Saturday, May 16, 2015


This week seems to be the week of critters around our house.

It all started on Mother's Day with the snake in the basement.

Then on Wednesday I'd planned for us to learn about spiders via a couple of books. But, of course, my son thought it would be helpful if he caught the spider hanging down in front of the laundry room door. And, you know what? It was helpful. As I read aloud, the children listened while taking turns observing the spider in the jar (which they later released outside). It was pretty cool, even if I'm not terribly fond of spiders.

Yesterday brought a trio of critters to our home. First, the same son who discovered the snake in our basement discovered another one outside our front door. It was even smaller, and I couldn't identify it. It looked as though the cats had possibly dragged it in because it was injured--almost cut in half. We removed it from the front porch area in case it happened to be a poisonous one.

After lunch, the same son found a lizard on the front porch sunning itself.

Little feller, ain't he?

Okay, so the picture shows him on the bricks of the house, but he was on the front porch. He just ran away from curious kids. After some research online, we guessed this one's an Eastern fence lizard. While I didn't plan this one, we learned a good bit about these lizards yesterday. I guess education just comes to us!

In case you're wondering, not all of the critters that showed up were of the creepy, crawly variety. Last night as it was getting dark, a third son came running inside hollering about a puppy being outside. I investigated, and, indeed, there was a dog outside. It was cute and had a collar, but I didn't recognize it as any of our neighbors' dogs. Unfortunately, it wouldn't come anywhere near me, so I couldn't check out the tags on the collar. I haven't ventured outside yet this morning, but if it's still here, we've got more investigating to do.

Of course, we had all of the normal critter stuff this week with our dog, the ninja cats, the fish, and the guineas. We've had quite a time trying to find guinea eggs this week. Folks, it really is better than any Easter egg hunt because they've been really hiding them--mostly in poison ivy! 

I wonder how often I've overlooked all of these critters around me. Growing up, my best friend knew everything about animals, it seemed. I assumed it was because her father taught her because he was an avid hunter and fisher and he worked for the forestry service. Really, I'll bet it was just because she was way more observant than I. I guess I'm making up for it now. Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks. 

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