong.
    So did my little list above persuade you that killing the snake that bit you is wrong, if you're in a region with good venom identification and safe polyvalent antivenins (such as the USA and Australia)?

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2009-Dec-08 at 06:22 PM. Reason: wrong word

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Well yeah, otherwise it would be wrong. Oh! You want us to run the idea past you first! Okay, what's your E-mail address. I'll consult you first before I shoot anything.
    Say what you will, but I agree with him. I would even include humans in the list as well as animals.

    I wouldn't use it as a judgment on a particular member in this thread, but more of as a universal truth. And you're right -- people don't want to feel like they've committed a wrong. Even those that essentially kill other human beings.

  3. #123
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    Mr Grant, I hadn't considered your argument before hand as it's a new idea to me but it makes perfect sense as you state it. You can still see medical posters advising same, bring the snake in for ID. But I'll help you spread this new meme if you so desire.

    I am perfectly willing to let a rattler live. Shoot, it's the same thrill as seeing a big shark while fishing. I've only killed (in the states) two venomous snakes. Both rattlesnakes. Both times there were more children than I could keep an eye on in the area. One was a group of five extenteded families at a remote cabin and the second time a group of schoolkids on a hike with an overweight and obviously exhausted teacher in the lead.

    That second rattler was enormous and very aggressive. We were in a second party of all guys and we were just watching it. It coiled, rattled, then uncoiled and came around the pond, (about three meters across) to coil and rattle at our feet. Had we not backed off that is. We'ed back off, and he would do it again. Then we heard the kids coming up the trail then saw how many they were.

    Didn't take me a second to go from, "Ohh cool! Be careful everyone! This guy is feeling spunky today!" To "Sorry! *Blam* and put a .38 round in it. More than five feet long and thick as a gaboon viper. It was a magnificient creature.

    The situations do sound contrived, but it's what it takes for me to do something like that.

    That's two rattlers in nearly fifty years of wandering around in the bushes. I think I'm good. I haven't killed a lot more than that. I have bubonic plague endemic to my area, who wants a rodent explosion?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    wish I had a camera this morning; I almost hit a gaggle of Peacocks
    Geese come in gaggles, Peacocks come in ostentations
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Geese come in gaggles, Peacocks come in ostentations
    The venerable Boke of St Albans dictates a muster of peacocks. The ostentation turned up four hundred years later, for some reason.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The venerable Boke of St Albans dictates a muster of peacocks. The ostentation turned up four hundred years later, for some reason.

    Grant Hutchison
    Just so you don't go talking about musters of female peacocks....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #127
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    peahens

  8. #128
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    Here's another of my backyard critters, closetgeek. This is a hellgrammite adult, Neohermes californicus. The body is about 3 inches and the antennae extend another 2+ inches. This is one of the smaller species found in the stream behind my house. None of the in situ photos turned out so I am forced to use one from my desk.



    Is there a collective noun for hellgrammites?
    So many bugs, so little time.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    Is there a collective noun for hellgrammites?
    Why? Are you planning to collect more of them?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  10. #130
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    I propose a "level of hellgramites".
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    I propose a "level of hellgramites".

    And a very large group would be an "unacceptable level of hellgrammites".

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post

    And a very large group would be an "unacceptable level of hellgrammites".

    Grant Hutchison
    I was thinking maybe a "ninth level of hellgrammites"
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  13. #133
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    I rarely collect hellgrammites (larvae or adults) here in California as I've got most of the species. There are a few back East I don't have, so maybe one summer I'll make a trip.

    My two favorite memories of hellgrammites: I had stopped along a country road in Arkansas and was looking for insects at the amply lit sign for the local TV station when a pickup truck pulls up and, in the heaviest of southern drawls a voice calls out, "Watch'ya doin, lookin fer hell-gram-mites?" My absolute favorite is actually a buddy of mine who likes to wear the hellgrammite larvae as earrings when we are out in the field. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos but if you do a Google image search, you'll get the idea. The hellgrammites have never drawn blood, but I suspect his ear lobes were bruised several times.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    I was thinking maybe a "ninth level of hellgrammites"
    I think BigDon's next D&D or other fantasy RPG adventure may have a new monster....
    So many bugs, so little time.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    I think BigDon's next D&D or other fantasy RPG adventure may have a new monster....
    Anhkegs. Look just like that and are 30 feet long. Spits "alien blood" grade acid.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  16. #136
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    No the one that made a new instant monster was when I my brother bought a piece of gun cleaning equipment called a "bore snake" which is now the dreaded boarsnake.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Anhkegs. Look just like that and are 30 feet long. Spits "alien blood" grade acid.
    I'm not surprised. Those things could wear my friend as earrings...or spiracle rings...oh, you know what I mean.

