Tag Archives: backyard wildlife

Unknowable’s House Guests

009

Dig this! Wild peccaries, also known as javelinas, resting in the shade outside the office of our friend and colleague, “Unknowable.” Is that cool, or what?

If Mr. Nature were here, he would tell you peccaries are closely related to pigs: that’s why they look like miniature wild boars. They’re only half the size of wild boars and that’s a good thing, because they can be irascible.

They also kill and eat rattlesnakes from time to time. But these two don’t look hungry.


A Cozy Little Snake

Hi, Mr. Nature here–with an animal that possibly lives in your own back yard without your ever having seen it: DeKay’s snake, aka the brown snake.

I know, I know, quite a few of you are afraid of snakes. But these are very small, totally harmless, and of a very meek temperament: I’ve caught many of them by hand, and not one has ever tried to bite me. Anyhow, they couldn’t hurt you if they wanted to, and they seem to know it. Most of them, when caught and handled, calm down in a matter of seconds. They used to be pretty common in my neighborhood, but what with the perpetual war on nature that goes on in New Jersey, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen one. I miss them.

These little snakes live in leaf litter, where their small size and generally brown or greyish coloration helps them blend into the background. They eat bugs and slugs and grubs, and the occasional earthworm–in fact, they eat a lot of things that any gardener would want them to eat.

Again, they never try to bite when you pick them up. No self-respecting Northern water snake would ever let you get away with that. DeKay’s snake is not a very exciting snake–which is the way I like them.

So there you have it, more of God’s stuff–a little animal that’s pretty to look at, easy to handle, and does no harm whatsoever. It deserves the right to go about its peaceful little business unmolested.


%d bloggers like this: