I just went to weigh myself, and a tiny gecko shot out from under the scales and crawled part way up the wall. I’ve managed to catch him and reunite him with his lizard friends on the back porch. I’d love to know how he made it upstairs.
The squirrels have been leaving us alone since we came back from England. I wondered if they were sulking, but then I saw that the trees were all suddenly bearing black walnuts and live oak acorns. The squirrels have such abundant food right now that they simply don’t need to visit us.
We had a landscape gardener come to look at the front yard. We’re definitely going to get some cactus worked into the plans. The back yard is now entirely horse herb for ground coverage, which is working very nicely.
Our first wood roach of the year just visited. They live outside in the trees, which are quite delightfully wet right now due to the ongoing thunderstorm. There’s also lots of nice damp mulch out there, I bet they enjoy that too.
Yes, I admit it, I squealed. While I’m getting used to the little buggers by now, the first one of the season is always an unpleasant surprise.
The flies have returned too. The wolf spiders don’t seem as plentiful this year, or at least not yet. The lizards came out briefly during a warm spell a couple of weeks ago, but have disappeared again.
There has been a major snail population explosion. We had one make its way up our front door, but mostly they hang around at the bottom of the siding on the house. Our neighbors say they have about a hundred on the other side of their house.
We now have 3 female squirrels visiting us who are either pregnant or nursing. Today one was feeding when a second turned up with two young squirrels in tow. The latecomer was chased off, and the youngsters proceeded to spend most of the rest of the afternoon playing in the treetops.
I seem to have started an interspecies conflict, however. One of the doves has worked out that there’s often sunflower seed to be had on the rear deck. On Friday I saw a squirrel being chased along the fence by an angry dove.
I’m going to have to come up with some kind of seed dispenser that’s dove-proof but not squirrel-proof. Maybe a plastic container with some smallish holes in, attached to the mat with some wire.
Buster has also returned. I’m going to try to get a good photo.
On Friday, I was gazing out into the back yard when I saw a hawk swoop towards the house, turn to the side at the last moment, and try to grab a squirrel from the fence.
I’m glad to report that he failed, but the squirrel was clearly very disturbed by his near death encounter. He leapt onto the trunk of the nearest tree, and called out—a type of sound I hadn’t heard from a squirrel before. It was a kind of squeak, starting low in pitch and going higher. I’m assuming it’s squirrel for “Holy crap, guys, look out, there’s a bird of prey around!”
I found the missing gecko. He had crawled into the wastebasket. Tonight was trash night, and I emptied it into a black sack, then put the sack in the trash—at which point the gecko shot out into the bin.
I managed to catch him in a jar, and took a good look at him. Definitely a mediterranean gecko. I took him out to the back yard, and released him under the deck to rejoin his family.
Not sure how he got into the house, but he was spotted in the downstairs bathroom. We attempted to catch him—for his own safety, and purely out of concern for his wellbeing—but he hid behind a box of PC parts and a stationery cabinet.
So mental note to self for tomorrow morning: tread carefully.
We now have at least 4 different squirrels visiting us on a regular basis. I know this because I’ve seen all 4 in the garden at once. We put up a squirrel bungee with a corn cob on the end, and often one aboreal rodent will chow at the feed box while another gets some exercise. They occasionally chase each other, but they don’t seem to be too territorial yet; maybe later in the year?
The downside of being the #1 brunch destination for Bouldin Creek squirrels is that between them, the critters can easily go through an entire ear of corn in one day.
We’ve also got more lizards. We found two just outside the back door one night. They were pinkish-white and sitting on white paint, but were otherwise very similar to the brown lizard spotted on the wood floor, so I’m guessing that they are color-changing lizards of some kind.
Finally, we’ve had a couple of sightings of the white peacock which lives with the regular peacocks at the restaurant up the street. It’s strange—it’s like a normal peacock that god built from an Airfix model kit but couldn’t be bothered to paint.
There’s a jumping spider in the room. He is quite the most speedy, agile and cunning spider I have ever encountered. Just now he leapt up and grabbed a power cord to use as an easy route behind the Linux box. He can jump over 20cm, and can spot an upturned beaker at a similar distance and recognize it as hostile.
Since he’s only about 1.5cm across, I’m not too bothered by him. However, I do find myself worrying about his larger relatives. I just tried to find out what specific kind of jumping spider he is, but the enlarged photo on the web site I found made my skin crawl so badly I had to close the browser.
Anyway, I’ve managed to catch him and release him outside in the bushes…