Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Household critters

Home. Several thousand pictures are downloaded. Time for the stories to begin.

They begin in the new house of Sson in Lafayette LA, heart of the Cajun country. As you may know by now, he is a biologist/ecologist; he and his clan are into critters. Deeply into critters, starting with the Yoda Cat, who travels with the family on summer visits to the west. Yes, Yoda is a Siamese mutt, like Max. There are differences, however, both in personality and appearance. Note the white marking on the nose/forehead; he has white feet, too.

My bathtub at Sson's new house. Can't leave the turtles outside at night -- no telling what marauding monsters might emerge from the coulee at the back of the yard. Yes, there was also a separate shower, just in case I didn't want to bathe with the family reptiles.

The daily transfer of turtles from bathtub to wading pond, where they can enjoy the Louisiana sun. If there is any in this humid country.

The kitchen counter is big enough for a couple of less sociable turtles, BTW.

In my bedroom, I met the family snakes -- three of 'em.

By this time, the porch snake will probably have slithered off into the water in the coulee. Sson's wife couldn't get him to eat and insisted that he be released.

The tree frog (upper left) and the salamander had a home on a shelf in the laundry room.

So much for the household pets. There were also outdoor critters to consider. My granddaughter caught this anole, who figures her finger is of a size he can handle. Such lizards were called chameleons when my family lived in Florida, because they turn from brown to bright green, depending upon the background. Not true chameleons, however.

I went hunting with my camera, finally cornering myself an anole -- and then (hide your eyes if you are persnickety) found the brazen couple below.

My fearless granddaughter next showed up with a medium-sized wolf spider.

And, after dark one evening, she brought in this cute little toad. Did I mention that a lot of energy goes into keeping this large family of critters well fed and reasonably happy?


Anonymous said...

Great post. I love seeing the critters. Reminds me of when I was a kid out hunting them.

Granny J said...

yes, indeed, Steve -- collecting critters was great fun when I was a kid. In Arizona, the horned toads were my favorites ... in Florida, it was the anoles, who were forever climbing on window screens & easy to to catch. At one point, Ted the Toad would show up every evening on the back porch when the light went on -- a great source of yummy bugs.

Anonymous said...

Ted couldn't resist a tickle or scratching on his side. He'd tilt and tilt as he was scratched until he had to shift to a new position. As I recall, he(we never checked his/her sex) appeared for at least two summer seasons.


ps, welcome back!

Anonymous said...

What, no 'gator?

Welcome home, Granny J!

~Anon in AV.

Anonymous said...

I liked the way the light reflected from the meniscus of water in the closeup of the turtles in the swimming pool.

And as for the "brazen couple" photo...well, Cajun country has a French heritage, and we know how the French are.

TomboCheck said...

What a great little zoo they have going on there! :) Sounds like a good time was had by all.

Jan said...

granny j..welcome home!

I've missed you..a lot!

I don't think I'd like sharing a bedroom with a snake..yikes!

Karen of Scottsdale said...

Sounds like you had a great adventure. I've been to Lafayette numerous times as I lived in Morgan City, LA for 10 yrs. I played with many an anole. Recall seeing them blow up their throats...looked like pink bubble gum.

Mary Beth said...

It sounds like quite a trip. Sharing the house with all those amphibians and reptiles would be a little much for me. I'm a sucker for feathers and fur though:)

I noticed that She of Little Brain hasn't posted in a while - I hope all is okay?

Granny J said...

bro -- tnx for further info on Ted; as I recall, I was away in college at the time.

anon av -- wait for the Swamp Critters post! The gators were easy to photograph; the problems were all those wonderful wading birds that all knew exactly what BD (Bird Distance) is -- close enough that birders with glasses can identify, but just out of reach for the usual telephoto or zoom lenses.

boonie -- lots and lots of water pictures coming up...

tombo -- it's a great zoo, just missing the pic of the caterpillar that the grandson captured while I was visiting. Trouble with such a zoo is that it is Real Work.

jan -- it's real easy sleeping in the same room with CAGED snakes. They don't snore or talk in their sleep.

karen -- I'd best be careful with my down & dirty expertise about matters Cajun with a real nearly native! Aren't anoles splendid little lizards?

mb -- the problem is probably that the harmless snakes suffer from the fear people have of their poisonous kin. As for SOLB, she's fine but has her hands full right now; her E. took me over yesterday to retrieve the Max cat.

Jules said...

Your house is my kind of house! I love it.

Granny J said...

jules -- welcome to my house, even tho that splendid menagerie is in Louisiana at my Sson's house! Among other sources, he (and his sister) have acquired turtles and tortoises which would have been killed crossing the Interstates. He sees them frequently & often stops to throw them back into the bayou or ditch.

Jules said...

Okay, then your Sson's house is my kind of house. Tell him I'm moving in. LOL

C. Marie Byars said...

Oh, the different "fauna" you'll see!

Granny J said...

jules -- he's expecting you next week.

cmarie -- Sson is really good on fauna, including all sorts of 6-leggers and critters it takes a microscope to observe.

Jules said...

Six-leggers, four-leggers AND microscopic munchkins? Oh, I'm in heaven. I'm a little busy next week. It tomorrow too soon to move in?

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