Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday: December 2017

The first Wednesday of December brings Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at My gardener says.... which provides an opportunity to show some of my garden visitors during November and early December.

Fox in the garden!  Of course one of our favorite sightings are the gray foxes which live in the wooded area behind the house.  Unfortunately, these photos turned out a bit blurry due to incorrect camera settings but still worth showing since they don't give me that much time to grab the camera and properly set up when they quickly skirt along the back property line usually in the early mornings.

Umm, well anyway...

Monarch butterflies continued to cycle through.  These are at the Healing and Therapy gardens for wounded soldiers where I volunteer each week which is about 20 minutes south and usually a bit warmer than where I live.

Queen butterflies caught mating near the Chromolaena odorata or fragrant mistflower.

This goes on for a while.

They even jumped up into a nearby Live Oak Tree

A Milkweed Bug, which feeds on milkweed seeds, is distinguished by the orange and black "X" pattern.

I tried to ID this unusual white caterpillar but could only conclude it's probably a moth.

Today's movie is a ringtail cat getting a late-night drink.  They are common here but totally nocturnal and very hard to catch so we resort to surveillance cameras.  The best part is right at the beginning where you can see the fluffy ringed-tail.

A Whitetail doe grazing on garden plants.  Those plants are supposed to be deer resistant!  

Now she's looking for more plants!

Trying to avoid this highly attentive buck.

We just went through the "deer rut" or mating season where deer are running all over the place.

I thought these two might get into a fight so stayed well back.

May the best antlers win!

You wanna do what!

That's the wildlife news from my neck of the woods this December.  Check out more wildlife posts  at "My gardener says....".


  1. Wonderful sightings! Did not know there are foxes in TX. Now I must look up "ring tailed cat".

    I'd like to put out a wildlife camera to see what wanders into our garden.

    1. Our gray foxes are native to TX and it's one of the first wild animals I remember seeing as a young child while on a picnic with my family in a park.

  2. I love seeing your fox and ringtail! A family of foxes move into our 'hood about 8 years ago--never before, not since, but it was a treat to see them. Such a catch with that ringtail! We're also considering putting up another camera, focused on the pond area. I'm sure we get owls and raccoons, but what else?? I've also continued to see a few monarch stragglers, much later than usual; I hope they made it to Mexico, but wonder about that. Love the Queens--glad you'll have more. :) And your dear little (and big!) deer! A mixed blessing, I suppose.

    1. You might be surprised, we have quite a parade of animals all night but generally I try to limit the videos to just a few once in a while. I've read that ringtail cats are quite common even in urban areas around TX.

  3. You always capture such cool wildlife in your garden. Love the ringtail & gray fox.

  4. Yea for ring tails. One showed up in our store room and cleaned out the rats. The caterpillar looks like a Texas asp.

    1. That would be helpful as rodents in the attic are a huge problem this time of year. Thanks for the asp ID, I knew I should be able to find it easily but could not.

  5. I love your wildlife posts, whether fully focused or not. I've never seen foxes here and checked on-line to see if their habitat extended this close to the coast. It turns out that it used to but those red foxes are now rare here. I'd never seen a ringtail cat either - it looked somewhat similar to a raccoon and an on-line reference verified that it is indeed in the same family. For your sake, I hope the ringtailed cats have better manners!

    1. They are quite nice because they never get on the porch and don't knock over plants or get into all the raccoon trouble that makes us so mad!

  6. Ringtail cat is all new to me. And so grateful to have access to water to drink!

  7. Hi Shirley, what an amazing array of wildlife you have in your area! I have to say I have never heard of a ringtail cat before, but it looks pretty cool! It looks like it's made up of part lemur/raccoon/brushtail possum! :)


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