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Saturday, June 25, 2016

More Backyard Fun

Last week I offered up some of the backyard birds we get. Just a small sample. But we live in the desert and you can imagine that it's not always fun and games here in this harsh climate, even in our own backyard.

This is a rosy coachwhip snake. They're not venomous. You're safe. My wife had hosed off the pool deck that particular afternoon and this fellow came out to drink from the puddles. Finally he gave up and sunk his whole head into the pool for a real long drink of water. He went back into the corner of the yard and enjoyed the peace and quiet of an abandoned ground squirrel burrow for a couple of days and then vanished.

Less cozy was this rattler my wife encountered. you can't tell from the picture, but that thing it's under is the hose housing and my wife encountered this little gem when she went out to use the hose. God was good (again) that day and no harm was done although she stood in sandaled feet inches from where this little lady was sleeping. We called a herpetologist who gladly came out and took her (the snake, not my wife) off to a better home. (No reason to kill it if we don't have to.)

As I said, we live in the desert, so you have to expect things like scorpions. In fact, there is only one known scorpion in North America that can kill a human being -- the bark scorpion -- and they live where we do. Well, this is not one of them.

I used this picture so you could see its size as compared to my foot. Never have I seen such a big monster. Appropriately called the giant hairy scorpion, this thing just gave us the willies. He's big enough to eat other scorpions, so that's good, right? We captured it in the yard, put it in a jar, and took it off to the desert where it could go on about its business ... just not where we are.

We'll end here. I'm sure you were curious. Well this is that pleasant fellow, the bark scorpion. They have sufficiently dangerous venom to kill a small child. They tell me that it's really cool that you can shine an ultaviolet light on them at night and they'll glow in the dark. Let me tell you, it's not really cool. It's just unnerving. I found one of these in the pool one time. I left him all day and scooped him out to show the granddaughter. (She loves these kinds of things.) He came to life in the jar. So I sank him in the bird bath for 24 hours and put him back in the jar. He came back to life. Very impressive. I don't get it, but very impressive. And just a tad unnerving.


Anonymous said...

Your property is pretty clearly far-flung from the metro area.

Are you ever tempted to retire the swimming pool, as many others have done?

Stan said...

Never. Most of my neighbors have pools. It increases the property value. My wife uses it regularly and I use it much of the summer. It isn't that difficult or expensive to maintain. We'll keep the pool. Besides, the wildlife around here like it.

Alec said...

Was your wife as cool-headed when she found the rattler? Brave lady! (your wife, not the snake).

Even the little scorpions are unnerving. They must have a purpose in God's creation. I wonder what they were like before Adam's fall. It's hard to imagine them in an Edenic world.


Stan said...

My wife didn't know the snake was so close at the time. She grabbed the hose and was hosing off the pool deck when the snake came out. She was brave enough not to run away screaming. She ran and called the herpetologist. But, yeah, she has been married to me all these years, so she IS brave.