Thursday, July 25, 2013

Buzzards, Bugs & Other Ozark Creepy Critters

I took these pictures a couple of weeks
ago.  Thought you might enjoy them.
Cappy has a specific bark when she
comes across a turtle.  When I hear it,
I grab the camera and head outdoors.
We  have 14 kinds of turtles in Missouri.
I am not able to positively identify this one.

It was about 8 inches long with a
rather drab beat up shell.

Underneath he was very colorful.
I thought I'd just walk around the yard and 
take a few pictures.  I checked on the bats.
This year they have decided to sleep together.
How many do you see?
This is a home for the Doodlebug.  We have lots of
these around.  The Doodlebug builds an inverted cone
shaped home.  He waits for an unsuspecting ant to fall
inside, then he jumps out the bottom and grabs them.
The kids used to dig some dirt, put it in a bowl and
add a Doodlebug.  They'd watch him build a home
and then they'd catch ants and feed him.
That's an Ozark make do pet!
Click below to see a 30 second video of a doodlebug.

This looks like a swallows nest, but I didn't
see any activity.
We have a large dead oak tree that is a 
favorite sitting spot for the buzzards.
Technically they are vultures. The United
States has 3 native vultures.  The turkey vulture
 and the rarer black vulture (below) live in Missouri.
 Their wingspans are about 5 feet.
They sit silent like stone gargoyles.
They have no voice box, but they can hiss.
We often see 3 in the tree.
We call them the Buzzard Brothers 
Ozark Clean Up Crew.
I came across a praying mantis, (Thank you Jan!)
 a lizard,
a spider egg sack,

a mud dauber (wasp) nest,

a very busy wasp nest,

and a dobson fly.  This is a female about 4 inches
long, males can be bigger and have longer pinchers.
 They are rarely seen, as they live for only a day,
 just long enough to mate. They are also only
seen near water.  
 If you think this is creepy,
in the larvae stage they are even creepier.
They are called hellgrammites, even the
name sounds scary!
They live in the creeks for up to 3 years in
the larvae stage.  I used to catch these for
my Dad to use as fish bait.  Yes, they
can inflict a very painful non poisonous bite.
I love the browns of this large moth.

 This is a grand daddy long legs, they
 are completely harmless.
We disturbed an armadillo, but Cappy chased it off
before I could take a photo.
We may not have the prettiest most colorful
 critters around here,
but they sure are interesting.


  1. That was fun. I can just see you walking around taking pictures. I went to the doodle bug flip. that was cute. I saw it several times. He sure flips over quick.
    We live on a big lake, but we never go down there. but we have raccoons, possums, small fliting bats, and if we took time to go out an look around, we would see a lot more. I enjoyed your day of taking pictures of your creatures. You should sell some of them to a magazine. the bat picture was cute too.

  2. That was fun. We call the green stick-legged insect a praying mantis, and have a different bug we call a walking stick. Buzzards! I tease the hubs by saying buzzards instead of vultures just because it aggravates him. :~) Love mud daubers--did you know their favorite food is black widow and brown recluse spiders?

    Your nature tour made my morning. Say hi to Cappy for me.

  3. Cappy is adorable and isn't it great to have a buddy to explore with. Thanks for the photos Sherri.

  4. They are interesting! I have never heard of a doodle bug. Gotta look that one up!

  5. I enjoyed your Ozarks critters this morning, most of which I am familar with. So nice that you have Cappy to go along on the hunt with you. Our critters (and people) are getting a little rain this morning...hope it stays around awhile.

  6. Since I live just south of your state, I'm familiar with most of these critters too. Last year I wrote a post about the doodle bug; I think it's had more page views than anything I've ever written. (May 25,2012) Your pictures are great!


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