This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wildlife spotting in your own backyard

My neighbor across the street spotted three ringtails last night walking along the wall in his backyard when he stepped outside for coffee. I had no idea we had them in our neighborhood. But apparently we do. Most likely they walked down from the mountain preserve behind my neighbor's yard.

I expect coyotes to wander around here. They walk over from their dens in the mountain preserve as well, looking for food and water, of course. And we certainly see a ton of rabbits, have to continually stop our cars on the road to let quail families cross, and I'm seeing more and more roadrunners around here. But I've never seen a ringtail before and am glad my neighbor decided to share his discovery, as it allows me to share this photo with you.

To me, he's a lovely reminder that it's the simple things in life that can cause us pleasure, create amazement, or otherwise put a smile on our faces.

Because, isn't this guy adorable?

A FEW FACTS ABOUT RINGTAILS
_Sometimes referred to as ringtail cats, they are not cats; the ringtail is a member of the raccoon family, with some resemblance to the fox.
_It is the state mammal of Arizona.
_The animal is named for the bands around his tail, up to 16 of them, alternating in black and white fur.
_Miners have used them to control rats underground.
_They inhabit the desert Southwest, mostly its canyons and rocky plateaus, and are good climbers because of it.
_Their diet varies, from rodents to small mammals (rabbits, for instance) to birds. And they even like insects, especially scorpions. In the fall, these little guys don't mind munching on plants.
_They are also nocturnal, which explains why my neighbor spotted them last night.

And now I'm curious: Have you spotted any wildlife in your backyard lately? If so, please share your story here.

6 comments:

A said...

Very interesting. Thanks for pointing facts about Ringtails

WENDEE HOLTCAMP said...

I wrote an article about ringtails for TX Parks & Wildlife, and even though we were trapping (the scientist was doing a study) we never saw one! So I'm jealous! :)
http://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2009/apr/ed_2/

BIKE LADY said...

Can you believe, Wendee, they were just walking atop the block wall? This photo he sent around was not from their wildlife spotting; this one's clearly from someone's pet. You can see the collar around his neck. But my neighbors actually saw three of them! I'm pretty amazed. I've been all over this state, driving backroads everywhere and hardly saw any wildlife. Who knew I need not even need to leave my street to see so much! I'm jealous, too. I'll check out your story. Thanks for the link!

Anjuli said...

Oh my goodness- I just was showing my Sunday school class a picture of this little guy and we were trying to figure out what it was!!! Now next week I can let them know :) Thanks for the great lesson!!

Tia Bach said...

Too cute, and a great reminder of Nature's beauty (especially in light of all her mischief lately). Thanks for sharing!

BIKE LADY said...

Anjuli, read Wendee's story (see link in above comment) for more fascinating info about the ringtail.