So What the Dickens Is It?

Officials at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park said they were left scratching their heads when they spotted this mysterious creature on a trail camera. 

This photo was taken by a tourist at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Texas–taken at night, so the details aren’t altogether clear. People have been trying all week to identify the animal.

Don’t laugh: but the first guess that came to my mind was “hippopotamus?” We don’t have anything else in the picture to give it scale. The tree is no help: if the animal is small, so is the tree; and if the animal is large, so is the tree.

Well, nobody wants to join me in guessing hippo. We are told the latest consensus is “badger.” They’re not commonly found in this area, but then neither are hippos. We also have some sentimental votes for “wolverine.”

This story strikes a chord with me because, in my own series of Bell Mountain novels, one of the signs given by God is the return of long-extinct animals. What if this here critter is a None of the Above?

I admit I’ve never seen a badger in real life. So if that’s what it is, well, that’s what it is.



Another Animal You Never Heard Of

I have to go to the nursing home, but let me first leave you with this. “This” being a caecilian.

A what? It took me years just to learn how to spell it. Caecilians are totally legless amphibians that live in the tropics, mostly keeping out of sight by burrowing in mud and leaf litter. Some are quite small, and might be mistaken for worms, The biggest are almost five feet long. And they all have skin growing over their eyes, so they can see the difference between light and darkness–which is more than you can say for a lot of intellectuals–but not much more.

Considering their secretive habits and the not very nice environments in which they live, it’s kind of surprising that we know about caecilians at all. Almost as hard as it is to believe they’re related to frogs.

Just goes to show: there is more to God’s Creation than any mortal mind can fully grasp, more than anyone will ever know–and its greatness testifies to His greatness.