Monday, July 4, 2011

New Mexico Wildlife

Here in Cruces there are many new and exciting animals to experience.

Rabbits gather in hordes to devour the grass in the front yard that has been trying so hard to grow. The children used to run out and chase the rabbits away, but the rabbits don't run so easily now. They've learned that the children are feeble and harmless, especially when they're too lazy to put their shoes on. Who wants to get stickers all up in their feet? Not I. They kill. Instead, the lazy kids just run to the edge of the porch and wave their hands while shouting at the rabbits. Uh. Not scary.

Snakes are around, but rarely seen by us. We've had many neighbors and ward members tell of encounters with our slithery friends, but the only one I've seen was squished on the road. :(

Quail parade around in lines of mommas and teeny, tiny baby quail that are only a couple inches tall. They're so cute! But kind of annoying sometimes.

Deer seem only to come out when it's cool, and are a good enough reason for me to watch my speed on the windy, lonely road home at night.

Spiders and roaches still roam the house, but there have been a lot fewer (roaches at least) since the bug guy came. Grandpa is actually outside right now working to get rid of some of the spiders. I caught one I found in the kitchen sink... put it in a baggy and it's been sitting on my desk for a week. Not dead yet! I CAN keep spiders alive!

Coyotes skulk around, looking for rabbits or small children on which to prey. There was one quite close to the house in the middle of the day earlier this week. It looked around, marked its territory and left. Apparently you can buy coyote urine to spray around your yard to keep the rabbits away. Disgusting, but worth a shot.

Mice are seen scampering across the street every once in a while, but fortunately none have come close to the house.

Bobcats apparently hang out around our house, too, since Camille saw one sitting right next to the rock wall early one morning. It's like it was waiting for me to go out by myself on my run... it knows how slow I am. And so much tasty fat to enjoy! Mmm...

Vultures make come-and-go appearances, and there was one not 100 feet from the house the other day, feasting on what looked like a rabbit. These big predators are usually pretty tidy with their meals, but I did see a random, gnawed-off rabbit's foot on one of my runs last week. Sick.

Bats come out at night (obviously), and are apparently the ones responsible for the poop all over the outside walls of the house.

Tarantula hawks and other wasps hang around the trees in the front yard. A tarantula hawk is so named since it preys on tarantulas. They can get pretty big, and their sting is described as so painful you can do pretty much nothing but scream for about three minutes. There are few animals that can handle eating tarantula hawks, among them are

Roadrunners. Roadrunners are cool little birds. Yeah, little. They're for sure not as big as that honking roadrunner that Wiley Coyote chases around on tv. They're pretty fast, though.

There are, of course, the typical flies, bugs, birds and such. I think the heat makes some of them crazy, though. We'll be hanging around the house and all of a sudden hear a big, random thud. Another dumb bird attacking its reflection in the windows. There are almost always bird-shaped dirt splats on the windows (pictures to come some day). The other day one hit Bryce and Camille's window so hard it splattered blood all over and fell down dead. Ew.


Ian and Bonnie Gutzman said...

I would like to tell you that this blog is cruel (poor spider! just let it go or squish it!) and gross (ummm...bloody bird? rabbit leg? ew). But, it's so close to your birthday that I don't feel right saying that about your blog. Instead, I'll just say this: Bob

Nikki said...

Bob!!! Oh how I miss Bob... we should chat sometime. :)