Nature Friday ~ September 8, 2023

ElsaElsa: 🎵 🎶 {humming and breaking into the song The Farmer In the Dell}…”oh, a hunting we will go, a hunting we will go…hi-ho, the derry-o, a hunting we will go…”

The Mom: {check on the Ninja} Good morning, Elsa, what in the world are you doing?

Elsa: Just singing a little ditty I heard the other day…

The Mom: You realize that you changed the actual lyrics of the song?

Elsa: Ahem…my blog, my lyrics/songs.

The Mom: {rolling her eyes} Oh dear, we haven’t even begun to write this week’s post and already you’ve starting in being a pill.

Elsa: Like I said, my blog. How many times do I have to remind you? Sheesh, I wish you’d get it, Mom.

 The Mom: Ok, ok, {throwing her arms up in defeat}…I surrender. But you need to introduce us, first.

Elsa: Oh yeah, oops, I forgot. {Clearing her throat} Welcome to another edition of Nature Friday where we join our pals Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see pics from around Blogville. There, you happy now?

The Mom: Better now that you’ve told people what’s going on. If you’re going to be a writer, you need a introductory beginning, you just can’t come waltzing into a room humming and singing without setting the stage. By the way, what’s this hunting thing that you’re singing about anyway.

Elsa: {getting excited} Well I just heard a story about the tarantula migration in Southeast Colorado and I thought, let’s go hunting for those buggers!

The Mom: Umm, hate to break it to you, but you do know we don’t hunt tarantulas?

Elsa: Wait, wha…why the dog not?

The Mom: Sweetie, first of all, this migration is near La Junta, Colorado which is not that close to us. It’s even further than Grandpa’s house. Second, why in the world would you want to disrupt the males in their annual nature crawl across southeast Colorado for their mating season?

Elsa: Hmm, good point, I’m not sure I want to ride all the way down to La Junta. I mean they do have the very best cantaloupe around, but watching a bunch of horny tarantulas skitter across the highway ain’t my idea of a good time. Besides, I can get my cantaloupe fix from the grocery store. I hear there’s a pretty good crop this year and did I mention cantaloupe is my favorite special treat? Hint, hint.

The Mom: Yes, I know, I’ll pick you up another one this weekend but you can still share a photo of the hairy legged spiders, who just happen to be more terrified of us than we are of them.

Elsa: Umm, speak for yourself but okay, I will share a couple of pics. I can just hear the howling from my readers. It may be the start of the Halloween season judging by all the gear I’m seeing in stores, but as a general rule, most people are not fans of spiders in general, and even less on tarantulas.

Tarantula migration
Photo courtesy of Channel 7 website

The Mom: I know, but they are quite fascinating creatures. My daughter kept a few of them as pets when she was in junior high. Did you know that very year, a mass migration of tarantulas shows up in southeast Colorado, with most of them being male tarantulas, looking to mate with females who burrow in the prairies.

News reports are saying this weekend will be peak viewing time. I know most people are afraid of the giant arachnids, but the Colorado tourism board put together a list of viewing tips, for adventure seekers saying the Comanche National Grasslands, southeast of La Junta, Colorado is the best place for viewing. Tarantulas may be creepy looking, but they’re mostly harmless to humans. They can bite but more than often they’ll fling their hairs as a defense mechanism that can irritate your skin. Tarantulas can be fast movers, usually moving about 4-body lengths a second on average when the temperature is 62 F, but nearly 10-body lengths a second when the temperatures are 100 F, which is incredibly fast. 

Elsa: Whoa…that is pretty fast. Probably scares the bejesus out of most people.

The Mom: Uh huh, true enough. Most of them in Colorado are the Oklahoma Brown Tarantula, with their mating season happening from September through October. Tarantulas are found throughout the southwestern United States, including southern Colorado. Those found in Colorado are usually dark brown to black and can travel as far as twenty miles in search of a mature female. Tarantula mating is one of the strangers animal reproduction rituals. It is unlike anything else seen in the animal kingdom yet the males don’t live long after mating while females can live 20 years because they seldom leave the area around their burrows while the males tend to roam around.

Tarantula trek
Closeup courtesy of Visit La Junta website

While tarantulas can bite, their venom is not fatal to humans and is comparable to a bee sting. More likely, they will defend themselves by ‘shooting’ body hairs, resulting in itching.

Elsa: Ok, so that is sort of fascinating so I guess I’m glad we’re not hunting them. But I doubt any of my readers want to hear you wax on about them anymore. It’s been a less than stellar week in terms of photos due to the heat but I’m going to do my best. Let’s move on from the creepy-crawly, shall we?

The Mom: Fine by me. You’re the one who wanted to go-a-hunting.

Elsa: Let’s not get technical, ok? First I’m going to share some photos from my visit with my Grandpa last weekend. It’s always fun to spend time with him and even more fun because it was his birthday. I guess his favorite gift was that his beloved Colorado Buffaloes upset TCU on Saturday. We’ve been coming down from that high all week. Talk about college football hype though. Seems like the whole doggone town has lost their minds hopping on the Buffs bandwagon.

The Mom: Yes, it’s been a ‘little crazy’ watching otherwise normal people go ga-ga. Tomorrow’s game against long time arch-rival, Nebraska will be c-r-a-z-y and a big test for the new coach We have our paws crossed. So what was your second favorite part of our Pueblo visit?

