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Local wildlife in the big city.


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Beyond the beauty of the plants themselves, urban gardens are valuable habitat for hundreds of species of animals.

I'd never seen one of these until a couple of days ago. My old double-strip driveway is muddy in the center so I've been parking up closer to the gate where I've got masses of Purple Trailing Lantana planted and so lately, when I get home from work and get out of my car, I've been seeing many of these hovering and noticed that they weren't hummingbirds at all, but moths.

4840yth.jpg

Add to that all of the butterflies and weird insects, like stink bugs, walking sticks, cicadas, assassin bugs and the other creatures like toads, geckos, anoles, snakes, lizards that look like snakes and having a simple garden in Houston is to invite an abundance of bizarre beauty. I even saw a tiny owl perched on a pecan branch peering at me on my porch one dusky evening. And I never tire of seeing the cardinals and lately, the Monk Parakeets have been flying over.

Call me a tree-hugger, but we're losing yard space in Inner-Loop Houston as quickly as the Amazon is losing jungle.

Long live yards in the city!

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Cool moth - and great picture of it!! I had a racoon family visit my apt patio/yard for a while when I lived in Knox-Henderson area of Dallas.

Today, this once rural community is rapidly being surrounded by suburban Atlanta. Fortunately, my property backs up to a 2000 acre state park; I get all kinds of wildlife. Last summer a beaver "got lost" when a new neighobrhood was cut into the woods a down the road and moved into a small pond in my backyard wilderness. It was there for a couple months.

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I used to regularly see raccoons in my neighborhood (Westmoreland) late at night. Several times I've seen a mother and her kits disappear down a storm drain, so I'm guessing that's where they camped out.

Then Allison came, and I haven't seen one since. Guess their little raccoon families ended up in the Gulf of Mexico... :(

Still see the occasional possum, though. Anyone have any good recipies?

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Still see the occasional possum, though. Anyone have any good recipies?

East Texas Chili

Ingredients:

1 large possum or 2 small (good and dead-really dead)

3 onions chopped

1 pound sausage

15 jalapenos

5 tomatoes

2 red peppers chopped

3 squirrels, cut into pieces

1 armadillo

1 cup tea

1/4 can Copenhagen

Chop up everything, put it in a pot on the stove, and bring to boil. Serve with cheese and more onions.

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Beyond the beauty of the plants themselves, urban gardens are valuable habitat for hundreds of species of animals.

I'd never seen one of these until a couple of days ago. My old double-strip driveway is muddy in the center so I've been parking up closer to the gate where I've got masses of Purple Trailing Lantana planted and so lately, when I get home from work and get out of my car, I've been seeing many of these hovering and noticed that they weren't hummingbirds at all, but moths.

4840yth.jpg

Add to that all of the butterflies and weird insects, like stink bugs, walking sticks, cicadas, assassin bugs and the other creatures like toads, geckos, anoles, snakes, lizards that look like snakes and having a simple garden in Houston is to invite an abundance of bizarre beauty. I even saw a tiny owl perched on a pecan branch peering at me on my porch one dusky evening. And I never tire of seeing the cardinals and lately, the Monk Parakeets have been flying over.

Call me a tree-hugger, but we're losing yard space in Inner-Loop Houston as quickly as the Amazon is losing jungle.

Long live yards in the city!

Nice photo Dan! Did you take this one? I'm right there with you hugging those trees.

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That is amazing. What a cool insect!

This isn't so much inner-city, but it's still a dwindling sight--

There I am at Eldridge and Clay this morning, cars all around me whizzing past me (since I became a Mom I drive much closer to the speed limit LOL), and I get to a red light. I'm sitting there pondering life etc when I look to my right and see a half-dozen doe, grazing right there practically on the corner of the intersection. Beautiful, graceful creatures. Not skittish at all, at least not when there is good food to be had. It was nice to see--but made me wonder, too, how long they will be in that area.

