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Old 05-17-2015, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Your Wild Life

Since I moved to Texas, I've encountered a lot of creatures that I'd never seen in person before, some of them just hanging around my house.

The first pic is of an alligator devouring some kind of large frog. I ran into this guy at a local botanical garden, right on the sidewalk between the cafe and the theater. Some people have seen alligators in my neighborhood, too, although they're mostly smaller than this one.



The second pic is of a black-velvet leatherleaf slug. There are tons of these in my front yard! Apparently they're native to Paraguay and were first found in LA in 1960 but have spread to MI, FL, and east TX. (I live less than an hour from the LA border.)


I also saw some huge bluish-grey heron in my backyard today, but it flew away when I tried to snap a pic of it.

What kind of wildlife have you seen where you live?
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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Deer, quite often in our yard. It's a regular occurrence in the Fall to find them drunk on fermented apples from our tree.

Coyotes, skunks and foxes were common to see on the walk to school in the morning. Several times I've had to run off porcupines from our property with a shovel/hockey stick.

Also, rarely, Black bears. One time we saw one in our yard as we were coming home from a drive and decided to stay out a bit longer until we were sure it was gone. Another time vacationing in a cabin, one came by and started pawing the door because my dad didn't tidy up after cleaning the fish he caught.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:09 PM   #3
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I'm in Ontario Canada.

We have some pretty badass racoons.

I think the craziest thing I have seen is a possum hereabouts. I didn't realize how long and creepy their faces were. It was pushed up against the glass of the back door and I was like "awww....OMFG WHAT THE HELL?!" as it turned sideways.

Never realized how weird salmon look until I found a riverbed full of sated, dying fish after their mating run.

Hmm. Pretty sad.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:11 PM   #4
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I was hoping I could talk about all the crazy things I've done when I saw the thread title...


We get a surprising amount of wildlife for living in the suburbs of Syracuse. A great many deer, rabbits, raccoons, the occasional opossum or fox. We have a duck couple that hangs around our pool. There was a Japaense rooster in our backyard once; no one knew where that one came from.

When spring was finally starting to warm up, we started putting corn out for the deer again. I guess their hunger surpassed our supply, because one of them jumped up on our covered above ground pool (my dad had put corn on it for his aforementioned ducks.) Luckily the water was still frozen or everyone would have been SOL.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:24 AM   #5
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My most unexpected wild life encounter (no pics though, was too surprised) was in downtown Berlin, on an icy January night right in front of the Federal Defense Ministry: A fox calmly wandered across the snow-covered parking lot at 9 p.m. (security anyone???)

What must be kept in mind though, Berlin is by far the least densely built up European capital, much less than Washington D.C. And the inner city woodland of 'Tiergarten' is just so few blocks away, so I assume that's where Mr. Fox normally lives.

Nevertheless, not exactly what you would expect on the premises of such an official building in the middle a capital city.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:53 AM   #6
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Driving around Alberta Canada it is pretty common to see Elk, Bison, Moose, Coyotes & rams. Almost everyone seems to have a story about seeing a bear or a mountain lion as well. Our insect life is not exciting.... Just too many damn mosquito. The weirdest animal I've seen wander into the city limits of Edmonton was a coyote. Also you find Hares littered all over the city, I swear they're more common then cats around here.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Amaranthine View Post
I was hoping I could talk about all the crazy things I've done when I saw the thread title...
LOL!

I realized that I have seen some other wildlife. The one that shocked me most was a deer; I had seen them on TV but had no idea how big the buggers were until one jumped out of a field in front of me and my horse, who I was grazing. It was almost as big as my horse! For some reason, I thought they were more on the smallish size...

This morning I saw a pair of hairy woodpeckers in a tree outside my house. I also see a fair amount of hawks of some species around here - looks like a red tail but I can't be sure.

Last summer a pair of teeny tiny chipmunks almost crawled up my ridgeback's legs. They were about the size of a mouse; i'd never seen them as babies before!

When I went to Poland I saw a cute little thing in a cage with pointed ears and i was like OMG SO CUTE! And my BF at the time was like...it's a squirrel. Ours have round ears and are not nearly so cute...sometimes even the most basic of creatures can look different place to place!
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:54 AM   #8
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We get quite a few wanderers through our yard at night. My wife has taken to putting out dry cat food (Meow Mix is their favorite) for the raccoons, opossums, and skunks, and we now have our "regulars" who show up each summer. Lots of birds, including a red-tailed hawk who likes to sleep in a dead tree down the street. And a mountain lion occasionally leaves tracks in the river bed south of town, but I don't know anyone who's seen him/her yet.

