Fox & Cat at Play

Gee, the last time I saw a fox and a cat this chummy together was in Pinocchio.

It’s obvious the fox wants the cat to chase him, and the cat obliges. I’d rather they weren’t playing in the street, but they don’t care what I think. Wild animal and pet animal buddy up: another glimpse of Paradise.

Squirrel Solitaire

The first time I ever saw this, I was amazed–a squirrel playing with a stick, jumping on it, rolling around with it, having a grand time. Well, what else are you supposed to do when there are no other squirrels around to chase?

Rodents are very, very smart, by the way. If they lived longer, they’d be playing chess.

A Peek into Paradise

Baby deer, baby human–and love at first sight. I mean, I’ve approached wild deer–living here in this town, they have to get used to people–but never ventured to pet one. It would just run away.

Look at this, though. Take a good look. When God’s finished re-creating His Creation, it just might look like this.

Only a Thousand Comments Left to Go!

G’day! Byron the Quokka here–and pardon me for eating my breakfast while I deliver this announcement; but if I don’t chow down on this crunchy yellow leaf, someone else’ll get it.

We have now more than 79,000 comments in the bin, and we’re shooting for that glorious milestone of 80,000. This time last year, we would’ve easily collected 1,000 more comments in half a month. This year? Well, let’s see!

The lucky winner who posts Comment No. 80,000 will win either an autographed book or one of those cool T-shirts that says “If they have to kill us, they’ve lost.” The King of Rottnest Island wears one.

Ah! And how do you suppose he got to be king of Rottnest Island in the first place? Eh? He won a bloomin’ comment contest, that’s how! He was universally admired for that: everybody demanded he be king.

All comments are eligible, except for the following: comments abusive to anyone else at this site, f-bombs and other profane expressions, ads thinly disguised as comments–which means someone thinks we must be really stupid–and comments just too dopey to bother with. Beyond that, anything goes.

Cheetah Impersonates Cat

Technically they’re big cats, but you don’t have to be afraid of being attacked by a cheetah. That only happens, very rarely, in zoos–not in the wild.

So I have had to discard my theory that the cheetah makes this meowing noise to try to lure gullible humans to their deaths. You think you’re going to rescue some poor cat lost on the savannah, and uh-oh, it’s a cheetah! Run for it!

Good luck with that, kimosabe.

Weird Showdown: Toad vs. Cat

(Yeah, I know, they call it a frog; but take my word for it, it’s a toad.)

This is a very wise cat: he knows there’s nothing to do here but back down. It looks like the toad is eating cat food, but I think he’s just snagging bugs attracted to the plate. Adopt a toad sometime and see how far you get, offering him cat food.

Toads defend themselves by excreting poison through their skin–enough to make a cat or a dog seriously ill. I once saw a dog named Lulu pick up a toad in her mouth. Bad move! She was sick all day, and lucky to recover.

Note: There’s another toad in the background. Reinforcements, just in case the cat gets rowdy?

A Teddy Bears’ Picnic?

Holy cow! This happened right here in New Jersey! Who would’ve thought it?

Momma Bear and five cubs discovered this family’s backyard pool and decided to enjoy it.

The bear-claws don’t interact well with the pool’s liner, but they weren’t going to worry about that.

None of the humans ventured out of the house to join in the fun.

More Crazy Lizard Head-Bobbing

Even if you’re not interested in lizards, stay with me for a minute or two–because this is a mystery of nature.

This lizard is an Australian bearded dragon. He thinks his reflection in the mirror is another lizard, so he goes into a head-bobbing display to warn the stranger off his territory. He even has some idea of going behind the mirror to see if the interloper might be hiding there.

Travel halfway around the globe to, say, Florida, and you’ll find little green anoles performing the same display for the same reasons (courtship and threat). These groups of lizards are not related, and thousands of miles of planet lie between them. Behavior doesn’t show up in any fossil record. Why do these very different, widely separated lizards do this same ritual?

God’s work is endlessly fascinating: you never get to the bottom of it.

Meanwhile, I’ve had many different kinds of lizards as pets and by rights some of them should have head-bobbed (also known as lizard pushups)… but none of them ever did. I did have an anole who went totally ballistic when he saw his reflection in a hand mirror; I had to take the mirror away before he did himself a mischief.

Then there are the two large families of lizards, one in the Old World, the other in the New, who look just about exactly like one another but aren’t related at all. But that’s another post for later sometime.

Big Bad Squirrel!

You’d think two cats–two, mind you–would be more than a match for any squirrel. But watch what happens in this video. Hint: the squirrel has absolutely no fear of these cats. This refutes the old adage, “There are old squirrels and there are bold squirrels, but there are no old, bold squirrels.”

Mr. Nature: DeKay Snake and Babies

Jambo! Mr. Nature here–and today our safari need take us no farther than my own back yard.

These little DeKay snakes used to be pretty common around here. I liked to catch them and handle them a bit, then let them go. They’re really tiny–the biggest one I ever caught, a real giant among DeKay snakes, was only about a foot and a half long. Most of them top out around six inches.

Uh… Was I supposed to blog some nooze today? Ah, never mind. God’s stuff is nicer.

The DeKay snake in this video has just had babies, live birth instead of eggs. You really wonder how she could have carried so many babies–but don’t ask me to count them.

These snakes eat bugs and slugs, so it’s good to have them in your garden. I wish we still did.