28 May 2018


The other day after heavy rain I saw a shape in the very back of the yard that didn't look right- brown, tan, blending in, but not where I expected it. I got my binoculars and looked through the kitchen window.
A rabbit (beside the summersweet). Probably who ate the tops off my new heucherella- but only a few from each plant so I don't mind. It will make them grow fuller. As long as it stays out of the vegetable garden. Either the cat or the scents of rue, 'scat plant', mint is keeping it away so far. Or both. I bet it's the animal that nipped several stems of my young euonymus I transplanted to the back- I found several neatly cut and just lying there.
I'd rather see the foxes. Haven't in a long time. Neighbors report seeing a large brown fox around in the past few weeks.

We do seem to have tons of skinks in the yard this year. The other day for some reason many of the adult, brown ones were out and about- and I didn't see a single blue-tailed youngster (but there's at least three or four in the yard, I saw them again today). Here's my best pics
the ones with the red throats and faces are males
Perhaps this one on the right is a broad-headed skink, not a five-lined skink? it doesn't seem to have stripes and the head certainly bulges at the jaws
I really like watching them. They seem plump and content- sometimes pause on the decking or a log or paving stone and stretch their back legs out as if relaxing. I looked up more about them- they can live five, ten or twenty years! They eat tons of insects- unfortunately including spiders and preying mantis (I wonder if that's why I haven't seen many mantids this year or last. I miss them. But I love the skinks). And they eat slugs! I have never really had a slug problem in this garden. They can voluntarily drop their tail when grabbed by a predator, and sometimes will turn around and eat the shed tail, if left alone after the attack.

I startled one in the grass just this morning. If I pause and don't move too abruptly, I can get within two feet of them sometimes, so hope for more close photos.

No comments: