Friday, June 10, 2011

Critters

Here's a cute little critter we encountered on last night's walk (Alfie's latest word:  bunny !)


A tiny brown rabbit is barely visible; he's in a mown area right next to tall brushy grass
Can you spot him?
(Hint:  toward the left, right next to the tall grass.)


Close-up of the rabbit huddled down in the grass; he's got big black eyes and the sun is lighting up his ears
Enlarged so you can see the little guy!


Alfie wagging his tail and looking the direction the bunny ran off; I let him sniff where it was but didn't let him chase it of course!
Wait -- where'd he go?

Yeah, I know, he's super hard to see.  Alfie didn't see him at first, just  smelled him.  Mr. Rabbit was stock still til we got right up next to him, then jetted off with a flash of white tail...I said, "Bunny!"...and since that moment, I cannot say that word (b-u-n-n-y) without Alfie going on High Alert

Then, the other day we were in a new park and I saw a giant lump of brown next to a pond, which I at first took for a stump.  Charissa said she thought it was alive...turned out to be a ginormous woodchuck.  Honestly, he must've weighed more than Alfie.  I'm glad he lumbered off into the woods while we were still a long way off!

Much smaller and cuter are the tiny spotted and striped ground squirrels, which seem to be everywhere around here.

And of course, you can't have small mammals without their predators...I've enjoyed watching some amazing hawks, and, if I'm up early enough, owls.  Less appealing to me are the snakes.  Last night Alfie spotted a (harmless) garter snake slithering in a panic across our path, where he'd been sunning himself.  While house hunting recently, the girls saw a stunning red milk snake -- you know, the ones that look almost exactly like the deadly coral snake?  So we're standing around reassuring ourselves with, "Hmmm...'Red on black, venom lack/red on yellow, kill a fellow'...that IS how the saying goes, right?!"  The Missouri Department of Conservation assures that the coral snake does not live in this state -- out of the 40-odd species of snakes here, I only really need to worry about the cottonmouth, the copperhead, and 3 kinds of rattlesnakes.  How comforting...?  Ah well, good reason to look where you're going.

Out of all the critters so far, though, the most annoying have been ticks.  Alfie's on tick preventative/repellent, so they don't "bug" him (I comb him to make sure)...it's US they like, aarrgh!  Thank goodness for Deep Woods Off.

Alfie and I walking along on one of our favorite trails, a paved hike and bike trail that goes through thick woods
Ticks or no ticks, there's nothing like a walk in the woods!

2 comments:

The Rhoton Family said...

What a good nose you have Alfie! The other night Remington spotted a huge spider in the house! YIKES! Luckily I had the (Dyson) spider gun close by to suck him up! I told Remi good job for letting me know that big guy was there! He might have eaten me in my sleep! Love our Doodles!

P.S. Have you heard of DoodleKisses? If not you should check it out!

Mimi and CC Cabana said...

It's amazing how quickly Alfie learns a new word! I have noticed the same thing about ticks. They stay away from Cabana but love to jump on me. I had 2 of them fall off my head into my dinner last week--highly unappetizing!