Friday, July 31, 2015

Misc. Critters

I rescued this Common Five-Lined Skink from one of the dog water tubs recently (but not before taking some cell phone shots).
 Apparently this is a juvenile, indicated by his distinct lines and blue tail.
 He didn't learn his lesson as I rescued him again a few days later. :)
 I found a huge Texas Toad near the house one day.

My hand for size comparison.

 She was big, plump and utterly adorable.
A much, much tinier version was sitting on an outdoor dog mat. He's got a lot of growing to do.
Earlier this summer, I found a Texas Rat Snake winding its way up a fence post into a scrap wood birdhouse to plunder a Bluebird nesting site.
 
 Cute little stinker!
(A month or so later, this birdhouse was happily occupied by a pair of Great-Crested Flycatchers that successfully raised a brood.)

For those of you who don't care for reptiles and amphibians, here's a few Pearl Crescent butterflies to rinse out your eyes. :)

And for those of you missing the Whistling Ducks, here's a couple cell phone shots of some silly tree perching.



Linking to Saturday's Critters

155 comments:

Frank said...

You have some very interesting wildlife around the ranch and those Pearl Crescents are fabulous. Have a good weekend.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Loved all your critters

See ya around Wednesday...I'm going to the Carolinas.

Mildred said...

Great and fun photos and I especially love the butterflies. Have a nice evening.

DeniseinVA said...

Great series of critters Teresa and thank you for adding the Whistling Ducks on the tree :)

Felicia said...

i do like the butterfly much better than the snake....sorry.

hope all is well with you.

Sylvia K said...

Yep, love all your critters and they all make life in general more interesting!!! MMmmmm I wonder if they say the same about us???? Hope you have a delightful and playful weekend, Theresa!!

RedPat said...

Nice to see our whistler friends! Love the toads! ;-))

Annette Mickelson said...

I guess everything does grow big in Texas -- toads, snakes...

DJan said...

Rinse out my eyes? Made me laugh. I do really enjoy your critter posts, even those with those great big "adorable" toads! :-)

magnoliasntea said...

Ahhhh, thanks for the Whistler fix! Love the butterflies, too.

Brk Trt said...

Bravo on that butterfly shot.

magnoliasntea said...

Ahhhh, thanks for the Whistler fix! Love the butterflies, too.

joeh said...

Hate the snake, but I guess they gotta eat too.

The last one is great, those ducks just look out of place up in a tree.

Paula said...

Love all these pictures of critters. The duck in the last picture looks like he/she is treading on thin ice.

Stephen Hayes said...

The snake in that bird house is a scary image.

Kerry said...

Oooooh reptiles and amphibians today! How cool. Too bad about the bluebirds, but I'm glad the snake doesn't eat everybody who nests in that box.

Lowcarb team member said...

Prefer the butterfly to snake ... but you do have a great selection of photo's here, thanks.

Hope your weekend goes well and have a great August, well it is nearly the 1st.

All the best Jan

S. J. Qualls said...

We seem to have a shortage of skinks this year. Normally they are all over the place. You took the butterflies with your phone? Awesome! Had to laugh at the ducks, wonder why they were so far up?

Debbie said...

An awesome group of critters, some little ones never learn ;)

thepoodleanddogblog said...

Fascinating, you have a miniature Wild Kingdom right there on your ranch. And the talent to photograph them beautifully.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I think you ought to Google "How to snake-proof your bird house". I love the snake but the baby birds need a chance. Glad the flycatchers were successful. Maybe a skink watering tray is in order too. Gawd, I'd hate to step on that toad in the dark...barefooted.

Julia said...

Love all your interesting photos. The big toad looks quite happy to just be. The snake, I'm not sure I'd like a snake up in the bird feeders. Snakes somehow just aren't as cute as little birds or toads.
Hugs,
JB

Brian King said...

Maybe young Skinkster WANTED to be in the water tub! :-) Love the shots of the toad and snake! Beautiful butterfly!

Gayle said...

