Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Why Australia?

Posted: January 11, 2016 in Articles
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I am reading a chapter on Australia in one of my text books these days. For every part of the world, the authors write little side points of interest: missionaries, foods, plants, and animals, among other things. Like I said, I’m reading about Australia and the Pacific Island nations now, and they had a section about animals there. As you probably know, that area has some pretty exotic animals, but I didn’t realize how many animals there were that are both exotic (meaning, in this case, interesting) and found nowhere else in the world.

For instance, there’s the old classic, the duck billed platypus. Then there’s the echidna, the crimson rosella (bird), and the emu. According to my book, those species are all only found in and around Australia.

Compared to Australia, the U.S. seems pretty boring. We don’t have any really exotic animals. Either that, or I’m not aware of it because I’ve lived among them and I’ve read about them.

I don’t know; maybe the woodchuck seems exotic to Australians!

The Racoon

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Yard and Garden
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Last summer, we had a big problem with our corn. The problem was that something was eating it. It wasn’t just eating a little bit, it was really chomping down. It wouldn’t even eat a whole ear, it would just eat maybe one third of an ear and then move on to another one. At first we believed it was squirrels  because we saw a lot of them running in and out of our corn patch. We set traps for them and waited. A whole week and a half went by and the squirrels didn’t run into the traps. We thought about shooting the squirrels, but decided not to and that was a good thing, because they weren’t even the problem. It’s true that they were eating some corn, but the real culprit was a raccoon that we found in our trap one day.

We were really surprised to find a raccoon in the trap because we had never seen any raccoons in our corn before, but that explained why so much corn was getting ruined. We took the raccoon to a state park a long way away so that he couldn’t come back. Since raccoons are nocturnal, he was very sleepy and sort of just walked away when my dad opened the trap. He didn’t seem scared at all, which was a little weird. Anyway, if our corn starts getting eaten again this summer, we’ll know what it most likely is. One funny thing is that we put peanut butter in the trap and the raccoon still went in. I didn’t know raccoons like peanut butter, but I guess they do.

by Dink

The Rat in our Yard

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Late last summer, when John and I were walking up our driveway, an animal jumped in front of us and hopped away. For a second, it sort of looked like a kangaroo rat from the way it was hopping, and I was wondering if it was really that dry so that a kangaroo rat would live here. Of course it wasn’t a kangaroo rat, but anyway, John and I gave chase. We chased the thing up into a peach tree at the end of our yard and John ran to get our mom while I guarded the animal. He didn’t move as long as I was close, but if I moved away, he would start making his way down the tree. So I stayed close to the tree, and pretty soon our mom arrived with John. She didn’t know what it was, but she was pretty sure it was a rat so she got our next door neighbor to come look at it since our dad wasn’t home. The animal was identified as a rat and that was not good.

In case you don’t know, rats are bad news. If rats start multiplying in a neighborhood, they can do a lot of damage. Apparently, the rat had come from another neighbor’s yard and was just sitting at the beginning of ours when we walked up. Those other neighbors have goats and a horse in their backyard and the animals are fed grain. We’ve seen rat holes in their stable before, so we are quite sure that is where the rat came from.

Anyway, our next door neighbor was going to kill it, but it got away. He said that he didn’t think it was going to last long since he was able to hit it once, but the rat didn’t die. We started hearing scrabbling noises from our garage a few weeks later, and our dad set rat traps for it. When to rat avoided the traps for a week, we took everything out of our garage and finally saw it. My dad had a hard time chasing it down, but he was finally able to kill it which is a good thing, because if he hadn’t, we might be having a serious rat problem right now.

by Dink

The Thing in the Ceiling

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Today while I was in the back bedroom, I heard a strange noise which seemed to come from the roof. When it came again, I realized that the noise was not coming from the roof, it was coming from the ceiling. To be more exact, it was inside the ceiling. At first I though it was a wasp somewhere because there had been one in the bedroom a few days ago. Then I heard something that sounded like claws scratching against the top of the ceiling. Later when me and John were back there, we heard it sighing loudly so we knew it wasn’t a bird or a squirrel like we thought it was earlier. We have now narrowed the possibilities down to it being a rat, possum, or a raccoon. The thing occasionally moves around and sighs. We can hear its claws scraping when it moves and it sounds like it’s a pretty big animal. If it dies and it is still in the ceiling, it will smell really bad. We hope it doesn’t get into the apartment, we just hope that it finds a way out of the ceiling.

by Dink

About a year ago, while playing football in our backyard, we noticed some things that looked like sticks from a distance, but when we examined them, we realised that they were two deer legs. We stopped the football game and were slightly disturbed for a while because we couldn’t fathom how these two legs got there. Then we figured that a hunter must have shot the deer, then cleaned it and cut off its legs. Then a wild animal probably dragged it into our yard before he became aware that he couldn’t eat them and left them alone. The legs looked pretty cool. They still had fur on them and you could see the bones and the knee-joint and everything. We thought it was weird but sort of funny. Another thing we thought was funny was this smashed rat on the Schuylkill river path. It was on a grate that lets water down and was as thin as paper. It looked like a couple of cars had run over him. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it but I’ll describe it as good as I can. It was very flat, like I already said, and had very matted dirty gray fur. Its tail was sort of bent and the parts of him that weren’t supported by the grate sagged down so that he resembled a wavy potato chip. We stared at him for a while and then moved on. The next time we came by, we were disappointed. Our friend the rat was gone.

by Dink