Monday, July 24, 2006

Today was a “Wild Kingdom” sort of day. I mowed the both the front and the back yards and encountered a plethora of small animals/reptiles/amphibians/insects that most people probably wouldn’t even touch. I not only touch them, I love them. Along the side of the house, I found a rough earth snake .....a pretty good sized one at that (they don’t get any bigger than about a foot long). I have no idea what it was doing in the middle of the yard. They usually are found under rocks (where they can find the little bugs that they eat). I moved it to a safer location…it didn’t seem to be particularly thankful, but I was glad that I saw it before I mowed over it. In that same area, I caught a little leopard frog (see picture at the top of this post), which surprised me also, because they usually stay close to water. I also moved him to a safer place. And in the SAME area, I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 teeny tiny little anoles (The little green lizards that some people call chameleons. They are not real chameleons, but they do change color, and the males puff their red throats out). These were probably no longer than 1 ½ inches. Two inches tops. I didn’t even try to catch them, because they were so little, I was afraid I would hurt them. Around back, I saw another leopard frog, but it jumped into one of the ponds before I could move it. I also saw a teeny little preying mantis on the trellis over by the roses. It was only about 1 inch long. And I saw several interesting grasshoppers. The dragonflies were out in force, as usual, as well as the hummingbirds, and all of the other birds that come to our feeders. But the highlights of my day were the butterflies at the cottage garden. There were three… a yellow swallowtail, a spicebush swallowtail and one that I couldn't identify. I was lucky enough to get some pretty good pictures. I know that this isn’t a particularly amusing post, it’s more of a “reflect on what really matters and what is beautiful in the world” type of post. If there is one thing that I have gained from teaching young children, it’s the chance to see the “wonder’ a child has when he/she sees something for the first time. That ‘discovery” moment. As adults, we take so many things for granted. Not only take them for granted, we consider them a nuisance, something to get rid of, dismiss. We don’t appreciate what we have in nature and how perfect it all is. Spider webs, for example. We pull them down, curse their presence, and hope that the spider does not rebuild. But if we take time to look at the spider web, at its intricate design, we can appreciate how this spider has developed its web, and how it functions in our world. Interconnectedness. Everything has a place and a function in our world. I’m thankful to be a part of it, and I am thankful for the ability to recognize what I have.
The photo on the left is a green anole. Anoles change color from a grayish brown to different shades of green, to blend in with their background. The photo on the right is a rough earth snake. The rough earth snake looks bigger in this picture than they are in real life. They are usually between 8 and 12 inches long. They have a teeny little head, and couldn't bite you if they tried. Author's Note: I planned to place some photographs of the butterflies in this post, but as usual, they wouldn't load. I guess the program was just humoring me when it let me load these three pictures. I would say that 85-90% of the time I cannot load pictures when I try. But, I will keep trying, and sooner or later, I"ll get them loaded. Please check back. Does anyone else have this problem?


At 1:04 PM, Blogger Rose of Sharon said...

First....ewwwwwwww. That's for the snakes. My yard is a virtual jungle and now I'm too freaked out to go out there and clean it up! (good excuse, huh?). As for uploading pictures to Blogger. I've occasionally encountered this problem too. I just save the post as a draft and try again. Sometimes you have to just play around with it. I've been frustrated many times especially with the formatting. But your blog continues to look great, as usual!!!!!!

At 8:57 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Oh, I spend a good deal of time trying to load pictures. I have found that if I write my post first, then try to load the pictures, they have a harder time loading. So I try to get the pictures in first, then add the text. It's frustrating, but if I want them in there, I just have to keep trying. Thank you for the compliment. The funny thing about seeing all of the critters in the yard is that when school starts and I want to find some of these things to take to school to show my kids, I won't be able to find a darn thing!

At 7:06 PM, Blogger getalife said...

Yes, I have problems loading my "own" photos, but not those from other sources, so I figured it had to do with file size. I like the idea of trying the photo before the text. LOVE your pics and observations! I too enjoy finding as many critters as possible to photograph and document in my yard as well.


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