You just HAD to include the snake didn't you? All kidding aside all the photos were nice. Very cool skink.

Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos ! Interesting critters you have there ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Theresa; Wow!!! What a varieties of critters you introduced us form your ranch☆☆☆ Haha,I love the way you call the snake "Cute little stinker" :-)
Great photos of BEAUTIFUL 'Pearl Crescent butterflies'♡♡♡ Well, I didn't have to rinse out my eyes(^_^)v 
ps. I gave up going back to your former posts, many friends to catch up(^^;)

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

Dicky Bird said...

love all of the pictures the butterflies are amazing

Robin Lamb said...

T, what a great bunch of critters you have!

Andy Wilson said...

Wonderful post

Red said...

I'm fascinated by snakes. But who am I to talk as we only have garter snakes which are about twice the size of an earth worm.

messymimi said...

Love the toad! And as for the snake, as much as we may not like the idea, they have to eat, too. (And i like snakes, a lot.)

Looks like there's plenty of life around the ranch!

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow. That is one BIG toad. That would freak me out!

Randy said...

Love the butterfly photos.

bailey-road.com said...

I love the reptiles and amphibians. The butterfly is beautiful. But I can't believe that Whistler perched at the very end of the branch!

Rose said...

Wonderful to get shoot the skink...I don't hate snakes but don't love 'em, but I do love toads! And love the whistlers!

Barb said...

Thanks for the eye-rinsing shots! I did like the skink and the toads, too. Good photos of the snake but creepy-slithery!

Gail said...

I have grown used to them on the ground. The ducks look quite strange in trees.

I am impressed with your toads, great bug eaters along with the skink. Thanks for saving him.

Poor snake, all that work and no birds or eggs for him/her. It is pretty. I like those pointed heads...tells me it's not poison. I try to let the harmless ones go.

Wash out my eyes with butterflies, I like that word image.

Have a blessed weekend.

Paul said...

Nice variety of critter pictures. Your Butterfly pictures sure are colorful!

Gosia k said...

your wildlife is fascinating and so varied .A lot of different species live there and some dangerous. Living in this environment for me a person from Europe it would fun but challenge..

Vandana Sharma said...

Awww such a nice place to love in the alp of nature, but I really dread snakes!Incidently here in India as per our Hindu calender we are having " sawan month, (sawan means rain), where we worship snakes and a special puja (a ritual) for lord Shiva.

Vandana Sharma said...

oops i mean " live in the lap of nature"

Cloudia said...

TREASURES all! You know, I DID miss those silly ducks

Gunilla Bäck said...

Awesome critters all of them! The skink is adorable and the toad is huge.

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Yikes! I always find it just a little frightening to see a snake that isn't on the ground!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Yikes! I always find it just a little frightening to see a snake that isn't on the ground!

Margaret Adamson said...

A great variety of critters today Tex.Thatlooks avery big snake! Love the buttfly. Have a lovely weekend.

Marit Sønstebø said...

What a wildlife you have around you! Big toad and beautiful butterflies.
If I had seen a snake like that I would have a heart attack!

Ms. A said...

Wonderful variety of shots, minus the snake that was up to no darn good! (but even those shots were excellent)

Are you melting? We sure are.

Nancy Chan said...

Anything except reptiles or amphibians...no no to snakes. They give me the shivers. But the rest of your photos I enjoyed very much. The butterflies especially are very pretty.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I am ashamed to admit that I used to have great fun pulling the detachable blue tails off of skinks when I was a kid. I knew that they would grow back, but it was still a terrible thing to do. Sigh.

Lynne said...

Bunches of critters indeed . . .
The one that takes the cake though is the silly Whistler perched on the skinny limb that looks like it would break and there would be a sudden PLUNGE!
Great collection Tex . . .

Kathy said...

That little toad is cute but I'm one of those that doesn't like skinks and snakes. I've been cleaning out an old storeroom that's pretty messy and disgusting and I have a big long stick that I keep handy to rustle through stuff before I start digging around! That last photo is a hoot (maybe I should have said a quack). A duck in a tree that high is pretty funny looking to me. He must be a tightrope artist to keep his balance!

