The wonderful weather this past weekend meant my family and I spent a lot of time outside. During our forays into the great outdoors (read: our backyard), I had the dubious pleasure of meeting some of my new neighbors. These aren't neighbors of the people persuasion, however, but rather of the creepy-crawly kind.
First up is our resident skink. Also known as the blue-tailed skink, or the five-line skink, these little buggers look like a snake with legs. They wriggle like a snake, they can move ungodly quickly, and they have a bright-blue, eye-catching tail (at least while they're juveniles). From what I've read, they have the ability to detach their tail if caught, so they can escape while their predator is distracted by the wiggling appendage.
Our skink, who lives either in the eaves of the house above the soffit, or under one of the gutter drain splashguards (I've seen it both places). When I caught it for posterity, it was in the middle of an afternoon meal. That thing in its mouth is a little wriggly centipede of some sort. I've named him Snape the Skink. No resemblance to persons living or dead, real or fictional, is intended.
Next up is our resident writing spider. No, not Charlotte, but a black and yellow garden writing spider (scientifically, Argiope aurantia) who has taken up residence outside a window of our sunroom. It appears she's there to stay, as she happily puts up a new web each day, with a slightly different variant of the writing pattern. I've named her Phyllis Stiller, the Steelers' Spider.
On my way to check out Phyllis' new web on Sunday, I came across another arachnid resident of the grounds around my home. Freakishly white all over, this little guy looks like he would be better suited to living under the house (if our house had an under to live in). And just so you know, his name is Momo the Albino Winged Lemur Spider. I have no idea what type of spider Momo is…if you know, I'd love to hear from you.
When I got around to Phyllis' new web on Sunday, I was surprised to see that Phyllis had hauled in the mother-load of insects…a grasshopper bigger than Phyllis herself! She seemed pretty proud of herself, and I think I caught her during her coffee break, because all she was doing was sitting there, occasionally tapping the grasshopper with one leg. I'm not sure if she was doing something spider-like, or just checking to make sure that the thing was real, but either way, Go Phyllis!
Those are all the new neighbors who were willing to be photographed. Not pictured are the little toads that hop around in the flower beds, and the little black cat who lives in the barn behind our house. I'm waiting until I capture them on camera before naming then, but I'll keep you posted.
Join with me in welcoming my new neighbors to the 'hood. As long as they don't bother me, I won't bother them. I'm sure we'll both appreciate keeping things that way.
Read and post comments | Send to a friend