Critter Gallery

I live kinda' out in the woods and at times I find some pretty neat critters; so, for better or worse, here they are.  Please note, all of our critters are observed, photographed, and then returned to the wild.  To date, the only one to be put to death has been the rattle snake.  I struggled with this, but with four kids, it was best that I didn't have a venomous snake lurking about the property.

Some of the later pictures make take a little longer to load, I wanted to post larger photos so that we can appreciate all of nature's beauty.  Some of the critters have some really beautiful, intricate patterns that must be seen up close to really appreciate.

If, for whatever reason, you would like to use one of these photos, feel free to do so; just please mention that you got it from here.


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Here's a funnel weaver spider, agelenopis species, I came across in the garden 6/1/09.

Same spider 6/1/09.

Large grub found while working in the garden 6/1/09. Same grub, wish I knew what beetle it will become.  Cell is for size comp. I found this guy while cleaning up in the shop.  I think he matches the grub 6/2/09. Yep the mandibles match 6/2/09.   What critter page would be complete without a visit from Mr. Toad?  He's not happy about having his picture made 6/2/09. Here he is again, begrudgedly allowing his picture to be made 6/2/09.  Cow or velvet ant, actually a wingless wasp, found crossing the driveway.  Sorry for t he blurry pictures, she was moving fast 6/14/09. Stink bug.  These things love the yucca blooms.  I poison them and two days later there is twice as many 6/14/09.
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 Another frog found on the back porch.  Believed to be a barking tree frog 6/2/09.

 A picture of the "porch frog" showing off his amazing sense of balance and concentration by perching on my finger 6/2/09.

Centipede that I found today in the yard 6/8/09.

 Same centipede in the observation dish with a dime for size comparison 6/8/09.

 Diamondback rattlesnake found by the boys behind the shed.

Some people call these crab spiders, the correct name is "jewel spider".  Either way, I think they are neat, see the smilie face on the "shell".

A black and yellow Argiope, argiope aurantia, spider, I wish I had put something in the picture for size reference, as he is quite large. 

Another shot of the argiope spider. 

 Zorro, the coolest dog in the world.6/14/09

 Some bluebird babies in a bird house by the garden. 6/14/09 

Flew the coop and out of the nest on 6/23/09

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A golden silk orb weaver, nephila clavipes, spider from the back yard.

Another shot of the orb weaver.

Aphid infestation on a loquat tree.  6/14/09

Brown mosquito hawk from back yard. 6/16/09

Another shot of the brown 'skeeter hawk. 6/19/09

Same one, front shot. 6/16/09

Close up of the brown 'skeeter hawk. 6/16/09

The brown one was joined by a blue one.  They didn't seem to be bothered by me, and even hammed it up for the camera. 6/16/09

Side view of the blue again, showing his nice smile. 6/16/09

 Close up of his smile.  Well, he looks like he is smiling to me. 6/16/09

The two were joined by a friend, making it three.  Number three was blue with a splash of green and was somewhat more shy that the other two.  He wouldn't let me get as close as the others. 6/16/09

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Found these on one of my bonsai trees.  There were several leaves "silked" together, I pulled one them back and found these. 6/24/09 

Close up of the spiderlings. 6/24/09

Here's mom in the rear of the enclosure.  I left them alone and the next day, mom had sewn the enclosure back up. 6/24/09

Interesting spider that I found on the wood shed.  He's a hairy fellow.  One of these days I'll get around to classifying these creatures.  For a cool site on spiders check out www.spiderzrule.com  6/24/09

Same spider. 6/24/09

Grasshopper found while working in the yard. 6/24/09

He wasn't real happy about being handled, here he is pinching my fingers with his mandibles. 6/24/09

Wasp-like insect on the sunflowers in the garden. 6/24/09

Same insect

Same insect

Same insect

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Another type of stink bug. 6/24/09

Wasp that was on the angel trumpets.  Running up on a nest of these can be quite painful. 6/24/09

Another wasp.

