Interesting critter sightings by day and night.
On Monday I was in my garden from noontime till mid-afternoon. I accidentally disturbed the napping spot of this American Toad. He's my "back garden" toad...I've got a "front garden" toad as well. I've no idea whether it's the exact same toad I've encountered for lo, these many years (nearly 16 years, in fact), or a descendent of the original toad.
Last night I put the girls out as usual before bedtime. Ruth came quickly back in but Jewel was nowhere to be found. I had to go out with a flashlight to find her...she was under the stair, staring down this Spotted Salamander.
I took Jewel by the collar and led her up to the porch, then went back down to examine the amphibian. It was the largest I'd ever see, about 6 or 7 inches long. A very, very cute face. He didn't mind me a bit, started to move--and was soon making his way quickly out of the dog's "manger" area, plowing through the hay at a pretty good clip for a critter with such short legs.
My animal adventures resumed at about 3 a.m. Heard a sound like thunder...the dogs stirred, made a few anxious noises, but soon returned to their beds. (Lazy girls!) The thudding on the deck told me exactly what was going on.
A black bear had climbed onto the deck to grab one of the feeders. It was the suet feeder--he stole it from the hanger and took it into the yard to destroy it and get at the suet. Being a shy fellow, he ambled off when I started taking flash photos.
He was very large, extremely handsome, and when he marched into the undergrowth he sounded like a tank pushing through the shrubbery.
I promptly removed the safflower and niger thistle feeders and brought them indoors. This morning I put them--and another suet feeder--back outside.
We haven't had a bear visitation for a couple of years. In future I will be diligent about bringing in feeders at night.