Here's a picture of Mrs. F wrestling a baby coon for the cat food sack.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:31 PM   #9
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I'm in Ontario as well, and we have a TON of deer in my neighbourhood. I live right next to a greenbelt, and there's a trail that passes through that you'll see deer quite often. I've inadvertently been quite close to them, and it can be startling if you're not expecting to see them and they cross your path.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
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The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, at the northern tip of the Everglades, is the home to countless birds, one of whom is this great blue heron.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:49 AM   #11
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We don't really have a lot of exciting wild life in the UK, to be honest. I've seen deer, foxes, hares etc but not a lot else.

She's not exactly wild life but I've taken Rosie the cocker spaniel back home about a dozen times. And once her owners drove off without their chihauhau so I looked after her too.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tankyguy View Post
Deer, quite often in our yard. It's a regular occurrence in the Fall to find them drunk on fermented apples from our tree.

Coyotes, skunks and foxes were common to see on the walk to school in the morning. Several times I've had to run off porcupines from our property with a shovel/hockey stick.

Also, rarely, Black bears. One time we saw one in our yard as we were coming home from a drive and decided to stay out a bit longer until we were sure it was gone. Another time vacationing in a cabin, one came by and started pawing the door because my dad didn't tidy up after cleaning the fish he caught.
Don't think I've ever seen an inebriated deer.

I've never seen a porcupine outside of a zoo, either. Just out of curiosity, why do you have to run them off? Do they release their quills when you get nearby or eat your garden produce or something?

Wow! An actual bear at your house. That is cool and terrifying at the same time!

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Originally Posted by Xyantha Reborn View Post
I'm in Ontario Canada.

We have some pretty badass racoons.

I think the craziest thing I have seen is a possum hereabouts. I didn't realize how long and creepy their faces were. It was pushed up against the

glass of the back door and I was like "awww....OMFG WHAT THE HELL?!" as it turned sideways...
Have you seen one of these "found cat" ads?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaranthine View Post
I was hoping I could talk about all the crazy things I've done when I saw the thread title...

We get a surprising amount of wildlife for living in the suburbs of Syracuse. A great many deer, rabbits, raccoons, the occasional opossum or fox. We have a duck couple that hangs around our pool. There was a Japaense rooster in our backyard once; no one knew where that one came from.

When spring was finally starting to warm up, we started putting corn out for the deer again. I guess their hunger surpassed our supply, because one of them jumped up on our covered above ground pool (my dad had put corn on it for his aforementioned ducks.) Luckily the water was still frozen or everyone would have been SOL.
Yeah, I was trying to think of a catchy title. Please feel free to share, though. I'm sure the rest of us would enjoy that no matter where you posted.

Love that you got a pic of the deer on top of the pool; it's one of those "you've got to see it to believe it" moments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by agouderia View Post
My most unexpected wild life encounter (no pics though, was too surprised) was in downtown Berlin, on an icy January night right in front of the Federal Defense Ministry: A fox calmly wandered across the snow-covered parking lot at 9 p.m. (security anyone???)

What must be kept in mind though, Berlin is by far the least densely built up European capital, much less than Washington D.C. And the inner city woodland of 'Tiergarten' is just so few blocks away, so I assume that's where Mr. Fox normally lives.

Nevertheless, not exactly what you would expect on the premises of such an official building in the middle a capital city.
This reminds me of the time a wild turkey took up residence in Forest Park in St. Louis. It caused quite a bit of havoc on the adjacent interstate highway at rush hour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeR91 View Post
Driving around Alberta Canada it is pretty common to see Elk, Bison, Moose, Coyotes & rams. Almost everyone seems to have a story about seeing a bear or a mountain lion as well. Our insect life is not exciting.... Just too many damn mosquito. The weirdest animal I've seen wander into the city limits of Edmonton was a coyote. Also you find Hares littered all over the city, I swear they're more common then cats around here.
Except for the coyotes and hares (which I imagine look pretty similar to rabbits), that all sounds pretty exotic to me.

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Originally Posted by Xyantha Reborn View Post
LOL!

I realized that I have seen some other wildlife. The one that shocked me most was a deer; I had seen them on TV but had no idea how big the buggers were until one jumped out of a field in front of me and my horse, who I was grazing. It was almost as big as my horse! For some reason, I thought they were more on the smallish size...

