Thursday, July 28, 2011

barred owl and walking sticks

this will be a quickie...

in my last post i mentioned that we heard the owls!!
(...and on my way to locate them, i was side-tracked by the black racer snake)

we haven't  seen the Barred Owls  for about 6 months.
we assumed...or at least hoped...that they hang out in a certain area for a while
 and then move on....only to make their rounds back to where they started.

they have!  we spotted one yesterday around 7pm!!

just like the coyote we spotted last weekend...
again, i had to snap these pictures through the back door
since i didn't want to take any chances of scaring him away by sliding it open.

(all puffed up)

(spies something on the ground??)


one more unusual sighting yesterday afternoon...

on the roof of the front porch.
a pair of mating
Two-Striped Walking Sticks  (Anisomorpha Buprestoides)

the smaller one on top is the male.
they stayed like this for a looooong time. what stamina!

i tried to get pictures over and over...i  zoomed in, but all i got was blurry!
so i tried to get close-up...stretching my arms overhead and standing on my tip-toes.

as i read about these stick bugs later...i realized how lucky i was.
a few other names they're know as, are devil's riding horse, prairie alligator
devil's darning needle and musk mare!

if they had felt  threatened by my intrusion of their love-making...
they could have sprayed me (and they aim for the eyes!!)
with their strong-smelling defensive spray which is painfully irritating to the eyes
and mucous membranes!  
and they're marksmanship is precise! 
they can accurately aim their spray to up to 15 inches away!

next time...i'll be a bit more leery about getting too close! whew!

it's the day after hump day...almost the weekend! woo-hoo!
be safe out there...enjoy your journey!

:]  laura


  1. WOW! Great captures..I just love owls!

  2. Oh lucky YOU! I've heard them before too, although rarely get to actually see them, and even better yet you got some awesome shots! The first one he appears like what are you doing taking my picture but the second to last he's like well how about this pose! Great picture taking. A special note you'll enjoy it's been raining alot here and we've gotten a tremendous amount of little green and white tree frogs attached to the house and yesterday morning I had to fish one out of my outdoor kitties water bowl!

  3. Owl! my favorite! and thank goodness the walking sticks felt safe in your presence as I would have hated for you to be sprayed in your eyes.

  4. Gorgeous!!! Lucky you-they have returned for a bit!! I thought I heard one the other night, but haven't heard since.
    I know all about that standing on tip-toe, camera held out thing. Did you see my post for you? I had to do the same thing to get those photos!
    LOL-I bet I looked ridiculous (who cares) LOL!!!

  5. LOVE that you got this owl in the daylight hours!!! LOVE these guys!

    and good lord. had no idea on the walking sticks menace!

  6. There is something so hauntingly beautiful about owls, isn't there? We get stick insects here, too. I had no idea that they can squirt/shoot venom when provoked! Thank you for the warning :)

  7. Great to see your owls have returned!
    Me too, had no idea about the stick guys method of defence... luckily for you these two were otherwise engaged.
    Congratulations on your acrobatic efforts to get the shot too. Well done ;-)

  8. Glad you didn't get sprayed! I never knew stick bugs did that. Thanks for teaching me something new today ;-)

  9. How cool that you have barred owls. We sometimes have great horned in the neighborhood, but haven't seen or heard any barred. It's also been a while since I've seen any walking sticks.

  10. Oh my gosh Laura ..what a stunning sight in your back garden they are magnificent birds .......hey wear your sunglasses next time you take pics of the stick insects !!.....xx

  11. Oh my! First, I love the owl photos! How lucky you were to get a shot, even if it was indoors. And I would give anything to see a coyote!

    I did not know that about stick bugs and that they spray. Wow-o! I've only seen one in my life and it was an awesome sight! You must live in a beautiful place, but then don't we all and some of us just don't realize how beautiful. :))

  12. Laura, your Creative Soul forever reaches your Mind and travels through your Fingertips to ignite a new Spark for someone else to experience...

    Love the re-vamping you've done to your side-bar. Each refining gives something new and always interesting. The colours and fonts are lovely, the Words special, I especially like the one by Pamela Hansford Johnson.

