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Animals Our Life Photography

Best 2020 Critter Pics – Part One

We have not been isolated during this pandemic-driven isolation period, thanks to the critters around our rural home.

Welcome to Part One of our best 2020 animal photography!

White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus and Nissan Altima, Sedanis rentalamus

A young white-tailed deer high steps past our rental car during our stay at Southern Shores.

It appears that this youngster is clacking the way young horses do, an open mouthed gesture that says, “Don’t hurt me. I’m just a baby!”

Bob was sitting on the back porch just minding his business when something prompted him to stand up. Turning, he examined the back of his chair and witnessed a little high drama between a spider and an ant. He captured the moment with his cell phone.

Eyed click beetle, Alaus oculatus

Another cell phone capture: a click beetle that took a liking to Bob’s pants. Bob has long said that if there’s a bug in the room, it will automatically seek him out. It appears this also holds true in the great outdoors.

Dung Beetle, Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae or Geotrupidae

This small beetle has an arduous journey ahead, prompting the question, “Why did the beetle cross the road?”

But look at how quickly it makes its way over the asphalt. “What the heck is that?” we said when we saw that ball rolling across Jordan Lake Dam. We didn’t even think dung beetles were a thing in North Carolina.

Honestly, we don’t even have to do drugs to get into the oh-no-zone. That nature thing, she is her own drug.

American bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus

Mr. Green Lips is lord of the ditch along the Moncure Pittsboro Road.

Bob added a lily to the breeding pond outside our guest room and it really does it for us when we see the little frogs making use of the pads. They are so seriously cute.

This may be a leopard frog, perhaps a second species getting it on in the feel good pond.

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly, Perithemis tenera
Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly, Libellula incesta
Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Pachydiplax longipennis

Dragonflies make me nostalgic for our friends Jan and Tineke of  Green Hills Ranch in Belize. We spent many a happy hike or evening in their company when we lived across the Chiquibul Road at Mountain Equestrian Trails. Jan and Tineke studied butterflies and damselflies and instilled in us an appreciation for binomial nomenclature.

One grasshopper does not a plague make. In fact, this was the only grasshopper we saw all season. Instead we suffered a plague of paranoia over invisible aerosols.

Green tree frog, Hyla cinerea

A Green Tree Frog and either a Cooter or a Slider from this year’s week-long stay on the Outer Banks for Bob’s Birthday Beach Extravaganza.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus noshing on a pear
Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, another known pear pilferer

I often sit up at my desk and lean towards the glass in our office windows to get a better look at someone in our orchard, usually a squirrel, sometimes a rabbit.

We have not been alone during our pandemic-driven isolation thanks to the critters around our rural home. Although we miss our dear two-legged friends, Mother Nature is doing her best to help us feel connected.

Hungry for more? Check out Critter Pics – Part Two.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

5 replies on “Best 2020 Critter Pics – Part One”

Have you two ever thought of submitting your exquisite pictures to National Geographic?

No, Judy it has not crossed my mind to try National Geographic. Now you have planted a seed.

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