Horny Toad

This is the largest one we’ve found on the property. The kids were thrilled! Typically they are about the size of the bottom right picture so to find one that is so large was really fun..

2015 07-06 Huge Horny Toad (2)2015 07-07 Releasing the Horny Toad (3)Normal size of a horney toad

Gopher or Bull Snake

We think there is a chance this is the same snake we’d seen several years ago, only much larger! Gopher snakes look similar to rattlers but their head is narrow and they don’t have a rattle on their tails. While they might coil and act like a rattler, they strike with their mouths closed. They are not venomous, they move very slowly and are not at all aggressive. They eat rodents and keep unwanted pests away. If you are ever fortunate enough to see this one please don’t harm it. It’s our friend!

2015 07-04 Gopher snake (9) 2015 07-04 Gopher snake (8)

About a week before we saw the big one, I’d lifted a rock beside the house and found a tiny baby gopher snake (probably 6-8 inches long). Hopefully we’ll see this one get bigger too!

2015 06-13 Itty bitty snake was under a rock

Squirrel in the Rain

The was one miserable squirrel. I was making a latte and noticed him hovering in the tree outside the kitchen window. It was a cold day and was raining fairly hard. This poor squirrel had his tail pulled up over his head and just looked so annoyed. We felt guilty watching him in his misery with our warm coffee in the dry house!

2011 10-07 Chipmunk hiding from rain under tail 2

Gopher Snake

This guy got caught on the deck during a monsoon. The temperature dropped quickly which made him move very slowly. He took a bit of convincing but we were able to watch him go back into his hiding spot. Gopher snakes are not dangerous and they eat rodents which means he’s welcome to stay as long as he wishes. The kids were so excited that we have a “pet” snake but we haven’t seen him again.

2011 08-27 Cabin - Snake on the Deck

Stellar’s Jay

These blue birds are very common during the spring and summer. We don’t go a day without seeing them. They can be really loud, one morning I’d moved the bird feeder to try and attract them. At the crack of dawn we had around 25 of them outside the window loudly feasting. It was fun, once, but I’ve stopped buying the food they like for fear they would take over.

2011 06-20 Blue Jay Rob chased for pics (4)


I haven’t figured out exactly what type of woodpecker this is, they are in the trees all around the property. They knock hunks of bark off the trees.

2011 07-04 Bugs, Birds and More (2)

Chipmunk on the Deck

We started noticing that the birds were getting really messy. All of a sudden we had birdseed all over the place. I woke up early to find this guy literally swimming in birdseed inside the bird feeder. When he squished himself out of the opening the birdseed flew everywhere. Mystery solved and the birdhouse was relocated. On a side note, one evening I accidently left the patio door and screen open when we went to bed. When I came into the living room the next morning, I found a chipmunk on the ottoman. Before I could panic, the little guy ran right back out the door. Whew!

2011 07-01 The reason the birds got so messy