Nature Finds: Vicious Cardinal

 This adolescent male cardinal was caught between the two layers of chicken wire we had on the orchard gate to keep the rabbits out.  Ethan rescued it – and instead of saying thanks, it bit him, hard!

 

It was worse to handle than the charioteer spider he found on the ground, although you wouldn’t think so to look at him.  This guy had fallen off the web.  Ethan let go before he took a bite.

 A gopher tortoise neighbor paid us a little visit – and scaled up the shamefully ugly pile of cardboard waiting to be de-taped and put down as mulch in the garden beds.  He almost fell from way up there and had to be rescued.

He (it was a he) stuck around a little and had some watermelon with us.  I just love these little creatures.  They have such wise eyes.  Mirin pointed out that they are like little hobbits – they live in holes and can get to be over a hundred years old.  Recently all the gopher tortoises on the farm began trimming the paths in front of their burrows.  Getting tidied up for fall? 

 
 This  was a strange cricket we found on a rotting branch.  It had huge antennae, and I was wondering if it was a cave cricket.

And a warning about the next photo – it shows the inside of a chicken gizzard.  If that doesn’t agree with you, you might not want to see it!

We put the last 21 chickens in the freezer on Sunday.  When Ethan peeled the gizzards, he found some interesting bits of bugs they had been eating.  It looked like a rhinoceros beetle, but identification was difficult.  The shiny black speck on the edge of the gizzard is the beetle’s head.  All the shiny black bits are beetle parts.  We also found stones and plum stones.  They haven’t been by the plums in weeks, so they must have held on to them for quite awhile!

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