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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1291
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Oz, one thing is for sure.

    Being raised where the only venomous snakes have rattles on their tails can give a person bad habits when they visit other parts of the world.

    For instance dropping off to sleep with a small three foot long white and brown corn snake in your tent cabin is harmless enough. But can lead to breakfast conversations like;

    "What? This is India! Corn snakes don't live here!"

    Though that was friends of mine and not myself.

    We had a guy in my squadron wake up earlier than most of us and ran a really long brown gopher snake off of our host's back porch with a broom. It even got mad and tried to get bitey with him and he just smacked it about with the broom until it finally left at high speed.

    Gopher snakes can be very aggressive when molested anyway, so he was prepared for a fight and he didn't even get excited. (He was not a timid man.)

    We were in Western Australia. Famous for it's pesky, bitey, brown gopher snake...analogues. With that famous Australian twist of course.

    There's more to this story, for instance our hosts didn't seem have such a laissez faire attitude at the news this creature was sunning itself on their back porch. (It was a three hour drive, on roads with no speed limits, to the nearest major hospital at the time.)

    And later in the day the host and several of his neighbors all formed a posse to look for it. Our host was an English immigrant, but all his neighbors were hard as nails horse ranchers who spent so much time in the sun they were that weird red color. Wonderfully hospitable people, if not a little entertainment starved.

    We guests weren't allowed to join the hunt. Apparently it was some sort of violation of hospitality rules I'm not familiar with.
    A rattlesnake must be an "interesting" animal to encounter in the wild - better you than me.

    Yes, we are brought up to regard all snakes as venomous unless you are absolutely certain it is harmless - something I never would be. And even then the basic move is to still leave all snakes alone - if at all possible. If it is hanging around a house that is of course a different matter.

    Having your guest(s) killed by a venomous snake would certainly be consider a faux paus here. And brown snakes are responsible for the most number of fatalities in Oz.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2018-Jun-20 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #1292
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    And banded kraits only rank third in India. Behind two cobra species.

    Fun fact: Since the bite of a banded krait is painless until symptomatic, the initial bite is often mistaken for an insect bite. Sleeper's often simply fail to wake up.

    Untreated krait bite have an average mortality of 80% in healthy, six foot tall adult males who weigh 220 pounds. (The established model "human" for LD50 and LD90 studies as a base for toxicity studies in humans. I always that was a little underweight myself.) As you can surmise, humans below these parameters have a lesser chance of survival.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  3. #1293
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    There was a guy in Belize with one hand, who ran a bar called "Lefty's".
    The story went that he'd been several days' hike into the jungle when he was bitten in the right thumb web by a fer-de-lance. He decided to amputate his own hand, in order to improve his chances of getting back to civilization. (While a fer-de-lance bite is not necessarily fatal, an episode of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in the middle of the jungle probably is.)
    So he put a tourniquet on his lower arm, and took off his right hand at the wrist with a machete. But the particularly wince-making part of the story comes at the end, when he says, "But I'm not that handy with me left hand, so I needed to take quite a few swings at it."

    Grant Hutchison
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  4. #1294
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    Dr. Grant, did you see the recent paper on fer-de-lance venom?

    Apparently there was a mystery as to how the venom could be ten percent protein by weight and not be a gel. Seems the snakes get around physics by capping the ends of the protein molecules with a sugar I've heard of before, that not only aids in keeping the venom liquid, but helps in dispersing it in the target's blood stream more efficiently.

    Those wacky vipers. Always coming up with new ways to be more cuddly.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  5. #1295
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Some gardening stores where deer are a problem sell bottled lion urine. I'm told in works well on repelling deer.
    ...
    There! My garden is safe from deer! Eh ... wait a minute, this is Gatorade! That's odd, I could swear that I drank it just as I was leaving the gardening store ... .

  6. #1296
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    New! Gatorade Burly!

    For guys who don't know how tough they really are!
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  7. #1297
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    Yet another nice thing about where we live: No venomous snakes on this side of the mountains. But we do have lovely bald eagles, one of which I saw this morning on my way to the gym.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #1298
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Yet another nice thing about where we live: No venomous snakes on this side of the mountains. But we do have lovely bald eagles, one of which I saw this morning on my way to the gym.
    I rather like snakes...as long as they don't envenomate me...but we have none...dangit.
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  9. #1299
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I rather like snakes...as long as they don't envenomate me...but we have none...dangit.
    When I was a greenhouseman I was always amused by the tales from the long haul truckers who ran various palms and other plants from Florida to Alaska. (That's one heck of a long haul!)

    When the trucks are loaded at the greenhouses in Florida they get all sorts of hitchhikers that got delivered to us in San Francisco. Various snakes, anoles and if you're lucky, a day gecko!

    And we would half...heartedly chase them. But I wouldn't let get carried away while we had a truck needing off loading at the dock. AFTER the truck left it was often a wild hunt.

    In Alaska it was different.

    Anyone sees any sort of reptile and all work halted until it was captured. Even "plain" species of snakes retailed for $100. Seems a lot of Alaskans aren't the sort of people to let a free $100 just walk away from them. Even anoles are expensive.

    Something like a day gecko and it becomes even more intense a hunt. Several hundred dollars for those. Or so I am told. The driver telling us this was highly amused as well. He said he made the trip a dozen times and it never stopped being funny. Until I wondered out loud;

    "So how come you don't have a large cooler full of perforated plastic boxes, full of anoles and day geckos, if you know where there's a market for them and you have to go there anyway?"

    In Florida, wholesalers pay a whole dollar a piece of green anoles.

    The man went googly eyed for a second! Like each of his eyes was trying to look at the other and say, "Idiot!"

