Orchids forum: Critter Week

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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 1, 2016 4:50 PM CST

Moderator

Patty, and others, please post away! Smiling
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 1, 2016 5:04 PM CST
It was an interesting week in my Garden:

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This little Black snake is almost always around somewhere, and he likes to climb!
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My son brought this home from work for me to see. I let him go after a few pictures and he flew straight into/under a Staghorn I have mounted in my oak tree.
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More to come...I have to go make dinner! Big Grin

And more -
And, finally, for the 4th year in a row Mama Owl has been spotted out on my hot tub gazebo...for 5 days in a row so far! No owlettes in tow yet (3 each for the last 3 years and she fledges them from my front porch!) but it's a little early. She, and Daddy, usually show up with their babies around June 1.


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[Last edited by Ursula - May 1, 2016 6:26 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1134934 (2)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 1, 2016 6:24 PM CST
Aww, the little furry bat is so cute. I hope he stays around and lives in your staghorn for the summer, you'll have hundreds less mosquitoes.

I love watching the black snakes climb, that's a neat shot. Where are the owls? You won't be having any rodent problems with a family of owls in the neighborhood!

I was blundering around like an idiot this morning, trying to get pictures of butterflies that never stay still. The huge Tiger Swallowtail "buzzed" me at least 3 times that I saw but never alighted, darnit. I did get a lousy shot of one of the many Zebra Longwings.

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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 1, 2016 6:28 PM CST

Moderator

I don't think I ever saw anyone holding Bats in their hands. Super cute!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 1, 2016 6:44 PM CST
Bats can carry rabies, but they rarely bite people. We've had the bat folks come and give us a talk about bats at the Extension office a couple of times and they handle the bats very confidently. They are advocating for more people to install bat houses to aid in mosquito abatement, and say that the bat/rabies connection is on par with things like shark bites. Very, very rare considering how many there are around us all the time.

Oh, I forgot the photo of the cat patiently watching me chase butterflies and obviously saying to herself "People are so clumsy and crazy".

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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 1, 2016 6:45 PM CST

Moderator

Sweet!

Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 1, 2016 7:17 PM CST
She is such a beautiful cat, Elaine!

The bat was such a cute little thing! I've loved bats forever but really got some close up time with them when my cousin & I went to a few caves in Oklahoma & Missouri, they were all over the place! I've never held one either, and honestly I didn't even think about it, just picked the little guy up and took the pics till he flew off. Here is another one (sorry it's blurry) that shows his body a little better. I hope he sticks around too Elaine!
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As for the owls...the first time they came around thebabies were in the ficus tree right next to my porch, mama was on the porch or the swing frame, and daddy was on the circuit box on the side of the house a few feet away for two days in a row. They are screech owls and I have learned that they are NOT color-gender specific, so in all actuality I do not know if the brown one or the gray one is mama or daddy, but since the beginning I've just assumed the brown is the mom & the gray is dad...but I could very well be wrong!

First year 2013:
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Then in 2014 they were all right on my porch for 3 days in a row:
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In 2015 they came a little later and the babies were bigger and more wary of me (the two previous years they came right around June 1st and didn't mind at all that I was setting up tri-pods and standing on chairs to get TONS of pictures), they didn't make it on the porch but were in a coral tree next to the house (the babies) while dad sat on the ac unit and mom was on the arm of a wheelchair propped against the house.

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So obviously I am hoping she brings her babies around this year too...and daddy!
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
May 1, 2016 7:24 PM CST
That owl is so cool. I have seen screech owls up close to houses but that one looks too big for a screech.

edited. OK, after seeing your second set of pictures I can see they are pretty small. Just wonderful, you are fortunate to have them and the bats too.

Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
[Last edited by ardesia - May 1, 2016 7:26 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1135078 (8)
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 1, 2016 7:29 PM CST
They aren't very big Alice, maybe 6 or 7 inches from top to tail....but the way they can change their shape is pretty amazing, just like the 'ears' which are just tufts of hair!

Check these out, taken just seconds apart:

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Name: Ibis
Florida, Orlando-ish (Zone 9b)
Region: Florida Tropicals Bromeliad Orchids Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Dog Lover Birds
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IbisFla
May 1, 2016 7:53 PM CST
I didn't realize they would get that close to people! How great that you could get such good shots!

Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 1, 2016 7:56 PM CST
Your critters are sure more interesting than my critters. We got this on our Game Cam in January.
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Daisy
[Last edited by DaisyI - May 1, 2016 7:56 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1135124 (11)
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 1, 2016 8:05 PM CST
That's a great shot Daisy! Hurray! Two males 'locking horns'...how often do you get to see that outside the Animal Planet Channel?

I love deer! When we lived on 10 acres in New York we would get herds of 30 or so that we could see out our windows...they loved the salt blocks that my dad had out for the horses. That was when he quit hunting them too...said he couldn't shoot them anymore after watching them play in our fields!

I Love your picture! Have you ever found any shed antlers?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 1, 2016 8:17 PM CST
I look every year, hoping, hoping that this will be the year that I find an antler. Sighing!

