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Hey guys -

This week is being busy, so you're not going to get much out of me, I'm afraid.  We spent last weekend at the House (pics below), and I'm off to Plimoth with pinkleader  and cathgrace  (and Ansel) tomorrow evening.  Busy busy busy!

Plus, changes at work.  More busy.

So, you get pictures.

It was wildlife weekend at the farm - it's the time of year when the fireflies look like Christmas lights in the trees, and we have not one, but two groundhogs living near the house.  One is under the woodshop/barn, the other is under the crappy old open woodshed by the kitchen.  I see the one by the woodshed fairly frequently - the first time he saw me, he stopped dead, stood up, and stared at me for a full 30 seconds before he ran. 

Most cool.

Alas, no eggs so far in the vulture barn this year - they've skipped a year before, so they're either not clutching, or they've laid somewhere else, but no fluffy babies this year.

To make up for it, we got snakes.  Now, I know most of you would not consider this a good trade, but I love our rat snakes, since they keep the rodents (natch) under control, and they're really mellow.  We caught one on Sunday morning, sitting in the grass by the kitchen, feeling a bit cold:

By caught, of course, I mean took pictures.  While I'm usually quite happy to pick them up, this one was cold, and I didn't want to stress or hurt it when it couldn't move fast.  It's ridged like that because it's muscles are tense, and so we left it alone in peace.

Like I said, I like the snakes (we get lots of different kinds), and I don't want to hurt them.  And, in a way, vultures and snakes go together, don't you think?

No-one is ever going to visit us.

The snake appeared to be going after a large-ish box turtle (though I think it was just coincidence, since it wasn't a large snake), and I retrieved the turtle and took a few photos:


All the box turtles around us have that really wonderful saffron-orange colouring on their legs and eyes, and I love it.  They're also quite territorial - if you see one on the road, move it to the side, but don't pick it up and take it anywhere else.  Especially, don't make them into pets - most people don't know how to feed them, and wild animals don't belong in captivity.

We've also seen deer, rabbits - oh, cute rabbits!

(That was from a month ago)

...toads, and skinks, and really excellent Polyphemus moths:

(By flashlight, and then with camera flash.)  It was so large, at first I thought it was a bat.

I'm still hoping for a luna moth sighting, and you never know, we still might get vulture babies - they will sometimes lay a second clutch if something happens to the first one, and we've had eggs as late as June.  I'm not holding my breath, though.


Well, maybe a little.



( 31 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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May. 28th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Nice! I love the pics, although I think I would have had a stroke if I'd run into that moth in the semi-dark. That thing's HUGE. I don't like moths.

The bunnies....so CUTE!
May. 28th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
lovely to see the wildlife in your area. The macro is the shizz.
May. 28th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Hm. Woodchucks in the woodshed. Intriguing.

What is the brick or stone structure in the left-hand picture at the bottom?
May. 28th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
It's the chimney from the old house. I painted a mural on it in the Elizabethan style when we were using the old part of the house for Elizabethan events.
(no subject) - donal_mac_r - May. 28th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - May. 28th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - donal_mac_r - May. 28th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
I wish I could be at Plimoth! The houses are fully booked all weekend with groups from the AIA and MFA, and I couldn't get the weekend off if I wanted to. But I'll be out in July.
May. 28th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
Cool pictures. It must be nice to live somewhere that the snakes are not deadly.
May. 28th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
It is! While they can bite, I've never had a problem (the black racers usually just whizz by me really fast), and though it's possible we can have copperheads and timber rattlers (we're in the Piedmont area, close to the mountains), we're far enough out that they're less likely, and we've never seen any.
(no subject) - swwoodsy - May. 28th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
what a handsome snake!!!! the only ones we get that are that big are rattlesnakes out in the desert. they're super cool too, but way too shy to hang around stoopid humans

we do have peepers, little tiny shiny green tree frogs that chirrup most cutely. so I guess thats something....
May. 28th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
what beautiful pictures!! Lurve the lol turtle!!
May. 28th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
second the lol turtle love. Can I use it, and if so, do I credit Attack laurel or Isobel or ???
May. 28th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
You can use it - picture copyright L. Mellin, 2009, or you can link back to my blog. Or both. :)
May. 28th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
That moth is HUUUUGE holy cow!

Awesome pics :D
May. 28th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
It was - the Cecropias can be hand-sized. The biggest moth we get is the Luna Moth, which can be the size of a side plate. We don't see as many of them, because pollution has affected them, but the caterpillars like persimmons, and we have many wild persimmon trees, so I keep hoping. :)

(no subject) - donal_mac_r - May. 28th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
Mr. Box Turtle sez: Thnks!!!

::loves turtles, enough to leave 'em alone unless absolutely necessary::
May. 28th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Bob stops the car when we're on country roads, so I can jump out and walk the turtles to the side of the road they're trying to reach. It's a temporary thing, but at least they won't get run over this time around - and there are always a few assholes who think it's "fun" to aim for them. >:(
(no subject) - elizabethnmafia - Jun. 1st, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 28th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
I used to love the groundhogs when we lived in Maryland! We don't have them here in England (that I have seen anyway), but we do have gorgeous velvety rust colored cows in the pasture next to us and (as you know) lots of sheep to see whenever you drive around. :)
May. 28th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
We used to have a groundhog living near our old house. He'd come up on my patio, and stare at us through the sliding glass door! Bold as brass, he was.

No groundhogs at this house, but lots of bunnies.
May. 28th, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
I always love your farm photos. Thank you for sharing.
May. 28th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
LoL, I remember my mom and I helping box turtles across the road when we were taking back roads in Arkansas. My mom couldn't bear the thought of a turtle getting so close to the edge before getting run over.
I think I'd freak out at that big of a snake, all we ever got growing up were the tiny garter snakes. Pretty, though.
May. 28th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
When I was a girl we had a brave little box turtle who lived in the rose garden near the back door of the house. He would eat celery leaves from our hands and had a very strange friendship with our dog. He lived there for at least three years before he passed on and we buried him in a place of honor under the oak tree.

Thank you for sharing your box turtle picture. It brought back such nice memories.
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( 31 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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