Jo said...

That Common Five-lined Skink is so pretty. Hope he learns to swim if he continues to get into the tub. The Texas Toad is very special. And I love the snake. In fact, I love all your critters today. They cheered me up! Have a great day. Jo

Pom Pom said...

All cute but the snake! Shiver! Those crazy ducks!

Busy Bee Suz said...

So, what you're saying is that the skink is not very smart?! The first frog is quite cute and portly. I'm so happy the snake didn't get the babies....ughhh. Nature isn't always gentle is it?

eileeninmd said...

Hi Tex, great collection of critters. The Skink is cool and I love the toad. The snake could be scary for the nesting birds. And you know I love the whistling ducks, great captures! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Janey and Co. said...

That last shot is cool. Lots of critters out there.

Anvilcloud said...

Reptiles etc aren't my faves, but I don't mind seeing the pics.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant array of the great Texas countryside Theresa. The one I loved, is the butterflies, they are superb.

DIMI said...

Lovely critters living in your area Tex!
Great captures!My favorite are the ducks!
Have a happy August month!
Dimi...

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh yes, yes....I do miss your W on W posts!! Just the other day when Bud and I were out in the country, driving, we came upon a family of whistlers [some teenagers that I'll post someday on my birding blog]...and I thought of YOU!!

That rat snake, even tho I have a huge phobia of snakes, the last photo is really kinda cute.

And the skink...love the colors. The toad...it's HUGE.

ellen abbott said...

beautiful fat toad.

Revrunner said...

A Texas skink. Cool! :-)

EG CameraGirl said...

I enjoyed seeing all the wildlife...except for that naughty snake helping itself to the the bluebird's nest! I don;t think I've ever seen a skink.

rainfield61 said...

I love these feathered friends and the butterflies only.

Indrani said...

Amazing patterns. I would have been scared to be so close.

don said...

A very interesting variety in this post. I was surprised that the whistlers would perch that high off the ground. I especially liked the side views of the toad. The butterflies were pretty too. The snake's persistence was something to watch. Altogether a fine post today.

William Kendall said...

The snake's quite formidable!

bj said...

I'm not a critter person and didn't see even one that I thought was cute. If I ever see a snake out in the wilds, the last thing I would do is take a pic of it..I'd be too busy running and screaming HELP....LOL
Hope you are enjoying your semi-break from blogging.

Mary Kirkland said...

Years ago I lived at an apartment complex that you had to be careful walking into the grass at night because the frogs were everywhere. If you got too close they would start jumping at you.

That was a big snake.

Daniel LaFrance said...

I'm spell-bound that your Whistling Ducks perch like they do.

Phil Slade said...

I love them all. I don't see enough reptiles or amphibians and certainly not enough snakes.

Phil Slade said...

I love them all. I don't see enough reptiles or amphibians and certainly not enough snakes.

Terry and Linda said...

Bad snake...it needs to leave the Bluebirds alone!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

carol l mckenna said...

All very creative nature shots! Love the frog!

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Stephanie said...

Lovely selection of critters. Loved them all especially the Whistlers.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Your critter pictures are always interesting. Better to see some of them through the lens of your camera than in person. The second shot of the Pearl Crescents is stunning.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Whew, thanks for the butterflies to wash out my eyes! That snake...eebie, jeebies.
Your whistlers are so cute..I can't imagine those tiny limbs holding their weight.
Have a cool weekend..I'm loving the temps today.

Findlay Wilde said...

What a brilliant selection of wildlife. I loved this post.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Reptiles and amphibians are fun and fine... especially that Texas sized toad! Snakes gotta eat too, but I have to keep telling myself it's part of nature when they raid nests.... so. No eye rinses necessary here really, but the butterflies and whistles are always welcome.

Small City Scenes said...

Very cool critters.
MB

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Some very interesting and cute photos!
(I don't do snakes)

LV said...

