Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Bull in the Jar

I recently needed to access the specimen collection housed at a nearby University.

This collection has many specimens that are of historical importance.

As I was climbing up and down the ladder, looking through various jars, I happened to glance up and see the following tag.....

Peering back at me through the sheer wall of his eternal resting place, sat The Beast......

......a large Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi), which is now a rather rare species in our neck of the woods.  In fact, it has likely been decades since one has existed on campus at the now urban university where this specimen is housed.

Although his clouded eye didn't see me, I couldn't help but smile at him.  It may seem strange to smile at the sight of a dead snake in a jar....and it is perhaps a shame that this once impressive critter ended up sitting in preservative on a shelf.

Yet, my smile was broad. 

Just imagining this large fella scaring the hell out of the inhabitants of the "men's dormitories" at the university over 80 years cannot help but chuckle.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lucky Bucky Returns!

I've never gotten a good picture or video clip of a North American Badger (Taxidea taxus).

I've come close on two occassions (see here), but it's never quite been what I was hoping for. the same site where I got only a fleeting picture of one last year, we nabbed a good video clip of a Badger!

Other video clips at this spot, indicate that it overflow-eth with mice (Peromyscus sp.) and Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus), either of which would make a nice meal. 

How could a person NOT be fascinated with Badgers?  They're the complete package, for me: a mustelid, hard to camera trap (around here), ornery, and cute as hell.....

Wish I could give a more detailed post.....but was at The Wildlife Society's annual conference this week.  The conference was great (even got to hang out with Alyssa from Nature in a Nutshell and JVN from Backyard Beasts), but it put me way behind the 8-ball.

Yet, it had been so long since I posted anything, figured I better sneak something in!

Hope you all are well!