|Chaparral, or Roadrunner|
not a cartoon character
When we write or read about the Southwest, our characters often encounter annoying critters on four legs as well as those on two legs. I wanted to post some of these because I've had people from other areas ask what a parricular thing was--a chaparral, for instance. When I explained they were commonly called a roadrunner, she said, "Oh, I thought that was only in cartoons. You mean there really is a roadrunner?" Yes, there is, and in fact one lives in our orchard. Others doubt that a particular animal, the Mexican black panther, for example, actually makes it as far north as North Texas. As an eyewitness, they do!
|Wily Coyote, also real|
|Glen Rose (Texas) Gray Wolf|
|Javelina--does "Ugly" come to mind?|
We have all heard of javelinas, especially if you're from Arkansas where the Razorback is the mascot of one of the universities. I always picture them as a red cartoon like the university symbol, but the real animal is ugly as mud and meaner than you can imagine. They roam in small packs or herds--whichever is the term for swine. One of the new developments is the plague of feral formerly domestic hogs destroying crops and pastures. These also are dangerous, and authorities encourage hunters to shoot the feral animals--being careful they're not targeting some farmer's swine.
|Mexican Black Panther|
|Cougar, also called Mountain Lion|
|Red Fox--Don't let |
cute fool you
|Black Bears are edging into East Texas|
My eldest daughter lives in East Texas and is a Master Gardner who also works closely with the County Extension agents. Recently they have received warnings that black bears are moving into their area as the woods of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma are being cut. One more critter to contend with.
|Siberian Tiger grooming|
There are many other interesting animals in the Southwest, but I'll save them for another day or another person to post. Let me leave you with this photo that I love. I don't know who took the photo, but he has a much better camera than mine. Here's a red-winged blackbird hitching a ride on a red-tailed hawk.