Anyone who knows me knows my love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with living in Appalachia. A lot of it stems from my allergies from every living green thing that grows on this planet. Every season and its change is a different kind of hell for me, and I’m certain I’ve spent more on Benadryl and Sudafed than most people spend on food in their lifetimes.

Still, one of the best parts of living in the mountains is the wildlife. I’ve always been an animal lover, and living so far out in the boonies has allowed me to grow up in a wonderfully biologically diverse area. From an early age, I learned how to track animals through the woods, and to determine what was what using only their tracks in the mud and the poop they leave behind. (Scat, for the nature aficionados). So I thought I’d do a little post about some of the animals I’ve seen and managed to get pictures of, for no other reason than I need to make a blog update and animals are awesome. All pictures were taken by me unless otherwise noted.

This is an American Dagger Moth caterpillar. And, as is usual for such a showy little critter, he is poisonous.
caterpillar
I’ll mess you up and look fabulous while I do it.

The fuzzy hairs are hollow, and when they break off they release a toxin that caused itchy rashes. So look, but don’t touch. Also, the moth itself is far less fabulous than its proto-form. I would have a picture of one of them, but since they look exactly like tree-bark, I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen one.

This is a Muscovy duck. We’ve gotten quite a few of them in the last few years. I don’t know if they’ve migrated here, or if people got them as pets and set them free. Whatever the case, they are pretty and pretty fearless as well.

duck
Quack. Also, throw food at me or something.

This is a female Promethea moth. I walked out on the back porch and she hit me in the face. I only screamed and flailed a little, but all was forgiven since she was more than happy to pose for some pictures. They are quite large. Her body was as long as my thumb and quite a bit thicker.

moth
You’ll mostly see pieces of me scattered on the ground. I’m not emo. Bats eat my kind. Like, a lot.

This is a Luna moth, and one of my favorite types of moths. How can you not love a critter that looks like its wearing footie pajamas all the time?

luna moth
It’s daytime, what do you want from me? Of course I’m in my pj’s. I was sleeping. Jerk.

This is an Imperial moth. I found him taking shelter under my truck on a very hot September day last year. I carried him off to the shelter of a building in the shade so he could rest up for another night of evading bats and banging into streetlights.

imperial moth
I look like a dead leaf! 😀

This is the inspiringly named Gray Tree Frog, the little horny bastards responsible for keeping me up all hours of the day and night in the springtime. They are cute. And horny. God, they never shut up.

froggie
Hey lady, you’re looking fine, for something the size of Godzilla compared to me.

This is the newt of the Red Spotted Salamander. They are adorable and also constantly underfoot during the wet springtimes. One of my personal favorite beasties.

salamander
Onward Five Fingered Steed! To glory!

I’ll add more critters from time to time, just because I love animals and taking pictures of them. Hope this has been fun, or educational, or funducational.