Monday, September 7, 2009

Dr. Doolittle

I love animals.

I've always loved them. I've had cats, goldfish, rabbits, ducks, an evil goose named Magnolia and probably some that I'm forgetting. I've never had a dog, but I do feed the neighbors dog milkbones. Every day. And I ask for my own dog. Every day. I'm thinking I'll never get one. But I've got plenty other animals to keep me occupied.

Like the hummingbirds in our backyard. It's been a really weird summer for the hummers. They arrived right on schedule, March 1. But for some reason they disappeared shortly after. Then they came back. Then they left. And now they're back again. Today we put up one of our tiny feeders after I saw one of the birds hanging out on the electrical conduit on the back patio. I figured she wanted her own feeder since the other feeder was being hogged by one of the males.
She's awful cute with her 2 little shiny red spots on her throat.

And now she's awfully territorial of her little feeder. She let this little guy get in there for a sip, but, as you can see, she's about to take off after him and show him who the boss of this feeder is.

We have this other feeder with 6 places to drink from, so I'm not sure why they can't share. At the height of the season we have 3 big feeders and 4 little feeders hanging in the trees. That's 18 places to drink in all, yet they still fight. Mighty territorial they are.

In addition to the hummingbirds, I also have this little frog that has been hanging out with us for 2 months. Every night he is sitting on the kitchen window panes eating bugs. I make sure that the light over the sink is on every night to attract his dinner. The picture below is of him when he first started hanging out here. He was really tiny and has since grown. He's still pretty small, just not so skinny anymore.

He changes colors too. When he first wakes up and makes his way up to the window he looks like a toad. Greenish brown and bumpy. Once he gets up into the window and is catching all those bugs, he is really pale light green and looks a lot smoother. Even smoother than this picture of him.

Then there are the lizards. Two of them have moved in. We never planted the Agapanthus and I don't think we ever will now, because the lizards live in them and sleep on the leaves every night. A deep sleep too! I can bend the leaves down towards me and look those lizards right in the eye and they don't move.

This guy is the big one.

And this is the little one. She's usually a little scaredy cat.

But occasionally she gets brave and curious. Mostly she's scared though.

And then there is the caterpillar. I had never seen one of these black fuzzy ones. And it's a good thing I didn't pick it up like I used to when I was a kid back home, because the girls told me that they are stinging caterpillars. This caterpillar was trying to get out of the rain one night and the little drops of water made it sparkle like glitter.

Finally we have the Assassin Bug Nymphs. Yep. Assassin Bug Nymphs. And I only know that thanks to Google. Every year I see these cute little orange spiders. And I mean little. Like just born little. And lots of them. This year, before I saw all the babies, I saw a bigger one all by itself. I figured I just missed them this year and the big guy was all that was left. But a couple days later I realized that the big guy must have been the momma spider because I saw like 40 of those babies!

Those Agapanthus came in handy again too, because those babies camped out on the leaves for 3 days, getting noticeably bigger each day. And then one day I came home and they were gone. I'd like to think they moved on to a home where they didn't have to fight over the bugs with the frog and the lizards. But maybe the frog or the lizards made dinner out of them. I'll just keep thinking they moved :)

I'm hoping that if I keep collecting all these strange animals in the backyard Duane will get tired and want me to have a normal pet. Like a puppy!


  1. maybe they flew away like Charlotte's babies?

  2. Yes! That's what happened to them :) They flew away to a place where they didn't have to fight with frogs for bugs!

  3. what kind of puppy are you thinking about? how about a rescue dog?


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