This morning I saw a pair of hairy woodpeckers in a tree outside my house. I also see a fair amount of hawks of some species around here - looks like a red tail but I can't be sure.

Last summer a pair of teeny tiny chipmunks almost crawled up my ridgeback's legs. They were about the size of a mouse; i'd never seen them as babies before!

When I went to Poland I saw a cute little thing in a cage with pointed ears and i was like OMG SO CUTE! And my BF at the time was like...it's a squirrel. Ours have round ears and are not nearly so cute...sometimes even the most basic of creatures can look different place to place!
So true. LOL at the name hairy woodpecker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
We get quite a few wanderers through our yard at night. My wife has taken to putting out dry cat food (Meow Mix is their favorite) for the raccoons, opossums, and skunks, and we now have our "regulars" who show up each summer. Lots of birds, including a red-tailed hawk who likes to sleep in a dead tree down the street. And a mountain lion occasionally leaves tracks in the river bed south of town, but I don't know anyone who's seen him/her yet.

Here's a picture of Mrs. F wrestling a baby coon for the cat food sack.
I love that pic of your wife with the raccoon. Apparently the makers of Meow Mix are missing out on a golden marketing opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB View Post
I'm in Ontario as well, and we have a TON of deer in my neighbourhood. I live right next to a greenbelt, and there's a trail that passes through that you'll see deer quite often. I've inadvertently
been quite close to them, and it can be startling if you're not expecting to see them and they cross your path.
The deer are probably a lot safer there than the ones here in Texas. It seems like half the people I know have a deer lease for hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by loopytheone View Post
We don't really have a lot of exciting wild life in the UK, to be honest. I've seen deer, foxes, hares etc but not a lot else.

Shnot exactly wild life but I've taken Rosie the cocker spaniel back home about a dozen times. And once her owners drove off without their chihauhau so I looked after her too.
What seems commonplace to you may be exotic to someone else. I don't know if it's true, but I read somewhere that the UK has quite a few deer of some sort (fallow deer?) that retain their spots as adults. Plus you have Sherwood Forest! That's pretty awesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowingBoy View Post
The Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, at the northern tip of the Everglades, is the home to countless birds, one of whom is this great blue heron.
That looks like the bird I saw in my backyard. We've had a LOT of rain lately, and it's practically a wetland.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #13
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We are pretty deep into the city, so we don't get a lot of wildlife. There are some racoons in the area who we will see occasionally, and an ongoing kerfuffle of various grey and black squirrels. Our birdfeeder has a regular population of not overly exciting city birds, but once in a while pulls in cardinals or a woodpecker (and of course the black squirrels use 'Mission Impossible' maneuvers to get to it too (the grey ones meanwhile just pick up seeds that everyone else knocks to the ground).

My parents back onto some green space, so have an ongoing challenge keeping rabbits, groundhogs, raccoon and deer out of my mother's garden, except that in recent years coyote seem to have moved in which has brought the herbivore population down somewhat (they hear the coyotes and see their tracks back in the woods in the winter, but have never seen them directly).

I did work at one building, quite some years ago, that was adjacent to some woodlands and occasionally would look up to see deer grazing outside the window. I miss that about that location!
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:14 PM   #14
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even though i live in a more rural area outside of charlotte now, we amazingly don't get alot of wildlife in our yard. i know it is around, but luckily not in my yard.

we had a bunch of ferral cats in the fall living in the woods behind our yard, as my neighbor was feeding them. hub's uncle said a coyote had moved into the area. it must have picked off the cats, as i have only seen 2 in the last couple of months.

i know there are deer not far from here, as 1 did run across the road in front of me last year. they looked like normal deer...maybe a bit smaller than the giant ones i grew up around in PA.

mostly we just have birds in our yard. loud, loud birds that like to go off right before dawn. i am trying very hard to keep them out of my peach tree.