You live in an area that nature has truly been good. You find some of the best and make them fun even tho I do not care for snakes or frogs. You are one of the best in capturing somethings in such detail. Stay cool.

FOREST SNAPPER said...

great butterfly shots, great patterns on them, not sure about that snake though.


peter

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I like your Pearl Crescents, but I love your herps, too!

Maybe that five-lined skink is just really thirsty, and is all "Well, if I get stuck in here, TWG will bail me out again!"
~

Ela said...

Wow !! These are so great shots !!!
Happy weekend !

Gert said...

Oh my gosh, what a variety of critters you have on your property!! Not crazy about lizards, toads are cute, snakes scare the (you know what) out of me!! Uggggg but, do...so happy you cleansed my eyes with those beautiful butterflies!! Oh, and those birds are so funny!!

Blessings,
Gert

Miss Val's Creations said...

Neat finds! I wouldn't have cared much to see the snake but the lizard and toad I would have loved to cross paths with. The whistlers are so cute high up in the trees!

Wally Jones said...

I really enjoyed all your critters! That's a healthy snake! Beautiful butterflies.

Nice diversity without having to leave the ranch!

Hannah said...

I like the distinct "lines" in the Five-Lined skink, and the blue tail, so cute. I wish I had some here. The butterflies are so pretty, such complex repeating patterns. I miss the whistling ducks but some other blog has had them recently. I absolutely adore toads and wish they lived here too, I want to hold them when I see their photos. Sneaky snake, I hope he doesn't find any baby birds on his hunting trips.

Primitive Stars said...

Fascinating creatures in Texsas, big Toad and fat snake, yikes!!!! Love the Butterflies, so pretty the shots.Blessings Francine.

Black Jack's Carol said...

You caught some beauties here, TexWis! Texan toad, Texan rat snake.. interesting that the state lends its name to quite a few critters.. loved both of these, though I worried for the bluebirds. Slow learner Skink made me smile. And the butterfly was a dose of pure "prettiness" :)

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Theresa, I love Toads, Skinks, and the Butterflies. Of course, I cannot forget the Whistlers on this list. Ommitted,is that Rat Snake. Sorry, I dislike snakes and nearly stepped on one a few days ago in the grass at a local park (I was watching the birds instead of my feet). Have a pleasant Sunday tomorrow!

Linda said...

These are great shots! The snake is creepy though! My neighbors had a bird's nest appear in a wreath on their front door so they were carefully using only the garage door. One day they saw a snake slithering out of the nest! I don't need to tell you what he had been up to.

Karen S. said...

Oh my snake in a bird's house! I have to say he's kind of cute peeking his head out like that! What a find in your dog's water bowl! Yikes, and so cool. I actually rescued a tree frog from inside our garbage pail, (although he may not see it that way) but everything is bagged, so what in the world was he after?! Is that a darling Whistler in the last photo? It just has to be!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Those silly whistlers! --And I much prefer to see photos of the snake, but will admit to holding my breath looking at his face--YIKES!!

Farm Girl said...

What incredible shots!!! Not a single walking stick though. I treasure the ones you sent me.
The snake gives me the willies, but you did get a great shot of his face.
So nice to see the ducks way up in that tree.
The skink and the frog are cool.
I like the butterflies.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Theresa,
Lovely photos and one often wonders if those critters do learn! For survival, they better do learn fast.
Oh, how many frogs and toads I have set outside, often in the dark, bringing them either to the creek or to our big pond.
I don't mind but that snake is mean for raiding a blue bird nest!
That might have happened to our Caroline wren, twice she left the nest for some reason...
Nature is harsh at times!
Hugs,
Mariette

Stewart M said...

Love the shots of the snake - although I suppose it would make you a little cautions about checking the boxes at the end of the season!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Betty Manousos said...

interesting critters you have there! wonderful shots, theresa.

that snake is huge. i'm so terrified of snakes...

Midmarsh John said...

Fascinating selection of wildlife. Love the skink and the gorgeous butterfly.