Another larger velvet ant that I found out by the bonsai trees, I like how it's eye looks, kinda cartoony or like it was drawn on.  He looks upside down in the picture, but actually he was on the side of a block support.  The photo was taken from above. 6/24/09

Top view of the ant, pictures don't really do this creature justice as the velvet is shiny when the sun hits it. She was difficult to photo because she wouldn't be still so the picture isn't as sharp as it could be. 6/24/09

Picture of a "chicken snake" that was found dining on my neighbor's duck's eggs; as you can see, he is quite full. I had hoped to capture and relocate but was too late.  After doing a little research, I have identified him as a gray rat snake, elaphe spiloides.  6/28/09

Another shot of the snake. 6/28/09

Picture of the duck eggs where the snake was found. 6/28/09

Black widow spider that I found in the shed.  I've been finding these things everywhere this year.  Kinda small, most of them have a larger abdomen. 7/12/09

Widow

Widow

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A beaver hutch that I photographed on Hwy 59 in Baldwin County. 7/26/09

Found this little fellow on the garage door this evening.  Looks to be a tree frog, and well fed at that.  Sorry for the poor photography, I was in a hurry and the lighting was poor, plus he was about to squirm out of my hand and I didn't want to be chasing him around the house. 7/29/09

Here is a picture of a dog that showed up on our back porch, I think she was abandoned by some low lifers that moved out down the street.  I call her Lady.  She was apparently very abused as she cowers terribly when approached.  After calming her she'll let you pet her, but she won't look at you, like she always waiting for you to strike her.  Haven't decided what to do about her, I guess I'm just a sucker, she seems so sad. 7/29/09

A moth that visited me in the shed tonight while I was working.  Not very spectacular at first glance, but check out the second picture.  The lower wings were beautiful.  I know it looks like I was really squeezing it, but it wasn't harmed. I looked this one up in a book that I have and it is an Io Moth. 8/10/09

What would South Alabama be without mosquitoes?  This one is one of the larger ones.  Sorry for the blurry picture, he was biting me, and he was harmed (squashed). 8/10/09

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A fly from the yard. 8/10/09

Katydid photographed in the back yard. 8/10/09

Mayflies in August.  Sorry for the green tint to the photo, the white balance on the camera didn't like the mercury light. 8/10/09

Nothing like a few fire ants to spoil the afternoon. 8/10/09

Large beetle found out behind the shed.  Didn't like the camera much.  He would be perfectly still until the IR from the focus hit him, then he would run for it. 8/10/09

 

Another mosquito hawk photographed in the back yard.  This one had a really nice rust color to him. 8/10/09

Check out the patterns on the wings of this one.  He's got a green striped mohawk, too. 8/14/08

Moth 8/14/09

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Moth 8/14/09

I think this one is pretty neat.  First, he looks like he has fur, and second his antennae looks like a moustache.  Kinda like Super Mario. 8/14/09

Moth 8/14/09

Moth 8/14/09

I found this moth on the garage door, after some research on the internet, I believe it to be an Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis, a male .  He was quite large, 4 to 5 inches across. 8/14/09

Last for today, a nice green and black mosquito hawk, or dragon fly.  It amazes me the variety of colors that these guys come in.  8/14/09

A frog seen on the moth photo shoot.  Appears to be some sort of tree frog.  8/14/09

Another tree frog found on the side of the shop.  He was dining on bugs attracted by the light.  Forgot to resize the picture, so it might take a minute to download.  9/13/09

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Caterpillar found out by the bonsai trees.  9/13/09

Ribbon fish caught off Fairhope pier, Fairhope, AL.  CHECK OUT THOSE TEETH!!! 6-8-2011 Red Fish and bull croaker caught at Gulf Shores, AL.  11-20-2010 Pompano caught at Gulf Shores, AL.  11-20-2010 Portugese Man-o-War washed up on the beach at Gulf Shores, AL.  We saw hundreds of these during our week long stay.  11-20-10 Nifty looking caterpillar found munching on the serissa in the bonsai area.  6-13-2010 Mussels collected by my daughter at the beach.  These are the ones that can be seen digging back into the sand in the surf. 11-20-2010
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Calico crab, caught in the surf at Gulf Shores, AL.  Similar to the blue crab, and just as tasty.  11-2010 Large chicken or rat snake in my mulberry tree.  He was about 6 feet long.  Waiting to ambush the birds that were dining on the mullberries. 6-3-2010 Caterpillars found on my mothers flowers. 9/25/2010