Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What's in Your Attic?

This is what is in ours.

Or was anyway.

We had some electrical work done, and the contractor had to go into the attic.

And he found it.

He thought is was pretty cool.

Of course, he lives in the area, and is familiar with what one might find here.

Snakes! As evidenced by the shed skin shown here.

Which is no doubt the reason we don't see any evidence of mice in the house. (I've seen mice in the garage, quonset hut, yard, and even in the gas grill! (Although not in the grilling portion. (I still scrubbed it pretty good though.))).

I've also seen a variety of snakes in the yard.


This contractor reacted very differently than our last one. This one thought it was cool that we had snakes in the attic. Our last one, who Patty had used often when she lived in Philadelphia, came running in the house yelling (in a thick Italian accent) "Patty! Patty! There is a snake in the yard!" to which she replied, after grabbing the camera, "Where?"

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yard Critter of the Week

Continuing with the baby frogs ...

A Northern Spring Peeper.

Which like the previous YCOTW, was fond on the Mountain Mint in our garden.

Which is a good place to be if you're a frog as it is where the bugs hang out.


I spotted this one while out one night looking for another critter, the one on the left below.

Alistair, our Burmese Cat, who had escaped dashing out while a door was open. Our cats are indoor cats and it can be dangerous out in the wilds of New Jersey at night. Especially for a cat that doesn't hear all that well (if at all). Like us, you'll be happy to learn that he is back in the house safe and sound. Patty found him wandering down the road. The same place he went last time he wandered out.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yard Critter of the Week

Northern Gray Tree Frog.

(Non-gray variety.)

Scientific name: Hyla versicolor.

(Versicolor = "many colors".)

This is a young one which Patty found on the Mountain Mint in our back garden. And which she promptly captured. You can tell if is a tree frog by the pads on its toes.

It is tiny.

We had at first thought (wished!) that it was a Pine Barrens Tree Frog, which would have been a new species for the yard. But it was not to be.

It is still cool to have found a juvenile of a resident frog we hear throughout the spring, often clinging to the side of our house.


There are two gray tree frog species in New Jersey, the Northern Gray Tree Frog and the Southern Gray Tree Frog (aka Cope's Tree Frog). They look exactly alike and are usually distinguished by their calls, the southern being the more raspy of the two.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Hoping to see some warblers we headed out this morning to nearby Long Bridge Park for a nice morning stroll.

In addition to seeing seven species of warblers we found this fellow stroller, an Eastern Box Turtle, wandering down the yellow trail.

If you look closely (click on the image to bigafy it) it appears that our turtle is injured. Just above its head to the left there is what looks like damage to the shell. I hope it is ok.


After our morning stroll I have but 84 miles to go to reach 1000 for the year.

I wonder how many the box turtle has this year?

Peek - A - Boo!

It's migration time, so keep a weather eye out for those hard to see warblers that are no doubt hiding in your garden right now!

See them? They are smack dab in the middle of the pictures.

A Prairie Warbler above and a Common Yellowthroat Warbler below.

These two, along with American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Hooded Warbler were all in our garden yesterday.


So grab your bins, your favorite beverage, and a comfy lawn chair and spend the morning outside, listening to the sounds of the world waking up. And hopefully spotting these colorful migrants as they head south to their wintering grounds. Have fun!

Yard Critter of the Week

Northern Water Snake.

Attentive readers will recall that this species has been featured on the blog before.

A resident species since before we moved in. We first saw it on our visits here before we bought our place in the wilds of the Pinelands. There have been at least two (seen at the same time), and perhaps more, that have called out ponds home.

That first one was quite calm around humans. So much so that my brother in law didn't believe it was real. The snake was sunning itself just off the deck as we were eating dinner. No way a snake would be that calm with all the commotion just feet away. He (my brother in law Dano, not the snake) jumped back when I touched it and it moved!

(Dano is not a fan of snakes.)

((I don't know what snakes think of Dano. I think he's ok.))

This one is patrolling our back pond, which has plenty of tasty frogs and tadpoles. And just maybe one less sunfish?