Sunday, September 10, 2006

Backyard visitors

Well, I've returned from the Land of Many Freeways™, and am now a board-certified Walking Pharmacy (antibiotics, decongestant/antihistamines, anti-fungals, throat lozenges, analgesics, you name it). Eventually I suppose my ears will clear out, the sore throat will go away and I will stop feeling like I have a nest of slugs hibernating in my sinuses. That would be good.

There have been a couple of other backyard visitors recently... this fellow, the Striped Skunk, Mephitis mephitis:


Now, I don't mind skunks, but this one insists on trundling around out of sight among the flowers, in the middle of the day, where it can easily surprise Mrs. Ricardipus, the kids, or me. You can smell a roadkilled skunk half a mile away; getting sprayed by one at point-blank range as you're wrestling with a recalcitrant dogwood tree is not recommended.

This fellow also showed up. I believe it's an Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar, Papilo polyxenes. Apologies for out-of-focusness:

Clearly enjoys eating parsley, although it's since crawled away somewhere. With luck, it's tucked up in a nice chrysalis, and we'll have an attractive butterfly come spring. Or maybe it's become bird food. Don't tell the kids.

7 comments:

f:lux said...

Wow. With backyard visitors like that, be thankful your nose is bunged up with slugs!

The Wrath of Dawn said...

Ah yes, skunks. When I was a kid in New Brunswick, we had a family take up residence under our front porch one summer. It made getting from the end of our driveway (4 car lengths) to the back door an adverture at night as they liked to wander about in the dark and were quite annoyed at us stomping around outside "their" house.

vw - oxzusdar - little known, lesser sighted member of the ox family?

Rik said...

Did the skunk have a french accent?

The Wrath of Dawn said...

And did it say, "Ricardipus, I am cherchezing pour vous!"

Ricardipus said...

Sadly, no French accent.

I always liked how Pepe said "AVEC!" every now and then, as an exlamation. Complete nonsense.

That was baby skunk, btw - the first time it showed up, there was another, much larger one with it. Both have since disappeared, after digging up various begonias and generally plowing around in the garden.

Ricardipus said...

P.S. 'OZCLOTT'. I think Blogger's insulting me now...

Heather said...

Remind me sometime to tell you of the day that my dog got skunked point blank range. I apparently indirectly got some of whatever that godawful stuff on me as the dog ran by on the way to bury herself under our bed, and I didnt realize it until I was stuck on the commuter rail at rush hour...

Nice caterpillar. We have the biology experiment going on at our house with Monarch caterpillars. Im waiting on two to eclose and come out as butterflies any moment.