Four Eyes

I absolutely love snails. Don't know why. Maybe it's the eyes. Maybe it's the spiral of the shell. Maybe it's just because they are so darn cute...

I'd love to be able to tell you the name of this particular critter but I'm afraid that's outside of my skill set. Think I'll just call him/her Winky and let it go at that.
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Hey, Peter!

Yep, it's little Peter Cottontail, but instead of raiding Mr. MacGregor's garden, he's been nibbling clover in our yard. He's a tiny little thing - no bigger than Treebeard's closed fist. It drives my strictly indoor cats crazy to watch him from the window. I know what they'd do if they could get to him...it wouldn't be pretty (which is one reason my cats are not allowed out).

Little cottontails are everybody's favorite treat - from the big old rat snake that lives in the hollow tree in the front yard to the great horned owl that haunts the wood's edge. Lucky for him that our yard offers plenty of hiding places and an abundance of food. With luck, he just might make it to adulthood.

Oh, and many thanks to Treebeard for the photo.
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Sweet As...

...well, obviously not tupelo honey! Sort of puts you off your morning toast and honey, doesn't it? I'm not sure what the honeybees were after, but there were quite a few of them working on this otter scat. Definitely gonna have to research this habit a bit...

By the way, if you've never had the pleasure of getting a whiff of fresh otter scat you just don't know what you're missing ;->
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Second Chance

One of our maintenance mechanics called me on the radio while I was deep in the swamp. He had seen a snake cross the parking lot and then become entangled in some netting that the contractors had put down to help control erosion. I knew it would take me about 45 minutes to reach his location, so I asked him to shade the snake to try to help keep it from overheating. Much to his credit, for he has no particular love of snakes, he managed to put a protective cover over the very stressed animal. When I arrived the snake was in pretty rough shape but was still able to move its head around. I cut it loose with my pocket knife and brushed off the fire ants that had gathered on it. When I picked it up it didn't struggle - very untypical behavior for a banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata); they like to bite :)

I put the snake down near the water in a sheltered area and hoped for the best. When I checked the next morning, the snake was gone. Whether it recovered and swam away or some other critter made a meal of it, at least it didn't die caught up in that netting. I absolutely hate that stuff! Currently I am trying to get permission to remove the netting but I won't know until Friday. As soon as I get the go-ahead I will gleefully rip all that stuff up.

Oh, and many thanks to the MM for taking the picture of the snake's belly while I held it. Our bandeds are unusally marked, so I try to get pictures whenever I can.
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Belly Shot

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