toad pellets and other curiosities discovered

fairy_toadmotherAugust 7, 2006

in the dark of night....

1. so, here i am thinking, "oooo maybe this is an owl pellet." being the morbidly curious self that i am, i pick it apart looking for bones. jeff corwin would have been proud of me. well, maybe not, since i was using a stick and a leaf to protect my hands.

back to this pellet, it sounds crunchy and "what is this white thing?" however, i am reminding myself that it is awfully wet and suspiciously in the exact place a toad has been hanging out for the last 2 weeks. i get a piece on my leaf, "mmmmm smells fishy...why does this seem familiar?" the white thing turns out to be a small rock and the crunchies were the result of countless beetle "shells!" A-Ha! a toad must have done this.

the familiarity keeps tickling my mind's rearview mirror and i finally remember- i once had a toad in a bucket. when i got back to the toad there was this black lump in thre with it and it stank like dead fish. at the time, i was afraid it puked its guts out from stress after i remembered, "that wasn't there before!"

2. the other day, a cicada had just emerged from the shell. its entire body was pale green, instaed of that black and green coloration. it was crawling across the sidewalk. when it reached a landscape timber, i turned around. "crazy thing, wandering around aimlessly right back the way you came." then i realized, its aimless wanderings actually straightened out its wings. (these were, btw, initially in tiny clumps and also a pale opaque green instead of transluscent like i would think.) after the wings were straight, it climbed up a vertical surface. it was just like it knew its wings were ironed and it was time to hang them dry, as well as let gravity stretch them further.

3. a luna moth flew into my headlights while i was driving about 10 mph. it kept swirling around, flying erratically in front of me in lunacy. it then landed on the road in front of me. i thought maybe the headlights were screwing up mr. sulu's navigation, so i stopped and shut off my headlights. after all, i didn't want to run over such a gorgeous, unusual microbeast.

when i turned my lights back on, it was nowhere to be found. "that was fast." was this some nightmare and i am going to turn my head to the right in this pitch blackness and scream b/c giant silvery green eyes are staring me in the face? is it an alien? the mothman? will there be a claw hanging from the doorknob when i get out?

any others? or am i now in the blackhole?

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LMAO @ the mothman!! FTM, I would have felt the same way...and no one to witness my horrifying death. :D

For the first time since...ever...I've been hearing cicadas in my yard this year! I was thinking that I'd love to see what one looks like in person, until I looked it up online. Yikes! Do you have much experience with them, FTM, and is there anything I should look out for, like blood-sucking attacks or...whatever? :D

I don't think I've ever seen a frog (or toad) poopie! Not that I've ever gone looking for one, but...I guess I should start sniffing stuff. LOL

The only recent curiosity I can think of at the moment is seeing a momma doe in the mountains yesterday. We saw the young'un first, and it ran off. Then here comes Mom. She stopped, we stopped. Let the stare-off begin. Then, she started stomping her front feet! First the right one, bent up like a dog on point, then, "STOMP!" Then the left, then back to the right. She finally sauntered off, as if to say, "G'head, make my day. Don't mess my little darlin."

I only wish I'd had my camera at hand!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 9:48AM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Ooooo, I love these kind of weird nature stories!

Fairy, last week, I too was watching a cicada wandering aimlessly, thinking the same thing! LOL

Here's my recent nature SCARE:
We have owls that live in our woods behind our house. Very rarely, one will perch on the big oak over my pond/garden during the daytime and allow me admire it's mysterious beauty.
A few nights ago, I was out in the backyard, during my night time rituals. After some toad searching, I began doing my stretches that involve reaching out and touching distant stars, holding the moon in my palm, and seeing what the sky looks like upside down. I was connecting with the universe and really feeling the peace, when suddenly a loud, blood curdling "OOO OOO AHH OOO" broke the silence. My mind, having to snap all the way from Venus back into my head, while hanging upside down, became confused and my first thought was "Get the he-- back into the house. So I minded my mind and did just that. I don't remember running scared from something since my childhood when I believed the Candy Man might be lurking about in the darkness.
About the time I reached my back door, my real sense caught up with me and I realized it was an owl. I've heard them make different sounds before, but this owl knew how to let a person know they were interfering with it finding dinner! I guess it was looking for toads too.
~Poo with poop in her pants~

