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Critters

Bear and Bug inspect one another’s bandages. For Bear, it was elbow surgery; for Bug, it was a hyperextension problem.

I see you looking at me looking at you. These BIG BROWN BATS are resident at Casa Santa Ana, spending most days hidden in the overhead light fixtures on the patio. On hot summer days, however, they come out and hang on the exterior walls against the porch ceilings. The one place they never go is into the bat house we put up a few years ago hoping to attract them—go figure. In the evenings they can be glimpsed overhead, feeding on mosquitoes and other flying insects. The way you know they're in the lights is to find the bat poop under those lights in the mornings. A little earthy for some folks, but that's life in the Texas tropics.

MEXICAN TREE FROG:  This is a BIG tree frog often found at CSA.  Although the color is highly variable, look for a white “dash” mark directly under the eye.  It is diagnostic.  If this fellow begins his incredibly loud song in the middle of the night, odds are you’re going to get up (complaining all the way) to find and relocate him.  Because if you don’t, you’re not going to sleep for the rest of the night.  The good news is that with a flashlight, they’re generally pretty easy to find—generally!

RAT SNAKE:  We often see this Mexican Rat Snake—or his relatives—around CSA.  He used to be conspecific with Great Plains Rat Snake, but recently was given full species status.  He’s a handsome, harmless fellow who helps out with rodent control.  Interestingly, there are virtually no rattlesnakes in the lower Valley;  there has never been a confirmed rattlesnake at Santa Ana NWR, nor are there any Water Moccasins or Copperheads.  We do have Texas Coral snakes, but they are very uncommon, sluggish, and small-mouthed.  You have to work pretty hard to get one to bite, nonetheless, some idiot succeeds every once in a long while.


 
Casa Santa Ana
3239 South Tower Road
Alamo, Texas 78516
(956) 783-5540

jfmcclung@msn.com