Hi, Mr. Nature here with some more of God’s stuff: the velvet ant, aka “Cow Killer.” And before you get too cross with the guy who made this video, let me reassure you that it has a happy ending.
The velvet ant is actually a wingless wasp, not a real ant; and it has a stinger that would do any wasp proud. You would be extremely well advised not to pick one up in your bare hand. When you see the size of that sticker, you’ll understand how this bug got its nickname. It can’t actually kill a cow, but you don’t want to mess with it.
Cow killers live down South, and some of you are sure to be familiar with them. They prey on smaller bugs and otherwise do no harm. And you have to admit they have a nice color scheme.
There’s more to Creation than we will ever know.
Hi, Mr. Nature here–with a male dobsonfly that has seen better days, but still looks scary.
Legend has it that this insect got its name from a Mrs. Hortense Dobson, who discovered one inside her jump suit and invented several energetic dances while trying to get it out.
When I was 12 years old or so, I found a box on the ground with an enormous dobsonfly in it. You don’t forget that!
Despite their fearsome appearance, these critters are completely harmless and their larvae, called helgrammites, are highly esteemed as fish bait. The larvae look even scarier than the adults.
Isn’t Creation wonderful? God never runs out of ideas.
Hi, Mr. Nature here–and today in New Jersey it’s as cold as a brass monkey.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside a squirrel’s nest? Well, here’s a nest that a squirrel built up against somebody’s window, probably because that was a really clever way of heating it. And what we have inside are baby squirrels.
As usual, there’s always somebody who just can’t keep still and sleep, and must always be crawling around and bumping into others. Our cat Robbie does that when she comes to bed–parades around and around my wife until she finally settles down on top of Patty’s book, after maybe stepping on her hair a few times.
So there’s hope this baby squirrel will never grow out of this habit of restlessness…
Animals do know how to have fun! Check out the baby goat provoking the cat to chase him. It’s amazing, how agile they are. If I ever tried this on a flight of stairs, it’d be sayonara for sure. You’d think hooves without toes would make for pretty tricky footing–but not for goats. It’s all the cat can do to keep up with the kid.
As promised yesterday, here’s some armadillo video, this from the Oatland Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Observe: what are these armadillos doing? Well, gathering straw–maybe to make a bed. There’s plenty of straw: so why does one try to take the other’s bundle of straw? What’s going on here? Would we understand it if we were armadillos, too?
God must have had some fun, creating these.
This ought to settle the question, Do armadillos bathe?
So if you have a pet armadillo, be sure to provide him with bathing facilities.
Jambo, as they say on safari–Mr. Nature here.
Last night I dreamed there were several hippos on the loose in my neighborhood, running around chomping people. Trying to get away, I fell off my bike; but I woke before they got me.
Did you know hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa? More than lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, or cape buffalo. They look so so…and run and swim so fast!
I have no idea what made me dream that, but it stirred me up to share this little-known wildlife fact with you.
When this guy’s momma told him he could play his trombone until the cows come home, he took it literally, and went out and did just that.
Be patient: the cattle are coming from a long way off. But they’ll get there. They just can’t resist it.
Those of us who don’t know cows very well ten to think of them as these big, plasic things that just stand around and swish their tails. But throw a remote-controlled toy car into the mix and watch what happens.
First the cows chase the car. Then it chases them. Are they angry, scared–or just playing?
I guess you’d have to ask them.
As we all sit here and contemplate our deploreableness, I think it might help pass the time if we had a few nice cats to watch.
As for the tortoise trying to take a bite out of the sleeping cat’s toe, I’m sure it looks like a little piece of fruit to him. Some reptiles see color. My iguana used to try to eat pictures of tomatoes or strawberries because all his favorite fruits were red. Color, yes. Three dimensions, not so good.