we do have a black snake in our yard. the baby found a snake skin by the bottom of our porch. he can stay as long as he likes. he seems to be greatly reducing the mole/vole population that was devastating my lawn last year.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:28 PM   #15
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My parents back onto some green space, so have an ongoing challenge keeping rabbits, groundhogs, raccoon and deer out of my mother's garden, except that in recent years coyote seem to have moved in which has brought the herbivore population down somewhat (they hear the coyotes and see their tracks back in the woods in the winter, but have never seen them directly).
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we had a bunch of ferral cats in the fall living in the woods behind our yard, as my neighbor was feeding them. hub's uncle said a coyote had moved into the area. it must have picked off the cats, as i have only seen 2 in the last couple of months.
When I was a child, coyotes were pretty much confined to the southern United States. As suburbia expanded, coyotes (and, of course, raccoons) discovered that humans were willing to feed them lavishly: all you had to do was knock the trash can over. I hadn't realized they made it to the Great White North, but I'm not surprised. And yes, coyotes think cats are yummy: a friend in Arizona wrote me that every cat in Tempe is an indoor kitty... or else an entree.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:30 PM   #16
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Don't think I've ever seen an inebriated deer.

I've never seen a porcupine outside of a zoo, either. Just out of curiosity, why do you have to run them off? Do they release their quills when you get nearby or eat your garden produce or something?

Wow! An actual bear at your house. That is cool and terrifying at the same time!
Drunk deer are very unpredictable.
Sometimes they just stagger about.
Other times they stand utterly still trying to balance and focus their eyes and let you get close enough to touch them.

Our previous dog would sleep outside in the Summer and got a muzzle full of quills before we found out there was a porcupine about. Our current dog stays in at night always, but I'd still run them off so they don't too comfortable and come around during the day.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:35 PM   #17
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Drunk deer are very unpredictable.
Sometimes they just stagger about.
Other times they stand utterly still trying to balance and focus their eyes and let you get close enough to touch them.

Our previous dog would sleep outside in the Summer and got a muzzle full of quills before we found out there was a porcupine about. Our current dog stays in at night always, but I'd still run them off so they don't too comfortable and come around during the day.
Dogs are really good at getting faces full of quills. My dog stayed away from the porcupine we had in our yard but he did get a single quill through his lip once, I think he found it on the ground and tried to eat it or sniffed it a little too vigorously.

And I feel the need to add that porcupines cannot shoot their quills. Quills are modified hairs and just like hair, they can be pulled out or fall off, of course porcupine quills are designed to pull out easily from the porcupine and not so easily from whoever got quilled. I think this myth comes from the fact that they can and will swing their tails in order to fend of a threat. Overall, they''re generally quite sweet.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:36 PM   #18
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When I was a child, coyotes were pretty much confined to the southern United States. As suburbia expanded, coyotes (and, of course, raccoons) discovered that humans were willing to feed them lavishly: all you had to do was knock the trash can over. I hadn't realized they made it to the Great White North, but I'm not surprised. And yes, coyotes think cats are yummy: a friend in Arizona wrote me that every cat in Tempe is an indoor kitty... or else an entree.
Our coyotes are bigger and nastier too. They're Eastern coyotes and have wolf blood in them. Between them and the fishers, outdoor cats did not last in our neighborhood. A neighbor even had to run out and rescue her dog from a pack of coyotes and we had one stalking our Lhasa apso.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:15 AM   #19
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And I feel the need to add that porcupines cannot shoot their quills. Quills are modified hairs and just like hair, they can be pulled out or fall off, of course porcupine quills are designed to pull out easily from the porcupine and not so easily from whoever got quilled. I think this myth comes from the fact that they can and will swing their tails in order to fend of a threat. Overall, they''re generally quite sweet.
I have read that when a porcupine is agitated, its quills loosen and come out more easily. I know from experience that when a guinea pig (which is closely related to porcupines) freaks out, you're in for a hairstorm!
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:26 AM   #20
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I have read that when a porcupine is agitated, its quills loosen and come out more easily. I know from experience that when a guinea pig (which is closely related to porcupines) freaks out, you're in for a hairstorm!

They'll loosen or fall ou but they can't shoot them. It's like how our hair stands on end when we're nervous. Porcupines are generally pretty mellow. We got a baby one at the zoo I worked at and she was super cute. Also had a huge one that lived in my yard for years. You could walk right up to him. He'd just sigh and walk away if he didn't want to be bothered.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:13 AM   #21
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This picture definitely wins the thread.

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Since I moved to Texas, I've encountered a lot of creatures that I'd never seen in person before, some of them just hanging around my house.

The first pic is of an alligator devouring some kind of large frog. I ran into this guy at a local botanical garden, right on the sidewalk between the cafe and the theater. Some people have seen alligators in my neighborhood, too, although they're mostly smaller than this one.



