Saturday, September 11, 2010

Creature Comforts

I just adore returning to Michigan to go out and find the same old creatures I used to find when I was a kid. For example the snakes that I don't see anywhere but at home always make me feel, well, at home. This little guy reminds me of the baby snake I caught one fall when I was in high school and kept inside through the winter, feeding worms that we dug up and heating him with a warm lamp. I released him in the spring to watch him slither off in the grass toward the pond.

Maybe I just never noticed the red dragonflies, but I was enthused to see this pretty one by the pond a couple days ago.

Here's a very hungry caterpillar, spotted on the milkweeds behind my parents' house. He's working hard to get very fat, then...

he'll hang himself somewhere, like on a plant outside, or at the top of a jar if you catch him and take him into your house in a jar with nice airholes in the lid and delicious leaves to eat...

...and then he will emerge like so! This picture is a bit shaky since this Monarch was spotted by my parents' garden on a windy, rainy day in a white pine tree.

This one, however, emerged in the house in a jar, and then flew out of the jar and made a beeline for those flowers. Shortly thereafter the butterfly was herded out of the house and into the great big world.

I'm glad I didn't notice that crocodile waiting to eat me in the background while I was photographing this little flower, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten such a nice picture! I'm always scared that we'll run into a bear when we go into the woods, but I guess we should be more worried about the crocodiles! Are those pesky retirees who go to Florida in the winter bringing back these large, deadly reptiles with them as stowaways?

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