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In Remembrance
In Remembrance
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This picture definitely wins the thread. :)

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.
 

bayone

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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.
 

MsBrightside

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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. :confused: 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: ‘a 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.
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. :p
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!
This picture definitely wins the thread. :)
Thanks, but I love the others, too. :happy:

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. :p

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!
 

bayone

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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.
 

Gingembre

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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.
 

tankyguy

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Apparently today some shore birds thought our garage was an especially good place to drop shellfish from high to smash open. The roof wasn't as hard as they expected, nor was their aim that good, so we had half-mangled crabs scuttling about the front lawn while I mowed.
 

Tad

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The great white north, eh?
Apparently today some shore birds thought our garage was an especially good place to drop shellfish from high to smash open. The roof wasn't as hard as they expected, nor was their aim that good, so we had half-mangled crabs scuttling about the front lawn while I mowed.
That is pretty amusing!
 

MsBrightside

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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.
Now I want to see one!
I like in the concrete jungle, so a squirrel is about as exciting as it gets around here, or the odd fox...or rat (eww!)...
Too bad I can't send you some of my rat snakes--you're welcome to them. :p

Apparently today some shore birds thought our garage was an especially good place to drop shellfish from high to smash open. The roof wasn't as hard as they expected, nor was their aim that good, so we had half-mangled crabs scuttling about the front lawn while I mowed.
Yuck. :p

Your birds must be pretty hard-core if the roar of a lawn mower doesn't keep them at bay.
 

bigmac

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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.
The local bird population will be thankful -- domestic cats kill lots of birds.
 

lille

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The local bird population will be thankful -- domestic cats kill lots of birds.
My neighbor had one cat that managed to catch a baby turkey. How he managed it without getting mauled by mama turkey, I don't know.
 

Dr. Feelgood

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The local bird population will be thankful -- domestic cats kill lots of birds.
Once in a great while, the birds get a bit of their own back. Great horned owls, for example, like an occasional snack of cat.
 

MsBrightside

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Here are a couple of snaps from a trip to a local nature center last Tuesday, which is located along the bayou and includes this cypress-tupelo swamp area.

The tree in the second pic is over 1,200 years old! It must be pretty tough to survive all of those hurricanes. Apparently the only hurricane damage it sustained in recent years occurred when a much younger tree fell on top of it.



 

tankyguy

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Today I spotted a katydid on the trail. I had to look it up online; I've lived here all my life and never saw one around before. People doubt climate change but I keep coming across species that haven't been here in the past, or have stayed off the coast, sticking to the warmer inlands.
 

MsBrightside

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Today I spotted a katydid on the trail. I had to look it up online; I've lived here all my life and never saw one around before. People doubt climate change but I keep coming across species that haven't been here in the past, or have stayed off the coast, sticking to the warmer inlands.
Interesting. I haven't lived in Texas long enough to know what its weather and fauna are typically like; but this area has had two major hurricanes, a near-miss for which we evacuated, and a level 1 "surprise" hurricane since I've been here, which long-time residents tell me is a higher frequency than in the past. The last major hurricane devastated our Gulf Coast beaches on the Bolivar Peninsula; they still haven't fully recovered.
 

dwesterny

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Interesting. I haven't lived in Texas long enough to know what its weather and fauna are typically like; but this area has had two major hurricanes, a near-miss for which we evacuated, and a level 1 "surprise" hurricane since I've been here, which long-time residents tell me is a higher frequency than in the past. The last major hurricane devastated our Gulf Coast beaches on the Bolivar Peninsula; they still haven't fully recovered.
I moved off of Long Island a few months before hurricane Sandy. :D Although I did have to go 2 weeks without power from relatively mild hurricane that hit Long Island the year before.
 

MsBrightside

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I moved off of Long Island a few months before hurricane Sandy. :D Although I did have to go 2 weeks without power from relatively mild hurricane that hit Long Island the year before.
I have no idea how many hurricanes typically hit the East coast that far north, but having two back-to-back does seem unusual.

I'm really glad you escaped the worst of Sandy, although living in a major metropolitan area without power for 2 weeks sounds like it could be pretty rough. A lot of people here have their own generators and outdoor stuff like lanterns, gas grills, and camping stoves, which makes dealing with power outages a bit easier.
 

dwesterny

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We had gone maybe 10 or 15 years with no hurricanes then two in two years. I remember hurricane Gloria when I was a kid a little bit that was the biggest one before Sandy. We had this awesome Ben Franklin stove in our house at the time, so cooking was easy. Lots of trees in the northeast, so hurricanes can do a ton of damage if the trees are overgrown.
 

Wanderer

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I'm on the edge of East Texas myself -- Forney in Kaufman County -- so I mainly get to see skunks. (I've been lucky so far. Neither I nor the skunks regretted the encounters.) A friend up around Rockwall mostly sees possums, though.

Then there are the turkey buzzards. They're not scared of anyone, humans included. I applied for a position as a groundskeeper once and had to shoo one of them away from sizing me up for lunch!

Beyond that, I spotted a fox in Mesquite (over in Dallas County) and there are plenty of coyotes around.
 
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