    How does somebody *not* see that for over a dozen trips?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  10. #1300
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    This little fella was out and about in our back garden yesterday afternoon. They're usually mainly nocturnal, but at this time of year, at these high northern latitudes, they have to forage during the day, too.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grant Hutchison
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  11. #1301
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    I was going to ask if that was a pika, but then noticed the photo title.....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1302
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    A wee timorous beastie, as Robert Burns would have said.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  13. #1303
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I was going to ask if that was a pika, but then noticed the photo title.....
    Much quieter than a pika!

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    A wee timorous beastie, as Robert Burns would have said.
    Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie.
    This one was wee and sleekit, but not particularly cowering or timorous. And decidely unpanicked. It nosed around in the leaf litter quite cheerfully while it was having its photograph taken.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  14. #1304
    Went to see if a couple of lawn chairs by the picnic table would be a good place to read. Then Four or five small partridge flew from underneath table. Decided to go do some weeding instead.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  15. #1305
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    When I was a greenhouseman I was always amused by the tales from the long haul truckers who ran various palms and other plants from Florida to Alaska. (That's one heck of a long haul!)

    ...
    One day last year, here in Central Florida, we ended up driving behind a car with Alaska license plates, and speculated just how it got here, and why.
    At least it was headed north when we last saw it.

  16. #1306
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    Because itís been raining, Iím enjoying a cigar and adult beverage at the open door of my garage. The snowshoe hare just came by for a visit and nibbled on some greenery just 4-5 feet away. I tried to move ever so slowly to start capturing video on my iPad but he got wise to me and scampered off.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  17. #1307
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    We have a strange little rabbit around the house. He likes to move in shadows and he is good at it. He doesn't seem to fear being out in the open, so long as he's in a shadow. He does it day or night. During the day, he likes to eat near the bushes next to our front window. He often grazes several feet from obvious cover, but always within the shadow of the bushes or whatever. Getting too close will make him bolt any old direction but he often stops running to look back at whatever bothered him. I've wondered if he was someone's pet, but he looks like a typical wild rabbit.

    Tonight as we pulled up in the van, he was sitting in the shadow of the lamp post and bounded into the darkness of the backyard. My kids named him Inlť.
    Solfe

  18. #1308
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    My mystery pooper, as to everybody's who would know's best guess, is a coyote.

    They didn't even make fun of me.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  19. #1309
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    I love these little fellas:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Six-spot burnet moths. This is their month.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  20. #1310
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    My mystery pooper, as to everybody's who would know's best guess, is a coyote.

    They didn't even make fun of me.
    Shouldn't be to bad as long as there aren't any coyotes in the area.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  21. #1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I love these little fellas:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Six-spot burnet moths. This is their month.

    Grant Hutchison
    On your national flower, as well. (I think).

    Stuff that bugs me: I could have, but didn't, take a nice picture of a two year old buck deer casually walking across the road in front of me yesterday. About 10 feet away. But the camera in my new phone goes into some goofy mode or other if you so much as look at it.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #1312
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    Prehistoric man had to actually change film and flash device in his portable camera!

  23. #1313
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    On your national flower, as well. (I think).
    Yeah, wild, prickly, empurpled and unwelcome. Great choice for maintaining national stereotypes, that one.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  24. #1314
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yeah, wild, prickly, empurpled and unwelcome. Great choice for maintaining national stereotypes, that one.

    Grant Hutchison
    Hey! Don't sell it short!

    I'm sure YOU know this, but to everybody else, the thistle in question was the main reason the Scots developed footwear before their neighboring states did.

    And it became the national emblem after an invasion by the then bare foot Irish was repelled simply because the Irishmen couldn't cross the battle field.

    Sadly, this was one of those tricks that only worked once. Once they put shoes on Irishmen it was all over.

    (Fortunately there is still whisky to protect the rest of the world from them.)
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  25. #1315
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Hey! Don't sell it short!

    I'm sure YOU know this, but to everybody else, the thistle in question was the main reason the Scots developed footwear before their neighboring states did.

    And it became the national emblem after an invasion by the then bare foot Irish was repelled simply because the Irishmen couldn't cross the battle field.

    Sadly, this was one of those tricks that only worked once. Once they put shoes on Irishmen it was all over.
    Norwegians, actually. A force sent by King Haakon of Norway, who attempted to sneak up on sleeping Scotsmen under cover of darkness. The story goes that they'd removed their shoes to tiptoe more quietly (yeah, like anyone actually does that out-of-doors). Thistle, foot, scream, collapse of stout party, Alexander III of Scotland adopts thistle as national symbol.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  26. #1316
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Norwegians, actually. A force sent by King Haakon of Norway, who attempted to sneak up on sleeping Scotsmen under cover of darkness. The story goes that they'd removed their shoes to tiptoe more quietly (yeah, like anyone actually does that out-of-doors). Thistle, foot, scream, collapse of stout party, Alexander III of Scotland adopts thistle as national symbol.

    Grant Hutchison
    Seriously? The Norse?

    Well then if I told a lie, I was merely passing one along.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  27. #1317
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Seriously? The Norse?
    That's the story. Battle of Largs, 1263. It was the beginning of the end of Norse occupation of the Hebrides.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  28. #1318
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    Some thistles, of course, are good with melted butter! We had about 20 plants when we bought this place but all are gone now.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  29. #1319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Some thistles, of course, are good with melted butter! We had about 20 plants when we bought this place but all are gone now.
    Do I detect a cause and effect here?
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  30. #1320
    I went out to reading spot and heard an owl in the background and later saw an eagle fly above.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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