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 11:07AM
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lmao poo! i swear sometimes that i have a tail and it is all bristled out :) they always happen when you are "away." papers sliding off bulletin boards and down walls get me, even. i just love your stretching style!

last year, i heard the great horned every night all night with h/her screech. at times i would see that great wing span in the shadows going to or from the light poles. as winter was coming i became almost hollow thinking how used to hearing it i had become and how i would miss it. then, there it was one day, i think i heard it in the winter still. i said, in my mind, "hello friend. glad to hear from you, even if only a great once in awhile." as spring came and even now, it is out there, hunting the same areas in close proximity still to the building i work in. when it isn't there, it is like a light is burned out and you can't figure out what is missing or different.

brenda, first lets get one thing perfectly clear! i wasn't sniffing it. honest. the smell easily wafted up to my face. :) you have been officially snuffed off by a doe. sort of like, ha, i am upper class. get back across the tracks, fiend. don't you just love those foot stomps?

back to the toad pellet, or whatever they are called. i believe, though do not know, that it came out the anterior end, but looked like poopy all the same.
my current experience with cicadas are having headless ones on my patio. i know how that sudden rattling sound stimulates the feline prowess, but what is it with cats and heads? i wonder if a cat attacked that one california store. hmmmmm.

other than protecting yourself from an occassional, though not likely, collision with a cicada, or wondering what keeps hitting the windows so you go to bed with a flashlight and a cleaver, the most i have experienced was a mind numbing buzz in my ears from the deafening song. that was the precursor to the lunacy the constant buzzing would cause.

here's a wild looking cicada. we don't have those here. i was looking for the black with the red eyes when i found this page. those are further down, along with an interesting zuni legend.

Here is a link that might be useful: cicadas

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 1:24PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I can't say I've disected any toad pellets in awhile. Have you ever seen the pellets from a hornworm? They look like little green grenades. I used to follow the pellets to find the hornworm. I gave up growing tomatoes here, couldn't take the hornworms, they give me the heebie-geebies! And I couldn't kill them, I just tossed them into the woods, which I sure just meant I would get a nice return population the next year. ugh. The moths are pretty cool though.

We had the brood X periodic cicadas two years ago. I had never experienced that before, that was amazing. They emerged in one night and everything was covered with the emerging nymphs. Two weeks later you couldn't stand to be outside because of the noise. And when they fly they seem to have no control over where they go - they just fly until the run into something. Took this picture the night they were emerging ...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:15PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

No cicadas here. But Saturday morning we watched a stand-off between Seth the garter snake and little Bubbs the small bullfrog.
Seth struck but didn't get a hold on Bubbs. Bubbs jumped away kind of weird like. He was very skittish all day.

:) Mary

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:36PM
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cool pic jeanner! i have never seen so many in one place. wow. that's what you get when you have periodical periodics though, eh? what is really freaky is they look like they have two pairs of eyes.

lol on little green grenades. i couldn't stand to squish hornworms either and wished i had a bird to feed them to. i never had more than 2 or 3 though.

mary, a witness of nature right at your feet! i love the names :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 8:31AM
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Ooo, the white-eyed cicada looks like I do after a good scare. "What the....?!" LOL That tree full of them is eerie!

LOL @ 'Poo & FTM! Yeah, I'm a little jumpy, as well. Especially when it's quiet, and I'm alone. Any sound that's out of the ordinary, and I'm doing what 'Poo do. Or 'Poo did...something like that. :D

If I ever saw a hornworm, I'd run screaming. No WAY I could touch it to fling it over the fence! My mom just grabs stuff and smashes it - aphids; tobacco worms; big, meaty grasshoppers...ack!!

I'm glad Bubbs is ok, Mary!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 2:48PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Jeanner, that's a lot of little brown shells to put on your nose and scare the kids! ;)

Brenda, as long as your Mom don't pop one into her mouth like she's on fear factor. My mother was the same way. She would almost make me sick when she'd smash a cock roach with her hand! AckyNasty!!! Who needs extermination when you have the roach terminator for a Mom! :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 4:38PM
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