Jeevan said...

Amazing capture on the reptiles! The snake looks huge like a python... and the frog also got great texture but whistler’s perch to the tip of the branch top the chart.

Anni said...

ps....you don't have rattlesnakes on your ranch land? LUCKY YOU!!!

Barb Brookbank said...

Wonderful creatures! all of them!

♥ Łucja-Maria ♥ said...

Welcome to Tex!
It's amazing that in your garden can be found, reptiles, amphibians and interesting insects.
The snake looks horribly. Brrrrr I'm afraid of these creatures.
Ducks as usual charming.
Very interesting and beautiful pictures.
Greetings from Polish.
Lucia

nookworm said...

WOW! You nailed it this time with such beautiful critters. I love 'em ALL. Nature is GRAND!!!!!

Pix Under the Oaks said...

Lovely pictures, Tex! Nice to see them this Sunday morning!!!
Love the butterflies!

Wayne said...

The skink is cool, but we all know juveniles and teenagers just don't listen. The snake look very comfortable, maybe a little too so. We haven't raised many butterfly's this summer, we avoided catching the catepillars because we knew they'd emerge while we were on vacation, so thanks for sharing yours.

Lois Evensen said...

Love those critters! Those are pretty neat pictures of the snake in the bird house. And, gosh, my week would never been complete without the Whistling Ducks! Thank you!!! :))))

It's nice to be able to get in to see your blog. :)

Hugs,
Lois

Halcyon said...

I like all your critters, skinks, snakes and all!

Fireblossom said...

Oh! Those butterflies are so beautiful!

Bethany Carson said...

Thanks for the butterfly photos to help us out! That toad is pretty big. We saw a little snake in our yard a few days ago, which is a very uncommon occurrence. I guess they grow 'em big in Texas.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Don't like the snake in the bird's nesting hut. In Fact, don't like the snake at all.

Maggid said...

Ha!!!! I NEVER expected to see a lone duck in a tree like that last photo . . I love it. i wonder what they are thinking . . perhaps they are simply enjoying the view. I like that you thought to post some pictures to "rinse our eyes.' I'm going to have to think of a way to use your phrase . . .

Great week to YOU!!!!

GreenComotion said...

Holy cow, Theresa! You got visitors, all right :)
My favorite critter is the Texas Toad - looks so cool!
Have a Great Week!
Peace :)

edenhills said...

These are all great shots! Not sure I'm a true fan of snakes, but that last shot is great. Beautiful butterflies!

Glennis said...

Such a great selection of wildlife I think I like the first Skink best a pretty fellow with his blue tail

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Snakes = yuck!! But, I love the pretty butterflies!!

Small Kucing said...

I thought it was a stone. Closer inspection , ...oh it's a toad. That is one huge toad

Made by KKann said...

I must say I like the Whistling Ducks and the butterflies the most.

John's Island said...

Hi Tex, I like the birds and butterflies better than the snake and frogs but the pics are all interesting. It looks like all the red stuff on the pond is gone ... bet you are happy about that. Thanks for sharing and have a fine week ahead.

karmnik54 said...

Barzdo spodobała mi się ta jaszczurka:) Pozdrawiam i zapraszam: origamiitaki.blogspot.com

ladyfi said...

Such pretty critters! Love that snake - but I'm also a bit scared of it... ;-)

Inger said...

We get those toads here too in the desert mountains. What an amazing duck! The one on that branch which was more like a twig! Great shot, Tex.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

These fun photos are great. You have very interesting wildlife at your place.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

I love your critters, all of them. I appreciate you sharing them, too. Take care of yourself, T. ☺

MICKAN from QUEENS FIELD¸.•°`♥✿⊱╮ said...

Theresa, you have a lot of fantastic pictures here!
Lovely wildlife you have ☆

Our photos said...

Wow, that's a wonderful series. I really like the butterflies !

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful images of your fantastic wildlife x

Gail Dixon said...

Nice shots of the skink! Thank you so much for the eye rinse, too. :) The Pearl Crescent did the trick. What a beauty!

