Early Spring Critters in Missouri

Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus) on Glass

Of course, any time we spend a while visiting my parents in Columbia, Missouri, Roger looks for any and all wild creatures.

Within minutes of arriving, Roger had already found one of these cute little Ringneck Snakes (Diadophis punctatus). Two more followed shortly thereafter.

They are each well less than a foot long, don’t bite and are quite calm.

One did get out of the cage. Of course, it crawled about 15 feet across the floor and onto Roger’s foot. After that, though, the snake cage stayed on the outside porch

More critters on the click through…

Frog in Grass
Frog on Leaf

The frogs were just starting to emerge. They were everywhere. In the grass around the house, in the woods and all around the creek.

Good sign, too, as it means that the air and water of the area is not terribly polluted. Over a decade ago, the frog population was pretty much non-existent.

At night, there is a small swampy pond near the house (that is often completely dry in late summer). It is full of “peepers”– frogs like these that make an unbelievably loud racket on warm spring evenings.

By “loud”, I mean completely deafening. Roger and I wandered over to the little pond at about 9pm and hung out. It was nearly painfully loud with high pitched frog noises. And then the bullfrogs came in with their bassoon like chorus.

Incredible. I wish I had a means of recording it.

Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) Under Rock

We also ran into a number of 5 lined skinks. They like to hang out under the deck by the house and under rocks in the woods.

It was a cold day, so this little guy was actually quite slow and made a perfect photography subject.

Roger caught it and it was quite content to hang out in the warmth of Roger’s hand until it warmed up enough to drop into “high speed mode”.

American Coot

The pond is quite busy with birds this year, too.

The ducks are back, no surprise. However, this american coot also showed up and seems to have taken up residence.

As well, the wood ducks have been quite busy — more so than usual.

A great blue heron showed up, too.

And on the last day of our visit, Sadie — mom’s new dog — brought a turtle up to the yard. The only thing missing from this trip was a toad!

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3 Responses to “Early Spring Critters in Missouri”

  1. Early Spring Critters in Missouri : Petsecure says:

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  2. Papa Joe says:

    Bill, u did not tell the readers that Roger does not keep the “critters” that he catches. he leta them go.

  3. Donald says:

    So where was Sadie the dog all along? Was she locked up in a dog cage?

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