Closer to home, we have tremendous hawks right along Rummel Creek that are absolutely fascinating to watch. I thought one was a vulture one time (we have a great population of vultures on this side of town) but upon closer inspection found it was indeed a large hawk. It was just beautiful.

Other birds of note: red-headed woodpeckers abound, the hummingbirds have come and gone, and it seems we have lost our peacocks. I don't know if anyone remembers but that was one of my first posts back in 2005...the pics of the peacocks. They would be here every year and in the past year they have disappeared. I wonder if someone caught them. Sad!

Edited by Parrothead
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Nice photo Dan! Did you take this one? I'm right there with you hugging those trees.

No luzr, I figured out what it was and pulled it off the internet.

I think my next habitat idea will be a bat house. The skeeters are big and bad today!

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I used to regularly see raccoons in my neighborhood (Westmoreland) late at night. Several times I've seen a mother and her kits disappear down a storm drain, so I'm guessing that's where they camped out.

Then Allison came, and I haven't seen one since. Guess their little raccoon families ended up in the Gulf of Mexico... :(

Still see the occasional possum, though. Anyone have any good recipies?

Speaking of Coons, here is a nightvision pic of my little late night buddy.

4c2qtfb.jpg

Edited by TJones
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  • 2 weeks later...
No luzr, I figured out what it was and pulled it off the internet.

I think my next habitat idea will be a bat house. The skeeters are big and bad today!

I have a plant in my front yard called 'night blooming jasmine' that the humming bird type moth loves to come to at night when the blossoms open....

i agree with you on the bat house thing...I figure a bat house on the back of the garage facing the alley should be unabtrusive...

There is also a small screech owl that i see occasionally at dusk ....

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I saw a coyote in Memorial Park a few years ago. It was about 6:30 in the morning on the 2nd hole of the golf course. A few weeks later there was an article in the Chronicle about coyotes killing pets along Buffalo Bayou in River Oaks.

Dream

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Wandering around the back streets of River Oaks one night my wife and I saw an armadillo. It was her first, and she freaked out.

I've heard that there are scorpions as far east as Austin. But I don't know anyone who's seen one.

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I've heard that there are scorpions as far east as Austin. But I don't know anyone who's seen one.

I haven't seen a scorpion inside of the City of Austin, but once you get into the balcones fault zone and points west, they're out there. When I was a little kid living out in Hays County, I used to occaisionally collect them, put them in tupperware containers with water, microwave them, then serve it to my parents. Scorpion soup.

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Wandering around the back streets of River Oaks one night my wife and I saw an armadillo. It was her first, and she freaked out.

I've heard that there are scorpions as far east as Austin. But I don't know anyone who's seen one.

I've never seen a scorpion here in Houston, but I know they live east of Austin.

I've seen several at my grandpa's place between Democrat Crossing and North Zulch...that's not quite due north of Houston, but due north of say, Brookshire (about 80 miles north). About 100 miles east of Austin.

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Wandering around the back streets of River Oaks one night my wife and I saw an armadillo. It was her first, and she freaked out.

I've heard that there are scorpions as far east as Austin. But I don't know anyone who's seen one.

I seen scorpions in North Harris county they are called Stripe Bark Scorpions. I move a old rotton log and there he was. :o

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Every year a painted bunting shows up in our shade garden. It is the tiniest but most beautiful bird

painted-bunting.jpg

We also have a lot of hummingbirds visit our fire bushes and butterflys that visit our blumbegos and roses. Owls in the pecan trees as well.

Ms. Possum has been know to pick a fight with our cats at 3 in the morning but I think our 20 pounder usually fends her off.

All this still inside the loop.

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I seen scorpions in North Harris county they are called Stripe Bark Scorpions. I move a old rotton log and there he was. :o

There's mention made of a type of scorpion (the vinegarroon) in the Tin Can Alley thread. (Tin Can Alley was on the northwest edge of downtown Houston, near Buffalo Bayou.)

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