    So worth the Journey to re-read and re-see your Header, Side-bar and to continue travelling to the bottom of your Homepage with each Visit... I always find something new to experience or discover something beneficial I may have passed previously.

    And appreciate hugely being included amid your Other Blogs List.

    Thoroughly interesting about the danger of Stick Insects... and to think I've been up-close and personal having chats with the occasional one I've encountered, even to holding them during a chat while transferring them onto a Tree.
    Maybe the Stick Insect considered me as just too cooky a Human to bother spraying at the time.
    I know I often feel looked at by Critters as being weird. Makes me smile.

    Your beautiful Owls. Glad they're back and safe.

    Laura you often mention my words... do you stop and view your own? They are so filled with humour or emotion, I love them.

    Hugs Treasured Friend, from Magda in Australia

  13. Striped walking sticks? And, they look mean! I think 'devil's riding horse' describes these two-ew! And how interesting what you learned about them. In your eye, huh? Good thing you had a camera in front of yours. I think any walking stick is spooky.

    And the owl is so cute with his eyes wide open. When you see them in a cartoon, they're always winking at you. And your owls are so big! Great photos Laura. Have a nice weekend!

  14. That owl is gorgeous!

    I never knew walking sticks would spray like that.

  15. I love the Owls but, I am besotted by the Walking Stick, it is brilliant.

  16. hey!! thanks everybody!! yeah, we're so happy that the owls are back...guess they tend to eat an area dry and then move on to other areas of their time for the little meal critters to grow...

    as far as the walk9ing stick...i'm not sure if ALL walking sticks spray like that...i doubt it, but i'm not really sure...will have to check on that!

    anyway...thanks for wandering...and leaving a note! :)

  17. Fabulous owl photos! There is such a fabulous world that exists outside the human, isn't there?

  18. Wow, it has been a long time since I've seen a owl the close. Very cool.

  19. Great sighting of the barred owls. They are beautiful birds. Wonderful photos.

  20. I love those owls! It is so great to see close ups...they are just so darn adorable! The horny walking sticks...well...what can I say? ...:)JP

  21. We have the Barred Owls up here in W. WA. also, but I've yet to see one - only hear them at night. They are VERY perceptive & quit "hooting" if we just open the door - and quietly at that! We do NOT have the walking sticks here, although I acquired a few from another teacher one time and ended up with a huge # of them! Those did not spray and the females did not need males to reproduce - the method you captured looks like a whole lot more fun...

    THANKS for sharing!

  22. HEY!! thanks everyone!!
    just to be sure that everyone doesn't become paranoid or FEAR the stick bugs...i'm pretty sure that they don't ALL spray like this 2-lined one!! i've picked up those other kinds...the long skinny ones that really do look like twigs...and they don't spray!!

    nothing beats the sound of an owl hooting!! yeah!!

    take care...thanks again!

  23. Thanks for caring to keep us all in balance over the Walking Stick Spray knowledge Laura...

    It's good to know it could happen with some Stick Insects though.. being passionate with Nature doesn't mean one always remembers there is also danger even amid the tinier things.

    I've learnt to handle with great care the small pretty light green insects (sorry, don't know identity name) I once discovered, through practical experience are 'stink bugs'.
    The scent clung to the air all day and my clothes and skin still stank after quite a few washings... and I think my nostrils were the last to be released.

    Felt quite amazed at how something so small and pretty was able to express it's displeasure at me moving it by releasing such a huge amount of clinging stink, and then quite contentedly continue in the direction it wanted to go.

    I guide them now when are inside, carefully watching for that moment of getting fed-up with me.

    Hugs to you wonderful Laura from your Friend Magda in Austraia

  24. I arrive and the blue heading fonts are in print form... as I have one last glance before I leave.. they've changed back to the funky print...

    Do very much love your Forest Adventures Laura, even the print style changes as I wander about.

    Hugs from Magda xoxox

  25. Wow, that is stamina AND concentration! Those walking sticks really must have been in the groove to not notice you trying to film them...unless they were into that sort of thing...;0)

  26. Love the barred owls. Still waiting to see one in my current state of residence. Who knew about the walking sticks? Wow! Glad you enlightened me! I wouldn't want to get too close! And their name sounds so benign!


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!