Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cold-Blooded Critters

We are seeing the last of our non-furry friends for the year. While taking down the garden, Chris stirred up a leopard frog, rana pipiens

We had to catch it, of course!

On sunny days, we can now easily find garter snakes, thamnophis sirtalis basking among our rock piles. It turns out that by making rock walls and rock heaps, we have been building snake habitat. Rocks provide holes to hide in, plus the absorb the day’s eat and store it into the frosty night. Also, on hot dry days, warm air wafts into the crevices, and water condenses out onto the cool rocks deep inside, providing a water source. That moisture attracts other wildlife, too, such as crickets and slugs, which are perfect snake food.

Now that I understand all of this, I am building rock piles in the front yard to attract snakes there as well. I put the first pile on a patch of ground that remains dusty-dry even after days of rain, in the hope that the condensation will improve the soil there, too.

I also found a salamander hanging out in the remains of our dirt pile on the driveway, but I didn't take a picture, alas! I suspect the presense of an amphibian there attests to the good quality of the soil.

It must be a good year for katydids, because they are everywhere!


hero爺 said...

I am waiting for you to post the picture of it on your plog.

Michelle said...

Hello Hero! I will look for a salamder just for you today. :)