Parade of Creatures Day: Meet the Skink!

July 15 was apparently "Parade of Creatures Day." For we saw all kinds of critters out and about! It is high summer and all of the creatures are doing their thing. I will show you just TWO of my critter sightings in this blip. Here is the full list for this day:

1. We have a small male hummingbird who has taken to defending the feeder that hangs over our deck. He chased off all the ladies. You may see him showing off his "war face" in the extra photos. Incoming! Ready to defend! (And aren't his little toes just so cute???)

2. Later in the morning, I saw our spotty fawn wander in to join its Mama in their secret vacation hot-weather hidey-hole under our deck.

3. I spotted the first monarch on our milkweed. It was the first monarch we had seen, and it spent a long time enjoying the sweet-smelling milkweed flowers.

4. While photographing the monarch, I saw a tiny katydid on our milkweed.

5. The monarch and katydid were joined by very cute skipper.

6. The monarch, katydid, and skipper were joined by TONS of happy bees!

7. As we got ready to take the car to Whipple Dam for a swim, one of our smaller bunnies came out to check us out.

8. As we drove along Marengo Road, we saw a spotty fawn along the right side of the road. Stay safe, fawn!

9. We were having our swim at Whipple Dam (our third swim there in just 11 days!), and I turned on my back to float. As I lifted my (lovely pedicured) feet to the surface, and folded my arms under my head, and just lay there observing the sky, a damselfly (perhaps enjoying my shiny red nail polish) came and sat on the big toe of my right foot. It sat there a while. THIS WAS AN AWESOME MOMENT, and my husband saw it too, so he can verify it!

10. I got out of the water and toweled off and sat down in my chair, when suddenly, I saw a five-lined skink run out of the bushes. It ran right at me! EEK!! Then it sped over to a building and climbed all around the bottom foot or so of it. It posed for me very prettily, and you may see my best shot of the skink above. Doesn't it also have adorable feet!???

11. As we walked around the lake to start heading back to our car, we saw a turtle swimming in the water below the spillway.

12. As we walked along the road to the car, my feet startled a toad about the size of a half-dollar, who hopped off into the weeds.

13. When we got to the car (my husband's big black Chevy Impala), a unique looking bug was walking over the roof. I suspect it to be a variety of assassin bug but I'm waiting for confirmation on that photo from my friend's entomologist husband.

14. We got in the car to head to Couch's for what would either be a very late lunch or a very early supper (hot meatloaf dinner for him, hot roast beef sandwich meal for me, with curly fries and gravy on the side for both of us). I looked down to my feet and saw a tiny green inch worm measuring my right foot for a new pair of shoes!

15. When we got back in the car after Couch's, the world's tiniest, cutest grasshopper was sitting on the front window. My husband tried to scoot it away with a green leaf, but it was having none of that! The grasshopper took off running, ended up on the roof, and escaped the car with a huge leap of 10 to 12 feet! That's a lot of distance for a really tiny bug!

16. As we came down Pine Grove Mountain, we saw TWO MORE spotty fawns, hanging out on the right side of the road. Oh my, were they cute. Stay safe, spotty fawns!

17. On our drive home, my husband narrowly missed hitting a snake on the road. It was black; I have no idea what kind it was. We think it lived. We hope the guy behind us in the pick-up didn't squash it. Stay safe, snake!

18. As dusk fell, my husband hollered to me to come out to the front yard to see our bat. When I got there, there were TWO bats, gamboling about, enjoying sky-snacks. Hooray for the bats!

19. The two bats were joined by a whole contingent of lightning bugs (some people call them fireflies; we call them lightning bugs here). Yay!

So this was the entire parade of creatures that I saw on this day. Wow! That was a lot! My husband sort of suggested at one point that maybe it was ME they were all being attracted to. But we can't say that for sure. Oh, and I almost forgot: at Whipple Dam, I also ran into a friend I hadn't seen in probably 10 years!

As we were sitting around the house in the evening, watching some shows and recapping our very full day, my husband wondered if we could even fit in one more creature. "I think we have room for a flying squirrel," I joked. But the flying squirrels must be on vacation, as they did not put in an appearance on this day!

My soundtrack song is this one: John Hiatt, with Something Wild.

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