29 June 2016


I've been thinking of making a list of all the wildlife I've seen in my yard- as complete as I can get it, at least. It would be interesting to see what kind of numbers I came up with... Here's a few pics of some creatures we've noticed lately.
Our yard has a population of small bright lime-green spiders with yellow markings on the abdomen. I've found a website that lists over three hundred insects found in Virginia, with good pictures. Already I recognize over thirty-five of them... This is the Venusta Orchard Spider, one of the orbweavers.
It's hard to get it in the photograph, but when backlit, their legs have the most beautiful blue-green color.
I also saw this tiny green bug on the nasturtiums the other day- no idea what it is.
I am sorry to show you a picture of a dead chipmunk. This is the critter that has been leaving tiny piles of poo on top of one corner of our outside a/c unit fan- which I often sweep into the compost, ha. Also the one who has been digging in the garden. Or its mate was. My cat got this one. We buried it. Kids were really sad. (Strange, my cat eats voles, mice, rats, squirrels and birds he catches. He did not eat this chipmunk).
This year I have seen more skinks. I think they are just common five-lined skinks. I love the blue tails. We found a young one hiding among rocks by the front porch- my five-year-old now constantly wants to lift the largest rocks and find the lizard every time we go outside. I tell her if we always take the roof off his house, the skink will think this is not a good place to live and go away. We have to just wait and be lucky to see him. I wish I had got a picture when he was all the way exposed- the blue color goes all the way up to his back feet! But he moved so quick.
In the back planted bed I startled an older skink the other day. It is all over brown, with just a faint stripe on the side and the head and throat reddish color. So I think this one is an older male. It ran up a tree, and just like a squirrel took evasive moves going to the other side of the tree when I tried to walk around to see it. So I could not get a good picture. But I am glad he is living in the yard bed, and take care not to follow when I startle him again, if I hear a quick skitter in the leaf mulch I let him run away.

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