    It just occurred to me that my D&D knowledge is approaching the 20 years out of date mark.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atraveller View Post
    Hey Clop,

    This guy didn't Like the AC/DC we were playing...



    And this one went crazy over some chicken eggs...

    Atraveller, what kind of spider is that? It is a monstrosity! I had one that looked almost exactly like that only it was black, about three inches from my eye, once. GAAAH! I screamed so loud that construction guys working next door came running to see what was up. I told them it was a spider and one laughed at me, until I pointed out the spider. Even he jumped back.

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Atraveller, what kind of spider is that? It is a monstrosity! I had one that looked almost exactly like that only it was black, about three inches from my eye, once. GAAAH! I screamed so loud that construction guys working next door came running to see what was up. I told them it was a spider and one laughed at me, until I pointed out the spider. Even he jumped back.
    It's the ubiquitous and very common Australian Badge (or Shield) Huntsman spider. They don't spin webs. They are predators who prowl around looking for other small animals to eat, and they love coming inside houses where they hang off the top half of the walls. Some people leave them on the wall because they're good for keeping your home clear of flies and other creepy crawlies. You can find them everywhere if you go looking for them. Despite their size and appearance they are essentially harmless to humans but still manage to injure many people every year through accidents caused by them panicking when they find one, especially when they emerge from a car ventilation grille (where they love to hide - many people avoid parking under trees to minimise the chances of one entering their car) while you're pelling along at 60mph.

    They also move faster than the eye can see. It's like they live in a different time stream. You could never catch one with a cup, assuming of course you could find a cup big enough to cover them.

    I once emptied quarter of a can of insect killer on a large huntsman and it just walked off leaving a trail of white gloop behind it. Half an hour it seemed fit and healthy so I ended up hitting it with a shoe.

    They get pretty big!



    clop

  20. #140
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    Okay I am suggesting a new forum rule: no pictures of spiders are shared without ample warning. Spider pic are only allowed to be links, that works for me. Is that you, Clop, holding that beast in your hand? Are you insane? Just looking at it made my stomach bubble and churn.

  21. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Okay I am suggesting a new forum rule: no pictures of spiders are shared without ample warning. Spider pic are only allowed to be links, that works for me. Is that you, Clop, holding that beast in your hand? Are you insane? Just looking at it made my stomach bubble and churn.
    So I should leave the photo of my then 4 year old son holding the tarantula in my user profile and not post it here. Check.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Okay I am suggesting a new forum rule: no pictures of spiders are shared without ample warning. Spider pic are only allowed to be links, that works for me. Is that you, Clop, holding that beast in your hand? Are you insane? Just looking at it made my stomach bubble and churn.
    Ha ha as if. I'm scared of large spiders!

    clop

  23. #143
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    I spotted this little critter on a grape leaf, or a plant next to it, in my in-laws' garden. What is it?
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  24. #144
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    I think it's a bug (yes really!), or rather a member of the insect order Hemiptera but I could be mistaken.

  25. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by clop View Post
    I once emptied quarter of a can of insect killer on a large huntsman and it just walked off leaving a trail of white gloop behind it. Half an hour it seemed fit and healthy so I ended up hitting it with a shoe.
    I'm reminded of the scene in Blazing Saddles where Sheriff Bart is off to get Mongo and is strapping on his gun belt... "Oh, don't do that, you'll just make him mad".
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  26. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    I spotted this little critter on a grape leaf, or a plant next to it, in my in-laws' garden. What is it?
    Almost certain it is some type of shield bug, though we'll have to wait on ABR. for the specific species.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    I spotted this little critter on a grape leaf, or a plant next to it, in my in-laws' garden. What is it?
    Hemiptera, yes*. I'm guessing this is a stink bug (Family Pentatomidae) of some sort. It could be a shield bug (Family Scutellaridae) as Swift suggested, but this is a nymph. You can see the small wingpads protruding backwards from the pronotum (the large structure just behind the head) on either side of the body. This means that the adult characters aren't present or aren't fully developed. I have to admit, the wingpads are a bit difficult to make out and my first inclination was shield bug, too. Okay, I just looked at the Wiki page that Swift linked to and it deals with both families together. I have no idea on species. Identifying bug nymphs to species can be difficult to impossible.

