Saturday, August 16, 2008

The other critters of Critter Farm

I see some of the coolest things when I'm outside doing chores.
Some people are clever enough to know the names to all the creatures, insects, amphibians, butterflies, etc. that they encounter. Sadly, I'm not one of those people. But, I am in awe of each of these small creatures...and thrilled every time I see a new one.

For example, I have no idea what this thing is, but he looks like he's got something he wants to say:

Sorry, but I had NO idea that moths did it this way:

This very cool dragon fly impressed me by balancing on the top strand of my electric fence. He smiled for this shot:

Li'l frog here was climbing the outside of my glass porch door. I didn't notice him until I turned on the outside porch light:

He was a beautiful green:

...and he did a good job accommodating me opening and closing the door:

This is the sister of the snake that got caught in the blueberry netting the other day. Her name's Gigi (or so she said) and she's all about sunbathing:

I'm always learning new things. Like, Tansy Ragwort is bad bad bad to have around browsing, grazing animals. And that we have a lot of it in our fields. Prior to pulling it, though, we found it covered with these interesting caterpillars:

Someone told me they are actually beneficial, as they eat the flowers of the tansy preventing it from going to seed. They also said these caterpillars were brought in to rid the planet of this scourge, but I haven't verified this yet:

I wasn't willing to risk this info being wrong, so I spent a few hours pulling it all out by hand:

I uncovered this spiny guy when I went out to dig potatoes:

He hung out for a second to see what I was up to and then bolted into the foliage:

I've been seeing these two around the property lately:

I love this shot. Do you see three animals surveying the situation?:

I woke up to this the other morning, climbing up the kitchen door:

Blech. I don't really like these guys. I think this one had to weigh about 8 pounds. And, why my glass door?:

Once a week I have to go and wash the slime off the outside of the door and walls:

I found this caterpillar on one of my bean bushes. Probably not a good thing, right?:

But, of course, no critter post would be complete without a shot of this Critter Farm cutie:

She's the critter I enjoy seeing most on our farm!


  1. You have a lot of insects around there! The deer photos and the one of Roxy are my favorites.

  2. I believe your first bug photo is a cicada (yes I am somewhat of a nature geek) :) You should feel special, they only come out of the ground every 17 years. It used to be deafening in the desert where I grew up when they would all "sing" at night. :)

  3. You've got some freaky looking critters there Danni!! That 8lb slim ball is the worst! My fav tho is that fuzzy white critter at the end!! Save room for me Roxy!!!

  4. I'm starting to think you live half farm, half rain forest.The critters are getting very interesting.Can't wait for the x rated leech pictures.

  5. I'm lovin' that frog, the snake not so much. But that thing climbing up the kitchen door? I'd be puttin' the ranch up for sale if I had those here.

  6. Great pictures :)
    Love the last little critter the best!

  7. Oh, my goat! That first one is a cicada! The goatmother is so jealous. She didn't know there were any on the west coast. She grew up listening to them sing in August in Oklahoma and misses the sound! And yes, that plant is a Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) (as opposed to real Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare) and can be fatal to cattle and horses ,so pulling it out is a very good thing. Fortunately it is a cumulative poison and takes a bit to cause liver damage. We have that last critter too...only ours is dirtier. :)

  8. Hmmm, are some of those critters going to be there in about a month? Cause we both know a girl who kinda doesn't like some of those. Do you have big spiders cause those really freak her out.

    I love the last critter she is just too cute for words.

  9. That was the best post ever.

    I'm sorry. I just love critters. I don't have too many here. You may remember how excited I got about my frog.

    Sometime, if you're really nice, I'll play you the video recording of my trip from my house in Japan into downtown Kobe. It was summer and the cicadas were out. They are absolutely deafening. The other cool thing they do is to leave a perfectly shaped shell of themselves behind when they come out of the ground. Groovy and creepy all at once.

    I think this calls for a "critters" category on the forums, eh?

  10. I love the dragonfly! He looks like he knows a good joke.

  11. I can confirm that the first critter is a cicada. They are responsible for the buzzing racket we hear outside this time of year. Chickens LOVE them, along with most of the other critters you posted. The slugs-EWWWWW! I've stepped on more than my fair share of slimy slugs. Introduce them to your chickie friends! That frog sure is a cutie. I love how he let you open the door. Give him a little bow tie and he can be your official door frog.

  12. Look at sweet little Roxy. How precious. Im not sure, but Im thinking that she may not be up for sharing that nice, cozy spot.

    Yuck. Slugs and slug slime. Double yuck.

    Noisy, noisy cicadas...It would be so weird around here not to hear them.

    Hmmmm..rollicking and frolicking moths....

  13. I love this post. You have a ton of cool stuff going on in your garden. I love all of them (well, not the slug!) Great photos too!

  14. (I commented last night but I don't think it went through.)

    You were embarrassed by Sponge Bob having to pee but you take pictures of moth sex! And you publish it on the internet! I soooooo don't want to hear about Sponge Bob's peeing issue now! rofl You crack me up!

    (did I say that enough times to get Google to pick it up again?)

  15. It's always fun to see what type of creatures you can find around the property, we have deer that come to our back gate all the time since we feed them ears of corn, it is mostly does and their fawn, once in awhile it's bucks but not very often.

  16. Hi Danni,
    I've never seen a cicada up close and personal. Your post reminded of one I did last year and was I ever teased by my daughters and husband too! So naive I am! If you're interested, go to and check out what I'm talking about.

    I know you'll giggle too!
    Mother Nature's critters are fascinating but I'm such a "woos" I like to keep my distance from most of them . . . unless my fascination gets to me first!

  17. I spent the weekend trying to photograph bugs, frogs, and dragonflies, and those suckers don't just stand still and say I'm very impressed with these shots! Great pix, another fun post.

    Especially the moth porn.

  18. Wow....ew. :D

    Good observations-some of those animals are really cool! However, I don't think I particularily care for Gigi. :D

    I love the last critter farm cutie... I was wondering what happened to Roxy!!!!!! :) Glad to see her.

  19. Yes, the first photo is a cicada. They can be deafening if you get enough in one spot, especially at dusk. They're fun. They leave their pupa shells on tree trunks and they'll stick to your clothes.

  20. Beautiful pictures! I love your red butterflies! And what are those things on your windows? Slugs? Yuck!

  21. What a great group of photos. I love the last one....she looks exhausted. Those slugs creep me out. I can't stand them. I am a slug baiter.


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