on this sixth anniversary of my blog.
What's on that camera wire? A Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) which, true to its name, has alerted us to the presence of a rat in our attic. The rat's days are numbered and repairing that fascia board has been on our list for a while. I think we should move it up in priority although the snake might object.
Texas Rat Snakes always have a gray head even as their patterns vary slightly and look vaguely like a rattlesnake. They also pretend to be rattlers by shaking their tail when threatened. Non-venomous and helpful snakes are welcomed in my garden.
On to prettier wildlife like this pair of Painted Lady Butterflies on the Gregg's Mistflower. Butterflies are returning to the garden in greater numbers now that the heat of summer is past us.
Queen Butterfly on Gregg's Mistflower. There's a theme here. Want more butterflies? Plant more Gregg's Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii).
Except for that Giant Swallowtail enjoying the Gomphrena 'Fireworks'. They all have their favorites and it seems that Gomphrena 'Fireworks' is a popular second choice.
I have seen a couple of Monarch butterflies on the tropical milkweed but did not get photos.
Our golf course correspondent brings us this tall fire ant mound complete with golf ball for scale. This high mounding happens after deep soaking rains, as the ants go into hyper-mode to build mounds and escape the soaked ground. You can see two ants on the golf ball if you look closely. They were not amused.
A Whitetail doe hanging out by the compost pile. Our deer herd frequently check for fresh cuttings of their favorite plants which have been fenced off. We've had tons of rain so there should be plenty to eat out there.
Great post and wonderful shots of the critters! That snake is gorgeous! The butterflies are always welcome and your advice about planting mistflower is spot on. A golfball atop an ant pile--that's a first, but what a great addition to your post! And your dear little deer. :) Thanks for joining in!ReplyDelete
Thank you Tina!Delete
Hi Shirley, lovely photos of the butterflies and what a beautiful face that doe has, she's gorgeous! And congrats on 6 years of blogging! :)ReplyDelete
Happy Wildlife Wednesday! At first I thought that was a rattlesnake, so I was glad to read that it was a nonpoisonous rat snake. Beautiful butterfly photos! I'm glad you're getting plenty of rain this year. We had a mini-drought for a few weeks with record heat, so it almost seemed like the weather patterns flip-flopped, north to south. But now more normal autumn weather is in the forecast. You always have such beautiful photos of deer! Congratulations on your blogaversary!ReplyDelete
Every few years it does seem we have a mild summer while the northern tier gets the heat and drought.Delete
The deer are somewhat tame and curious since they live in the neighborhood and can't avoid seeing people on a regular basis.
Happy blog anniversary, Shirley! Interesting wildlife shots as always. I think seeing that snake hanging down from the camera would have had be jumping out of my skin - I'm glad to hear he's non-venomous.ReplyDelete
They are quite common here but not usually seen so close to the house. It was well disguised wrapped around the wire so I have no idea how long it was there.Delete
Happy anniversary, Shirley! You have such cool wildlife in your garden! Maybe Texas could send some of those nice rat snakes to western Washington to help with our abundant rodent population.ReplyDelete
They do an awesome job and are usually low key when present in the garden.Delete
Love the snake. We find lots of babies around the yard when we are working.ReplyDelete
That is quite the fire ant mound. They are such a nuisance. Congrats on your blogaversary!
Happy sixth blogaversary! We had snakes in Camps Bay and Porterville, but haven't seen any yet in this little garden.ReplyDelete