I thought it might be appropriate, as a follow-up to my post about our plant friends seeking world domination, to show you some of those from the animal kingdom that share our three and a half acres here at the Doublewide Ranch.
(Rat snake in our driveway. I almost stepped on him because I was looking up at the sky.)
It’s amazing to me to observe how animals go about their daily business, adjusting without undue distress to our interruptions, intrusions, and insults. But then, who can say what they’re thinking, what goes on behind those whiskers, beneath those big furry ears, or even under that scaly armor? Who can forget the Hitchcock movie, The Birds? *Shudder* True story: My friend Kevin and I were eating lunch in a city park in Winston-Salem once when we suddenly realized we were surrounded by squirrels, who had gathered slowly and quietly, one at the time, until there were at least twenty circling us and closing in fast. We laughed nervously, quickly gathered our things, and practically ran out of there. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was more than a little spooked that day. And recently, at my favorite spot nearby on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Craggy Gardens, rangers closed the picnic grounds after a bear literally snatched a plate of chicken from right under a lady’s nose.
(Mockingbird claiming our persimmon tree)
You may be laughing now, but one day you’ll remember my words. Or maybe one night—when you hear the mournful howls of coyotes in the darkness. Or when the Unseen rustle the underbrush as you pass. Or when you glimpse movement at the corner of your eye, only to see nothing there when you turn.
There was a really catchy Disney song (it was from Peter Pan, I think) from my children’s younger days that still goes through my head on occasion:
Never smile at a crocodile.
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile.
Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin–
He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin!
Never smile at a crocodile
Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile!
Good advice, I’d say. Respect our animal friends, but keep a proper distance (especially from crocodiles. And pit vipers. And Komodo dragons, maybe). Let them go about their animal business without interference. Without intrusions.
Let’s just hope and pray that their “animal business” doesn’t involve WORLD DOMINATION.
But, as always…
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Giant Hornet and Baldfaced Hornet eat sap (at least, I think that’s what it is)
This groundhog lives under Tom’s workshop. He has gotten fat from our apples and pears. I guess that’s why they call them “hogs.”
Sure, he looks innocent, but IS he?
The first time I’d seen a rabbit up on all four legs. Curious. And kind of funny. Perhaps he’s working on becoming bipedal? Part of his devious plan for world domination?
Mmmm…this is a really tasty nut. And I’ve got it all to myself! yum, yum…
Hey, lady, get that camera outta my face! Can’t a squirrel eat a nut in peace around here?
Hey, lady! Didn’t I tell you to get that camera out of my face? You wanna piece of me? And say, lady, didn’t I hear that you’re a little scared of squirrels? Heh, heh, yeah…it was something about a certain squirrel incident in Winston-Salem….