Sunday, October 02, 2005

Backyard wildlife.

For a smallish back yard in the 'hood, I have a huge variety of wildlife.
First, this is a pic of a skwirl with a red collar on. It's been around since spring; how it got the collar I haven't a clue. I have a huge maple tree out front, and two in the back - lots of maple seeds for squirrels. Mr. Red Collar is chowing down under the bird feeder.
Birds. About a zillion varieties of finches and sparrows. Starlings, cardinals, woodpeckers, creepers and blue jays. I saw a red tail hawk the other day in the park 3 blocks away.
Ants. I have major ant colonies both front yard and back.
Flies. I think we covered those in an earlier post. They are mostly gone. Thank fucking doG.
June and July, I had major light shows from lightning bugs. They were just everywhere.
Mice. This fall, I decided to regard them as large cockroaches instead of little furry beings with cute faces and adorable ears. This spring, mice ate the lining out of my Columbia snow boots. They smell. I do not like mouse poop in my silverware drawer. I do not like little fast things darting past my peripheral vision when I walk into rooms. I don't like storing everything remotely mouse-edible in the fridge. And, did I mention the smell? I tried the humane traps, but they don't find them interesting. Poison is cruel and they die in wall spaces and smell. Did I mention the smell....? Glue traps are cruel too. I want them gone. Bye bye. No mouses in houses. I ordered the rat zapper 2000 from the local hardware store, I pick it up Tuesday. Let the killing begin. Bwahahaha.
Spiders. I love spiders. A spider saved Scotland. They kill flies. :) There's all sorts of interesting spiders around the house, both in & out. I don't kill them.
The usual suspects, earwigs, worms and centipedes. I caught a freaking humungous centipede thingie in the house earlier this year. A million legs and two feet long. OK, two inches. Still alarmingly huge.
Carpenter bees. (Gosh, I luv the internet.) I have those too. Drilling perfect round holes in the beams above my deck. Amazing how precise they are.
In the pool and basins I put out to attract skeeters for fish food, water teems with interesting and tiny bugs. Red and black worms. Prehistoric-looking larvae. Tiny little brown and tan dots swarming around the edges. Big spidery-looking water skimmers. Bright green things that look like extremely miniature dragons. All very tiny life; I have to wear glasses to see it.
I also have a big barrel with goldfish on my back deck. I bought 10 feeder fish for a buck last spring, scooped up some pretty water plants from the Flint River, and let it go nuts. Three fish survived and they appear very happy. Certainly happier than they would've been living out their destiny as feeder fish. There's also a large snail that cruises around in there, cutting swooping paths through the algae growing on the sides. I guess I'll have to bring the barrel in for winter, otherwise the whole thing will freeze solid.
There's possums, skunks, groundhogs and foxes, along with a huge array of waterfowl, living along the banks of the Flint River. That's a mile away and I haven't seen any evidence wild critters venture far from its banks.
And I guess the local crack dealers would be wildlife. But since the big bust (thank you Flint PD) about a month ago, the street has been blissfully quiet. No chirping cell phones and cruising vehicles all night. Yaya!