Pantherka said...

Very beautiful series of photos.
Greetings.

The Queen Jester said...

Catching up again with my blog reading. I don't know where the time goes! I think I enjoy your amphibian and reptiles as much as the birds and butterflies. You sure do have some interesting critters down your way!

Mary Cromer said...

Oh that silly Skink, hope it learned after two times of dunking itself, and the large frog looks like a character that could be used in children's books, what a love that was. Miss you!!!

pattisjarrett said...

The Whistling Duck was literally out on a limb. Preparing for the high dive, maybe? That is a cute toad. Don't think I've said THAT before. Beautiful butterflies! The snake is rather darling, peeking out of the birdhouse. I hope it didn't find a meal there.

SweetMarie said...

we have those skinks here, so pretty! your toad is so cute! your snake isn't so pretty, but great pics! lol love your butterflies and skies and birds. :)
hope you're doing well!
hugs,
Marie

Handmade in Israel said...

That toad is huge! And the snake... well, you're braver than me. I saw my first huge snake in the wild the other day... I thought it was a black bin liner and then saw it slither away. It frightened me!

Marie C said...

Really awesome critters! Love them all...glad the cute snake moved on and let some flycatchers have the bird house though. :-)

Susan said...

The snake I can live without, but the lizard and toads I love. I haven't seen one desert toad this summer. The other thing I've noticed we haven't had are bats. No bats flying around in the evenings. Weird! Those whistlers are so dang funny!

Ron said...

You're braver than I. I would haven't gotten any where near that snake, I don't care what kind it is!

"...E...", from VA, Beth said...

oh, i hope that they snake didn't get any food?? that is not cool. but i know he/she needs to eat too ...

( :
i see those kind of lizards every where. i love how you size things ... very smart!

Nancy said...

Never a dull moment at your house....Love the butterfly picture but the snake ones freak me out....

KB Bear said...

My favorites are the beautiful skink and the butterflies! I didn't know that skinks could swim at all!

diane b said...

That last shot made me giggle. The snake shot made me shiver.

Carola Bartz said...

Your little stinkers are adorable! Perhaps the skink was thirsty and thus climbed into the water bowl again... The toad is a sweet little guy and quite a big one, too. The snake? So cute the way he looks out that bird house! I'm not quite sure whether I would think that if I found him in my yard though... I recently saw a picture (and I don't know whether it was fake or not) where a rat snake came out of a kitchen spices cabinet... ehm, no, that wouldn't be for me.

Laura. M said...

Great series, Teresa ... if I see a snake, I run;))
I'll be back, the hand is fine. Gracias

Fjällripan said...

WOW such great reptiles you captured! I cant imagine to have such big snakes around! and the lizzard is so beautiful, so as the butterflies and the tod :))

Michael Manning said...

Snakes are not for the faint of heart TexWisGirl! I admire your courage to get close enough to snap these photos! ;)

Ratty said...

Seeing creatures other than mammals and birds is interesting. I like them. They never seem nearly as cuddly for some odd reason though.

Lux G. said...

I look silly here covering my eyes and taking a peek while scrolling down. I can't look at reptiles and amphibians. Good thing there's a butterfly at the end of this post. :P

Kerri Farley said...

Beautiful captures! That snake robbing the bird's nest is an awesome behavioral shot (sad for the birds though) - Glad another set was able to use it later :)

Terra Heck said...

You've got quite the critters! That up-close pic of the snake is really neat. I've never seen a live skink before.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

That is one sneaky snake!

Lukasz W said...

Beautiful lizzard and snake!

Helma said...

You have a whole geode phone because the photos are beautifully sharp and clear :-) I was shocked a little bit of that big snake ieuwwwww ......... In the Netherlands we only have a few small snakes and happy ot those big brrrr ....... the photo of the butterfly is great to see :-)

bon bon said...

Thank you for not ending with the snake. Eek. Come to Wisconsin, bluebirds! No snakes will eat you here!

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