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Old 05-21-2015, 06:44 PM   #22
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In the city, so raccoons, black squirrels, and some foxes and coyotes in the park. I've seen some rabbits up close in the northwest areas, and lots of groundhogs at a distance (they seem to like the embankments alongside roadways and train tracks.)

Good variety of birds, though -- besides ducks, geese and swans, there are bufflehead ducks in the winter, cormorants, great blue herons, night herons, red-tailed hawks, and (north of Bloor St.) harrier hawks.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:18 PM   #23
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In the city, so raccoons, black squirrels, and some foxes and coyotes in the park. I've seen some rabbits up close in the northwest areas, and lots of groundhogs at a distance (they seem to like the embankments alongside roadways and train tracks.)

Good variety of birds, though -- besides ducks, geese and swans, there are bufflehead ducks in the winter, cormorants, great blue herons, night herons, red-tailed hawks, and (north of Bloor St.) harrier hawks.
I have to admit that I have no idea what a bufflehead duck is. I've never seen a cormorant, either, although it makes an appearance in one of my favorite books (Jane Eyre, in one of the sketches examined by Mr. Rochester: Ďa cormorant, dark and large, with wings flecked with foam; its beak held a gold bracelet set with gems.' I'm pleasantly surprised that you see so many varieties of birds in a city setting.
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We are pretty deep into the city, so we don't get a lot of wildlife. There are some racoons in the area who we will see occasionally, and an ongoing kerfuffle of various grey and black squirrels. Our birdfeeder has a regular population of not overly exciting city birds, but once in a while pulls in cardinals or a woodpecker (and of course the black squirrels use 'Mission Impossible' maneuvers to get to it too (the grey ones meanwhile just pick up seeds that everyone else knocks to the ground).

My parents back onto some green space, so have an ongoing challenge keeping rabbits, groundhogs, raccoon and deer out of my mother's garden, except that in recent years coyote seem to have moved in which has brought the herbivore population down somewhat (they hear the coyotes and see their tracks back in the woods in the winter, but have never seen them directly).

I did work at one building, quite some years ago, that was adjacent to some woodlands and occasionally would look up to see deer grazing outside the window. I miss that about that location!
Hmm...I've seen tons of gray squirrels, and there are red squirrels in the Midwest, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a black one. LOL at "Mission Impossible maneuvers." I've heard they can be pretty tricky when it comes to getting their paws on food.
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even though i live in a more rural area outside of charlotte now, we amazingly don't get alot of wildlife in our yard. i know it is around, but luckily not in my yard.

we had a bunch of ferral cats in the fall living in the woods behind our yard, as my neighbor was feeding them. hub's uncle said a coyote had moved into the area. it must have picked off the cats, as i have only seen 2 in the last couple of months.

i know there are deer not far from here, as 1 did run across the road in front of me last year. they looked like normal deer...maybe a bit smaller than the giant ones i grew up around in PA.

mostly we just have birds in our yard. loud, loud birds that like to go off right before dawn. i am trying very hard to keep them out of my peach tree.

we do have a black snake in our yard. the baby found a snake skin by the bottom of our porch. he can stay as long as he likes. he seems to be greatly reducing the mole/vole population that was devastating my lawn last year.
I admire your liberal attitude toward snakes, although I'm afraid I don't share it. There are quite a few rat snakes around my house, but I hate them!
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This picture definitely wins the thread.
Thanks, but I love the others, too.

It just so happened that my dad and stepmother were visiting from Illinois and were with me that day--the gator made quite an impression.

There are tons of little green and brown lizards around my house. They freaked me out a little at first, but now I've kind of gotten used to seeing them scurry away every time I step outside:


Some herons also built a nest right on the waterway behind my house, and occasionally you can see one of the babies venture out. With all of the rain we've been having, there are certainly plenty of frogs for them to eat!
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:30 PM   #24
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Aw, you have lizards!

Buffleheads are small ducks that live in the Arctic during the summer and fly south to Toronto for the winter. Males and females have striking black-and-white patterning. They're very.... chic ducks. Like, if Coco Chanel had invented ducks, buffleheads are the sort of thing she'd have come up with.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:42 AM   #25
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I live in the concrete jungle, so a squirrel is about as exciting as it gets around here, or the odd fox...or rat (eww!).

My parents live nearer the countryside so there's a bit more wildlife there - rabbits, foxes, deer, ducks, badgers, hedgehogs etc.
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