Fox at Sunset

I was looking out our kitchen window and noticed some movement that didn't look like a bird. I looked again...and then I gasped and exclaimed to my husband, "Be very quiet, but look out the window! There's a FOX out there!!!" He then crept upstairs and opened the window to take pictures! You may notice that this fox is blind in its left eye and shows trauma to the surrounding area.

Submarine Squirrel

This adorable ground squirrel is drinking water out of one of the trays we keep filled for the birds that visit our feeders every day. This cutie pie looked like he wanted to dive in! :D Winner of FlickrDuel contest: +10 Wins: Funny This image was taken from my kitchen window in August, 2011.

My Little Buddy, the Clover Mite!

I would like to introduce you to my little buddy, otherwise known as a Clover Mite! :D Steve and I drove over to the Rogue River yesterday for an hour or two of photography and I was really excited about having a different environment to explore. I am very pleased to report that I got lucky and found all kinds of neat things to photograph! I was nose-close to the ground, looking around for anything interesting when I saw a tiny flash of red crawling on a leaf. "OOOH!!! A BUG!!!" I squealed happily and carefully maneuvered the itty bitty critter onto a twig so I could get him to a place to take some pictures. Measuring only about 1/16th of an inch in diameter, I knew this mite would be a challenge to photograph. I have tried many times to take pictures of miniscule gnats and other insects that I can hardly see, but I haven't been successful...until now! YES!! I was able to get these four images and I thought a collage would be a fun way to show off my tiny friend! Clover Mites are related to ticks but are plant eaters and can be a garden pest. Did you know that mites are actually in the spider family?! Like spiders, they have eight legs, and these little guys are distinguisable by their extra long forelegs, which are twice as long as their other legs! If you would like to know more about Clover Mites, you can visit this page: familytreetreeandturf.com/clovermites.html

One Thousand Tiny Feet

[best appreciated at full size against black] I would like all of you to meet my little friend, who lives down near the Rogue River! I disturbed his slumber when I carefully overturned a rotting log in hopes of making an awesome discovery to capture! Isn't this little guy adorable?! Millipedes, which are closely related to centipedes, are poisonous, though most aren't much of a threat to humans. It's best to never touch any of them, just in case. There are about 10,000 species of millipedes throughout the world (8,000 centipedes) and they are predominantly scavengers, whereas centipedes are predators. Here's somthing I didn't know: millipedes don't have 1,000 legs and centipedes don't have 100!! Millipedes may have as few as 36 legs or as many as 400, though one species does have 750 legs (Centipedes: 20-300 legs) And, they only have odd-numbered pairs of legs, for instance 15 pairs or 17 pairs, but never 16!! WOW! If you are fascinated and would like to know more, Wiki has a great page right here! :) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millipede This image was taken in February, 2012.

Red Devil with 100 Feet

[best appreciated at full size against black] Do you know the difference between a centipede and a millipede? The obvious answer is the number of feet it has, but...have you ever COUNTED them? I didn't think so! :D A couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of what I thought was a centipede, and guess what? I was WRONG!! I am blushing with embarrassment! However, I've corrected my error in that picture, and I PROMISE that THIS red devil is a CENTIPEDE!! Here are the main differences between centipedes and millipedes: Centipedes have long antennae and millipedes have short antennae. Centipedes have one pair of legs per segment* and millipedes have two. Centipedes have legs that visibly extend from the sides of the body and trail backward behind the body; millipede legs do not extend far out from the body and the last pair of legs are in line with the body. Centipedes move very fast and millipedes are slow movers. Centipedes can bite and millipedes do not bite. Centipedes are mostly predators and millipedes are mostly scavengers. *except for the first three segments, which have one pair each This droplet-covered fellow was found under a log and from what I've read, I believe he's a Tiger Centipede. These are very common and found all over the Western U.S. and northern Mexico. They can be many different colors, including striped or solid red. They have a nasty bite, which makes sense, given its bright red warning color! If you'd like to know more about this centipede, Wiki has a page here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scolopendra_polymorpha This image was taken in March, 2012.

Creepy Crawly Critters

[best appreciated at full size against black] It's amazing what you can find if you look under rocks and logs! Look at all of these fun friends! The little guy in the upper left is a wood termite larva I believe. On the upper right is a juvenile centipede. On the lower left is a millipede, and on the lower right is a pair of pill bugs! Aren't they all just adorable?! HEY!! I heard that! They're not icky!! Well...ok...maybe they are! :D :D But, they all have important jobs to do to help keep the balance on our property, eating dead and living plants and animals, and becoming food for other animals, helping to aerate and add nutrients to the soil, to give the plants energy! This image was taken in March, 2012.

Jackpot! Northwest Forest Scorpion! [EXPLORE #13, TYVM!!]

Yesterday I posted a collage of creepy crawly critters I've found under rocks and logs I've looked under. Well, the other day I was on our hillside looking around, and I found some old logs. I carefully rolled one over...nothing there. After replacing the log, I went to the next one. Fully expecting to find nothing there, I lifted it onto its end and LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!! A SCORPION!!! *bounces up and down in glee* This docile little guy was sitting very still on a bed of decaying wood and I was free to take as many pictures as I wanted. I'm not afraid of these amazing creatures because I know they're not interested in hurting me unless I'm unlucky enough to step on one. Even then, I'd be concerned but I know the the odds are the sting would only be something like a bee sting, or at worst, like a very bad hornet sting. Not fun at all, but not deadly either. However, I treat animals like this with great respect, and I felt so lucky to see this awesome predator! The Northwest Forest Scorpion, also known as the California Scorpion, is native to the Pacific Northwest, and is the most common scorpion in Oregon. These are very unaggressive as scorpions go, and live in rotting logs and other humid places. They eat small insects and prefer to use their pincers to kill their prey, not their stingers. Their venom is considered to be a "1" on a scale of "1-5". This image was taken in April, 2012. Explored on April 13th, 2012.

Dangerous Details!

[best appreciated at full size against black] The other day I posted a picture of a scorpion that I found under a log on our hillside, but it wasn't the only image I took! I thought it would be interesting to show closeups of different parts and explain what each one is! Upper Left: This is a face only a mother could love, and looks like a Predator's mouth to me! That bump on its head are two eyes, and there are two more eyes above its mouth to the left and right! The mouth is called a chelicera and has little finger-like appendages to pull food in and chew it up! Upper Right: The end of a scorpion's tail is a modified segment called a "telson", which contains the venom gland. Lower Left: This is one of a scorpion's two claws (chelae), also called pincers. They serve many different purposes, from defense to mating, and some scorpions like this one, prefer to kill their prey by using their pincers. Lower Right: This is an overall view of the gentle Northwest Forest Scorpion. If you would like to see a detailed image of scorpion anatomy, you can find one here: Scorpion Anatomy If you would like more information about scorpions, Wiki has a great page here:: Wiki: Scorpion This image was taken in April, 2012.

Olé!

In April I found a wonderful little Forest Scorpion and was able to take many pictures because this gentle fellow didn't run away. This is one of my favorite pictures because he looks like he's raising his claws and tail to yell, "OLÉ!!" (That would be Scorpion for "GET OUTA HERE KID, YOU'RE BOTHERING ME!!") :D I've uploaded two other pictures today and I hope you'll visit them too! Thanks to all of you who have visited and have left comments and favorites! I try to go to all of your pages within a day or two and is a highlight for me to see your beautiful photography! :) NOTE! I have finally updated my profile and I hope you'll take a look to find out a little more about me and how important all of you are to my experience here on Flickr! Janet's profile (sfhipchick) This image was taken in April, 2012.
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