The game cam is great. We have had a lot of deer, squirrels, skunks, 'possums and raccoons, foxes and once a mountain lion. I couldn't find that one though.

Daisy
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
May 2, 2016 3:22 AM CST
I LOVE those owls, they are all around here, just not at my house. Sad We do get the Great Horned Owls but they normally stay pretty high up in the trees. Somewhere I have a photo of one that chose to come down and visit.

We had 5 deer slogging through the marsh last week. They are pretty good swimmers, it is not unusual to see them swimming across the rivers but walking in this depth water is strange. They seemed to be going slow and methodical, I believe they were stepping carefully and watching for the pluff mud which is like quicksand and you can quickly sink in to your knees.

I learned from a birds of prey center volunteer that the Turkey Vultures are evolving and starting to eat bird seed either along with or instead of their preferred carrion. This one frequents my neighbors bird feeder and was considering one of our feeders the other day. Picture wa taken through the window.
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Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 2, 2016 7:27 AM CST

Moderator

Patty, those Owls are really special!! Hawks have made a huge comeback here, but I don't remember seeing any Owls ever!!
Deer? Now those are nowadays living down the road around the local bike bath and I hear just nearby in an abandoned lot and every so often wander into our yard. A couple of months ago I spotted 4 of them just camping out!
I took these pictures on different occasions from the back room window. They are gorgeous animals, but now we placed netting over our young Elderberry and Bushes on the other side of the yard. (And I don't look forwards to check for Ticks coming in from my backyard. )
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My husband found two nice antlers in early Spring in our local woods, I am thinking of mounting an Orchid to them.

Now talking about Bats - that is a really very sad thing about them. At our place in NE Pennsylvania we always saw Bats!! Lots of them. Now when we bought the place more than 30 years ago, we found Bats living in the attic. We closed them off from the house at the time and a few years later we needed a new roof and we had to evict them.
They moved!! Right between the aluminum siding and house wall. They didn't get into the house and all was fine. We watched them coming out at sundown, which was most interesting - they came out in groups of several bats at the time, emerging in full flight !! through the smallest crack on the house wall between chimney and siding.
I tried so many times to record this, but I struck out. Not enough light at sundown and movement proved too difficult for my camera then.
Now a few years ago most of the Bats in our area died due to a disease/called White Nose Syndrome. It seems Bats woke up during the Winter from hibernation and perished outside from the cold.
We were so sorry when we realized "our" Bats were amongst those which died. We still miss them. It was really interesting to watch them come out in the evening, they would fly so low you could see them really up close.
We hear they are making a comeback, they were seen south of us in Pennsy. Here in NJ my son lives ca 15 miles north of us, we do see them coming out over his place on Summer evenings.

Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 3, 2016 9:12 AM CST
Alice, I love your deer photo! I've never seen a vulture eating birdseed here...not on my feeders anyway! The are SO ugly up close but SO beautiful when they are flying high overhead!

Ursula, great idea of mounting an orchid or two to the antlers...that's so unique, I'm sure it would be beautiful!
How many bats was it that were living in your siding that they came out in 'groups'?? That's so sad that you lost them.
When we lived on the farm in NY (where we saw the large groups of deer out in the fields) my friends across the street had an old farm house and in their room were two small panes of glass (not windows, I guess, because they didn't open) that had fixed slats of wood (sort of like shutters, but they didn't open or close either) covering them on the outside and one of them had a bat that was always sleeping between the glass & the wood whenever we would hang out in their room. I thought for sure the little thing was dead though my friends assured me that it wasn't, but it seemed to me it was always in exactly the same spot, in the same position, and we could never get it to move by tapping on the glass. Hey, I was a city kid, what did I know! Hilarious!
Now, I wonder what those non-windows were for anyway?
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
May 3, 2016 9:58 AM CST

Moderator

Patty, those Bats were probably in the many dozens, they would fly out of the crack in groups, and it took quite a while for them to all come out in the evening.
Sad indeed!
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
SarasotaPatty
May 7, 2016 8:35 PM CST
Suddenly I'm thinking that I've been wrong all along, and maybe the mama owl IS the gray one instead of the brown one. If they are gonna have babies ready to fledge by June 1 someone should be sitting on that nest and/or feeding hungry babies, and yet....
The brown one is still on my hot tub gazebo almost every day, all day long..even when I spent most of yesterday working within 15 feet of her/him.
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The only time I've seen the gray one was on Wednesday evening, after it had been storming all day! In my room with the windows open I heard the soft hooting and went out to look around. There it was:
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Then SHE (?) flew into a palm nearby, and for the life of me I can't make out what she was doing in the pic I took (it was pretty dark by this time).
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So now I think mama is taking care of the babies all day every day, while daddy hangs out by my hot tub sleeping his days away! If he had a little owl beer in his talons I'd be sure of it! Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
May 7, 2016 9:43 PM CST
Yeah, don't forget they sleep all day and hunt at night, so there's probably only room for one owl on the nest.

Looks to me like mama owl caught something in that last picture. Mice and rats do hang out in the palms at night.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
May 8, 2016 3:44 AM CST
I agree Looks like the he/she was out picking up the take out for a late supper.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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