We've been living in these here parts for well over a year now so we've had time to learn a few things. First off, deer are protected and therefore very prolific in our neighborhood. We toss all our fruit and veggie peelings in the back yard and within 30 minutes, we have at least 2 or 3 deer nibbling away. Sometimes, we even hand feed a few of the tamer ones. When we have guests over, they get all giddy if they go out Mama the doe eats right out of their hands. It's really awesome until you realize that not only will they eat your watermelon rinds in the summer and your jack-o-lantern leavings in the fall, but everything you might plant all year long. Rats with hooves every.single.oneofthem.
In the spring, we have March of the Tarantulas. Apparently they migrate every year RIGHT PAST OUR HOME. Really freaky until you find out that they aren't poisonous (much), nor aggressive, and they will kill scorpions--who are about six notches higher on the creepy scale than tarantulas. What, you didn't know there was a Creep-o-Meter? It varies from region to region, but in Texas lake country it looks like this:
10. Wolf spiders (they're big but not big time poisonous)
9. Cockroaches (you know, the really BIG ones-*shiver*)
8. Tarantulas (big and hairy, but the only ones on the list that kills another item on the list)
7. Ticks (courtesy of the deer)
6. Mosquitos (the whole West Nile hysteria)
5. Wasps and Africanized bees (very grumpy and stingy)
4. Centipedes (they've been supersized and measure between 8-12")
3. Scorpions (Satan's little minions)
2. Rattle snakes (at least they give you a warning)
1. Water Moccasins (who are aggressive and territorial which makes swimming in the lake an adventure every.SINGLE. time)
Also, as of last month, we have two she-rats. They've got names, but I just call them Poopy Pants and Not So Poopy Pants. Because they poop. On you. Repeatedly. While you're holding them. They're not pictured here because they are quick and inquisitive--a bad combination when trying to take pictures. Ask any parent of a two-year-old.
I know the kids will give this entry poor reviews if I fail to mention we also have two Japanese Fighting Fish. In separate tanks, of course so all you PETA gorillas can stand down. You can Google it if you want to see them. Oh, never mind, here's a link because you and I both know you're not going to look it up:
It is my sincere hope that there will be no more beasties added to our menagerie. Hannah would very much like to keep a gecko and a lizard but has grudgingly conceded to a "catch and release" program. I wouldn't mind a gecko loose in the house since they prey upon bugs, but I draw the line at salmonella. I know... I'm heartless.