Wild Kingdom

Author’s Photo: This little fellow needs to find a tree!

Every year in late summer we find at least one walking stick on the house. Today was our day. Cute, isn’t it?

On our sandstone colored siding, he/she stands out like a stick — on sandstone colored siding, but imagine if he/she was on the trunk or branch of a tree. His/her slender, brownish-blackish body would fool even the most voracious of predators. (Fun fact: Males only live about three months, while the ladies can survive up to a year.)

What would eat him?

Spiders, reptiles, rodents, birds and bats, that’s what. My source also indicates primates are predators. Anybody for a crunchy snack?

I wonder if Anthony Bourdain has ever eaten a Phasmatodea.

As if this was not enough natural excitement for one evening, we also saw a baby weasel.

Source

Interesting! Never saw one of these before. A little research told me the fellow under my deck is most likely an ermine, also known as Mustela frenata — or, the long tailed weasel.

I’ve read such weasels have razor sharp teeth, suitable for crushing the skulls of their prey. Apparently a four ounce weasel is capable of taking down a four pound rabbit. (Why do I feel like I’m channeling Betta?)

This afternoon, from the window I watched as three whitetail fawns munched apples and literally frolicked with each other, bouncing as only the young can.

Priceless.

I may never see the variety of wildlife that Marlin Perkins did as host of Wild Kingdom, but I’ll take what I can get.

Susan Christiana — When I spied the walking stick, I immediately thought of you and went to get my camera.