Mr. Nature

Somehow I’ve gotten a small reputation as “someone who knows all about weird animals.” Yesterday, in fact, three different people asked me three different questions. Just call me Mark Trail.

*”How do you tell a deadly poisonous coral snake from harmless snakes that look just like it? I mean, I think I’ve got one in my magazine rack…” [Answer: coral snakes are the only red, yellow, and black-ringed snakes in which the red and yellow rings are adjacent to each other. Hence the ancient rhyme, “Red and yellow, kill a fellow.”]

*”Armadillos are digging up my house, and I want to trap them. What bait should I use?” [Answer: We don’t have many chances to trap armadillos in New Jersey. My guess is that, since armadillos eat ants, bait your trap with a piece of bread with jelly on it. That’ll draw ants. I guess…]

*”Can you get rid of this horrible big spider for me? He just ducked under the aluminum siding.” [Answer: From your description, and because I’ve been seeing them around here lately, I think you’ve got a male jumping spider who’s probably searching for a mate. He ducked because jumping spiders are among the very few spiders who can actually see you coming; and when they do, they always hide or run away. You won’t get bitten unless you grab the little hairy fellow in your bare hand. And why would you ever want to do that?]

I have been elected to this post without campaigning for it. Oh, well… send your inquiries to this blog and I’ll see what I can do.

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