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Thread: Garden Critters!

  1. #1
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    Garden Critters!

    One of my 'water' frogs is still around. He has gotten huge. As soon as I spotted him, he saw me and did one quick leap into the water. Some day, one day... I hope to get a picture of him.

    Then when I was mowing the front lawn, I came to a squeaching halt. There he was, a little, but fat and chubby toad frog. He finally moved so that I could continue mowing.

    And wouldn't you know it? I spotted a nice sized lizard in one of the front beds.

    It's so good to see some of my garden critter friends again! I was afraid I had lost many of them...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  2. #2
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    I agree Ann,
    The lizards are wonderful little helpers in the garden. I usually try and catch at lease one lizard for each of my tomato plants, once they start getting some size. Once I get them established, there is no need for sprays. Unfortunately they do not seem to be able to keep those big black grasshoppers under control in the daylilies, or the horn worms in the tomatoes. I try to keep them picked off by hand and squished.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  3. #3
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    Horn worms-- I recall the Red Cardinal had a fondness for them. I suspect other birds would as well. Maybe a bird feeder near the tomatoes....
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    I Can't Believe IT!

    He actually let me get really close to take quite a few pictures of him. I say him, but it could very well be a her. And there is a smaller one, but I see this one the most often.

    I'm so glad to see he/she is still around!
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
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    Today, I saw several tiny little baby lizards. They made it!

    I wonder how small they are when they are born. Are they live bearers? I suspect that they are, but I don't really know for sure.

    They seem to hang out a lot around my tropical hibiscus. That's where I spotted the babies today. These plants lost most of their leaves during the high winds of the hurricane, but are bouncing back with new spring leaves and a bloom or two here and there.

    Perhaps this is why I haven't seen many of them? Their food source (aphids) had lost their source of food. Perhaps this is why I actually saw aphids for the first time on my daylily leaves?

    I am so thrilled to see life starting to get back to 'normal'!

    We had hail last night, and according to the weather station 2,000 bolts of lightning per hour. I believe that! I didn't get much sleep. The hail sounded like glass hitting glass on the windows, and I was pleased this morning to see that the vehicles didn't receive any damage. I don't know about the one I normally drive though. It is in the shop getting repairs, and parts didn't come in due to the flooding.

    Yep! Things are getting back to normal. My neighbor told me, "Aren't you glad you have your new roof?" And I said, "Yup! I didn't have to worry about leaks or the tarp blowing off!"

    Nature! It's a good thing! I won't complain. Just keeping on keeping on and enjoying SPRING!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
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    I think you will find that the lizards in our area almost all lay soft-shelled eggs. The mother lays the egg, usually in a hole or small depression, and for the most part, abandons it. It's a good thing the shell is soft, because the egg is almost as big around as the one laying it.

    The reason you haven't seen them until now is that they hibernate in some protected area during the colder season. If you happen to uncover one in the cold, he will barely be able to move, if at all.

    If you had hail of any size, you should have your roof checked. Hail can knock the granules off the shingles, and greatly reduce their life span.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  7. #7
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    Tom,

    Neat about the soft shelled eggs. I promise I will study about this some more.

    I do understand about hail and roof damage. State Farm did a number on me one year, and despite the fact that my roof was not that old, I had huge hunks of shingles on the ground and missing from the roof. Guess who ended up paying for a new roof?

    That roof was replaced after Ivan, and that was only a few weeks ago with a 30 year shingle called Timberline. I don't even see a granule missing. Let's hope that will last at least 10 years, huh?
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
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    A Baby

    This is not the smallest one I have seen, but there are quite a few of them around. And they are so very QUICK!
    Attached Images  
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #9
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    Not for the Squimmish...

    Yesterday, while I was repotting some Amaryllis, I saw one of my frogs. I always like to go near them and look at them up close just to see how close I can get without scaring them. There was one on a pot that was submerged in water. I smiled and went close to him/her.

    Then, I almost cried. His left leg had been severed. You could see a tiny white bone protuding. Tears came to my eyes. Gee, what a softy I am. If I could have done anything to help this frog, I would have. I went to close, and he dove into the water.

    I didn't see him again yesterday. I did see one that was bigger. He wasn't in the water. He was on the ground and had turned a little more green. He jumped away when I came near him. Then, I saw one of the babies on top of a floating leaf.

    I went outside this morning to look and still no sign of him. I figured that I must have scared him away.

    When I came home this evening, it was almost dark. I went out to check on him and there he was, sitting on that pot. Other than the injury, he looks healthy and fine. This time he didn't jump when I went closer to him.


    I feel better. He's going to make it just fine.

    I do enjoy my critters!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  10. #10
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    What a neat story !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  11. #11
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    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    Aww, poor little froggie! I too found an injured one in my pond, this year. It looked like maybe something bit him (my cat or dog), and 'stuff' was trying to come out of the holes. I was so sad to see him, like that. I cried too Ann. Although I seen him for the rest of the summer too. I hope he made it. I had a few of them (a family?), living in the big clump of tall phlox by my pond. If I went out there and didn't see any toads or frogs, I'd look in there and yup the toad family would be in there.
    I don't put any chemicals in the pond, to help with the mostiques. That is cause there weren't any mostiques. I'm convinced it has to do with all the frogs and toads. Literally a hundred tadpoles or polliwogs in the pond.
    Different kinds of frogs too, maybe toads. Don't know how different ones there are. Had tree frogs too.
    There was this HUGE toad, big as the palm of my hand, he was very prettily colored too. Kinda scary, after I started checking him out though. LOL!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  12. #12
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    I haven't spotted any of my frogs this year, but this past week, I have seen lots of little baby lizards. Most of them were brown and had been hiding under pots which I have been in the process of moving.

    Yesterday, I spotted a big green one in the patio.

    Then, this afternoon, I was checking the greenhouse, noticed some bees, so didn't want to stay in there very long. Then I spotted him, a rather large lizard chowing down on one of the 'long legged mosquitoes' or at least that is what we call them. They are everywhere.

    I watched him as he slowly and carefully devoured his pray. He looked so proud and satisfied when he was tasting his last bite. My face couldn't have been more than 8-10 inches from him. Gee, where is my camera when I need it? Surely, I should get one of those tiny little digitals that I could carry in my pocket.

    Well, it may be going down to 40 degrees tonight, but my critters think it is spring.

    I'll know for sure when I see the pond frogs...

    Another beautiful day on the Gulf Coast!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
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    P.S.

    Vicki,

    I truly avoid chemicals when I can because of my critters. I figure they need something to feed on or they will go away.

    However, I do use the mosquitoe dunks in my little 'ponds' when I see too many mosquitoe larvae. That's a biological control and not supposed to hurt any of my plants or critters.

    I hope to get a real pond to fill the hole that the old pecan tree made. Actually, it will have to be one of those plastic ponds, but that is okay. I can always grow it to a larger sized later.

    When I get one of those and the pumps needed to aireate the water, I will buy some fish to go in the pond. Fish do fairly well here, but I have to make sure the pond is deep enough that 'Blue' won't try to catch the fish. She is a good garage kitty and normally doesn't bother any of my plants, but I don't know about critters. She is mighty protective of her territory.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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