An Egret Dropped in for Lunch

gardening

I looked out the window and saw an egret in our yard. While we have had egrets in the yard before, they are always a treat to watch. This particular egret was especially interesting.

The egret started out near a brick pile and was hunting around for something. It seemed to catch something but I could not make out what it caught. He then, slowly made his way around our potting table. I know for a fact that lizards hang out up there and the egret seemed to sense it as well. I saw the lizard run for cover under some potting items. The egret slowly moved on.

I went out front to get the mail and then saw the egret by our hedge. I decided to go back in the house to get my camera. I quietly took a few photos and then started a video. Amazingly, the video caught the egret catching and devouring a lizard. Amazing, but actually a bit gross as well. He then headed back past the potting table and this time was lucky enough to snatch the lizard from the table. (Photo above)

I learned a lot from watching this egret. I never even knew that egrets ate lizards. They are very quiet and sneaky predators. Lizards are, after all, pretty fast and hard to catch. Remember the post I shared when one got into my house? Maybe next time a lizard gets into the house I should find an egret to help me out….https://anotherdaywithjulie.home.blog/2020/05/04/friday-was-not-just-another-day-with-julie/

From a little research, I found out that egrets eat a lot more than I thought. I assumed they ate fish, which is correct. However, they also eat other small animals. Egrets are carnivorous birds. They eat fish, aquatic animals, insects, amphibians, reptiles, small birds, and small animals. The list of small animals on the menu can include mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, meerkats, etc. The egret swallows its food whole. That long, elegant neck can surely stretch out a bit! I saw the egret swallow the lizard, but a larger animal, oh my!

As always, Happy Nature Watching!

Friday Was Not JUST Another Day With Julie

gardening, life

If anyone noticed, Another Day With Julie did not post on Friday. Why? Well, Friday was not just another day with Julie. But regardless, it was quite a day!

I was having quite a lovely morning. Went outside to tackle some weeds. I was almost finished and decided to spray a few weeds with vinegar out back, near the garden shed. That’s when I saw something move to my left, right by the shed. A long, slithery, striped green and yellow thing. EEK!!!! I ran shrieking into the garage, shut the door and entered the house, never looking back. I do NOT like snakes (or mice for that matter)!

picture of a Santa Cruz Gartersnake, credit Dawn Ellner, Flickr
photo from: greennature.com/california-snakes Of course I didn’t stay and take a picture!

Now, feeling quite safe, I went about my business inside. I decided a bit later to watch an episode of This is Us that I had missed when it aired earlier. So, I sat down to watch it and then after a bit got thirsty and went to get an iced coffee. When I came back into the room, I saw something looking at me in front of the sliding glass door. Oh great! There is a lizard in my house!

This is not good. Living in Southern California, we are used to lizards. However, I do not like them in my house. We have had them in the house before and they are VERY hard to get out. They are tricky little guys. They are fast and not only can they run, they can climb. So if you corner them, they will just climb up the wall. They can also get injured pretty easily if one tries to place a container over them.

Since we are all home due to the Covid-19 restrictions, I have helpers. And I need help. This is not a one person job by any means. However, two of my potential helpers are in phone/internet meetings. Luckily, my son (while doing homework) was available.

I backed slowly out of the room so as not to scare the lizard. If it got away, who knows if we would ever find it. I then ran into the kitchen and got an empty yogurt container. Luckily, I had just washed one out, saving it for some practical use. This was it. Then I ran to my son’s room and gathered him. He was none too excited but was my hero and came to help.

The plan was to chase the lizard out the sliding door. First however, the door had to be opened without freaking out the lizard. Then it would have to be chased out the door. Easy enough or so one would think.

My son was armed with the yogurt container in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. My job was to go outside and move the screen door out of the way and then when given the signal open the sliding door and close it after my son chased the lizard out. One may think I had the easy job. Ok. Remember the snake? He was still out there somewhere now wasn’t he?

So, I make my way cautiously to the sliding door which is not so far from the garden shed. I open the doors and all is going to plan. My son chases the lizard. I start to shut the door. The lizard gets spooked and back in he goes. So, I too head back into the house through the other entrance and help the troops fight the battle from inside.

The sliding door is open. When I was outside I saw a lizard crawling on the side of the house. I am praying he doesn’t decide to come in as well. But back to the lizard on hand. My son and I talk strategy. I grab a large drawing board and position it so the lizard can’t get through my side or into a pile of boxes in front of the door. My son tries to get the lizard to go out. It is now in the corner. One turn and it could be free but it starts to climb the wall. My son stops him and we start making noise. Doesn’t work. The lizard is playing dead. Finally he moves ever so slightly. My son is able to scoop him up into the yogurt container and the lizard, container and all are tossed out the door. The door is slamed shut and locked. We have won the battle!

Lizard on side of house. Not the guy who got inside.

The whole episode took an extremely long time. I was exhausted. Apparently, we were a bit loud in our capture. Both husband and daughter heard our ruckus and wondered what on earth we had been up to.

After all that, I finally did get to finish my show. However, I just couldn’t be in that room anymore. So, I moved the laptop to the living room and watched from there. I have returned to the room now and as I am writing this, I am wondering if the lizard might have followed me inside when I ran in from the snake. Hmmmm…..