    For a project in Insect Morphology, I had to dissect a bunch of stink bugs under the scope so I could make drawings of the digestive system. Ordinarily, I like stink bug scent. However, having one go off right in your face because your dissection probe slipped 0.1mm the wrong way, well, that's just painful.

    By the way, ciderman is awarded a bonus point for knowing the correct usage for the word "bug".

    * Some people use Order Hemiptera with suborders Heteroptera (true bugs) and Homoptera (cicadas, leaf hoppers, scale insects and the like). Others elevate Heteroptera and Homoptera to true orders. I'll stop this rant in its tracks because no one reading this is interested and I haven't had my caffeine yet!
    So many bugs, so little time.

  28. #148
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    Awww I missed it!

    Darn this need to sleep!

    Those are very common in my garden.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Awww I missed it!

    Darn this need to sleep!

    Those are very common in my garden.
    That'll teach you to get your caffeine first and posting second. Where are your priorities? -- YAWN!
    So many bugs, so little time.

  30. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    Say what you will, but I agree with him. I would even include humans in the list as well as animals.

    I wouldn't use it as a judgment on a particular member in this thread, but more of as a universal truth. And you're right -- people don't want to feel like they've committed a wrong. Even those that essentially kill other human beings.
    Don't worry, it's all good. It's the duty of the moderates to rein in the extremists. Even though both views are relative to the observer.

    (But I'm gonna call you SolusLepus for now on. )

    Back on topic.

    You know whats nice? When you have neighbors on all sides who buy things like ladybugs and mantids and just recently because I touted them heavy to some friends, those beetles that look like 1/4 scale green ladybugs that decimate whitefly populations. Brand new this year, to my circle at least.

    I live where there has been commercial scale decorative plant husbandry going back to at least the 1920's. As a result certain garden pests have evolved monsterous resistances to most non-military strength nerve toxins.

    And though the local land became too valuble...just before the real estate crash...for greenhouses. The hertitage is still here.
    What I'm leading to is we get enormous plagues of whitefly sometimes. Not often but memorable enough that I stop short when I see a cloud of them over somebodies petunias, wondering if this is going to spread.

    So I see these new to me beetles that supposedly go to town on whitefly. And I tell a few friends who are starting to see whitefly on thier tomatoes. Soon the packages arrived and I saw a batch go to work on a moderate investation. None flew off like ladybugs, all stayed and some burrowed right into the ground. Fat city. We needed a new sherrif in town. A new species ought to make some changes to the plague cycle.

    What with all the old world Italians, Spaniards, and Portugese, backyard tomatoe growing is a cult in my part of the world. With distinct schools of thought as to the only way to do it right and the other guy is an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.

    How bad is it?

    Much earlier this year I had to break up a fist fight between two old Italians, both in their early 70's, one of whom had just come out of the hospital for a heart attack. (you can't make this stuff up)

    While "Dad" was in the hospital with said heart attack, his adult daughter thought his tomatoes looked overgrown and untended so she called on a long time nieghbor who she knew to be another tomatoe grower.

    He then converted all of them to his style of pruning and did a fair, if severe job.

    To be fair it was the pruner who swung first. Something about his mother must have crossed with chimpanzees to produce him, is what I think might have set him off. (As I was told later, my Italian is poor. That's the Bowdlerized version anyway. The original Italian seemed much richer.)

    On the other hand I couldn't help but think, "Holy crap Gramps! Nice combo!" at Mr. Heartattack's "reply in kind."

    But you can't let that go on, and it only lasted 'til I got there. Large round women then took over moments later having heard the verbal exchange through an open kitchen window. Like a mass invasion of Rovers from The Prisoner.

    Every sensible thing that any of you good people here would say in admonishment at such a spectacle was being shreaked at them from at least seven different sources. In several languages.

    I went into flower growing myself. To avoid the whole issue.

    Much more peaceful and we never hit each other.

    Those vegetable guys are wildmen!
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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