Elsa: Well it was a veritable sniff-fest the whole weekend! I mean I found LOADS of bunnies, quail, a rattlesnake carcass and my absolute favorite, an antler. Too bad it was attached to the skull. I noticed you got pretty choked up over that.

Antelope Antler

The Mom: I was mostly concerned when you tried to bring one of the rib and leg bones  home (not shown here).

Elsa: Yeah, that was not fair, I mean, I need bones to keep my teeth clean. What better way than chewing on a real live antler?

The Mom: Roadkill is not the way to go. But at least we saw a cool sunrise and a slug of sunflowers along our morning walks.

Sunrise-Pueblo West

Elsa: It was so early when we went out, I didn’t even get a chance to say wake up good morning to the mules and donkeys that live across the road from Grandpa. I’d rather have checked them out than some dumb sunflowers.


The Mom: Stop being a brat, Elsa. Once we came home we did see a few signs than autumn is nearing. Take a look at this acorn.


Elsa: I only noticed them because the squirrels have been going up and down this oak tree in our yard like maniacs. One of these days, they are not going to get away from me!

The Mom: As long I have you on a leash, they’re pretty safe.

Elsa: You’re such a killjoy, Mom, you know that?

The Mom: It’s for your own good. You wouldn’t want to get rabies now, would you? So what else do you have from around our neighborhood?

Elsa: Well there were a couple of flowers that I spied that were kind of cool. Can we give the wood rose to Rosy, huh, can we?FlowersWood rose

The Mom: I’m sure Rosy would like that pretty pink flower. Looks like the stores are gearing up for Halloween already judging by all these tiny gourds from the market.

Tiny pumpkins

Elsa: Yeah, I noticed our neighbor has started decorating early. He even put up a ‘suggestion box.’


The Mom: Yeah, I always enjoy his yard decor. People come from miles around to see how he arranges them.

Elsa: It’s a clear sign we’re moving toward autumn when he drags out the skellies. Clearly he’s planning on upping their presence. I saw a new critter next to the suggestion box (out of view). A turtle…he was pretty cute.

The Mom: Yeah, he’s pretty clever. Should be a fun autumn. And because it’s the home opener for the local pro football team who shall remain nameless, we are sharing a cloud formation someone sent in to Channel 7. Looks a little like the horse head on their helmets.


Elsa: We send our congrats to the Detroit Lion fans who came from behind late in the last night’s opener and beat Kansas City. You weren’t expecting that, were you?

The Mom: Truthfully, I wasn’t but was happy for them. Should be in interesting football season all around. We’re going to have to get through the CU game first before I’m in pro mood.

Elsa: Ha! You’re still counting the days for hockey to start, you can’t fool me, Mom.

The Mom: True enough. But it’s going to be a busy sports weekend around the Ranch. Anything exciting plans for your weekend?

Elsa: I’m just waiting for the cool front to arrive late Sunday, early Monday. We hope you have a good weekend. But more importantly than a football win, we hope you are able to get out there and enjoy a slice of Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

43 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ September 8, 2023

  1. Mom says tarantulas are creepy and she would flip out seeing a whole herd of them looking for mates. We think finding bones and stuff would be fun, we have never found any around here. The flowers are beautiful and they are looking like fall. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks. We know most people are creeped out by tarantulas but it was an interesting slice of nature. Seeing that antelope carcass was wild because we’ve never seen an entire animal like that so intact. Hope your weather is better this week, we are very happy it’s cooler today!

  2. THE cloud lookss just like a Horsie head Elsa!!! Mee-yow WOW!
    An THE Flowerss are all so purrty……
    An THE Tarantulass are so furry an EEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!
    **runss an hidess under THE bed**

    BellaSita Mum here: Tarantulas are fascinating indeed but me is still terrified of them. I have often thought if holding one in palm of my hand but my fear is so OTT it will never happen…
    I’ll sign off now….gotta find BellaDharma. She is somewhere hiding….
    {{{hugs}}} BellaSita Mum & EEEEKKKKKK!!! BellaDharma (from under THE bed)

    1. Sorry it frightened her. I used to feel the same way about tarantulas but then my daughter brought one home. I learned to be brave and let it crawl on my hand. Took a while before I breathed but eventually got used to it. They were extremely fascinating to watch in the aquarium.

  3. I had no idea the male tarantulas had to do such a trek for a little one-nighter 😉
    Although it is September and a tad early, I have to admit I love the skellies in your ‘hood!
    Beautiful sunflower pic!

    1. I know, right?! That neighbor has so many skellies, it’s no wonder he starts this soon. That or he’s a big time Halloween fan 🤣

  4. Well now I have to say I’m pretty happy we aren’t the pathway of travel for those migrating tarantulas but that has to be a pretty weird thing to see!!!! No Halloween decorating around here yet but I’m sure it will spring up overnight…..

    Hugs, Teddy

    1. The prairie can be an interesting place, that’s for sure. Hard to picture love sick spiders running around. 😆

  5. Elsa you cracked me up with your song and just by being you. 😉
    But they aren’t “dumb” sunflowers! LOL! We love the Sunflower 🌻 fields here! In fact I shared a photo on my blog too.
    Now the creepy Crawlies that you shared pics of are another story! I will not be hunting for them!! You can keep them in Colorado!
    Happy Weekend! Have a wonderful one! And Yay on the cool coming!

    1. She’s definitely enjoying this blogging thing. A little too much sometimes especially when it comes to flowers. Give that girl a critter and she’s a very happy camper. Tarantulas are really fascinating creatures…I prefer them over snakes any day of the week, thank you very much. 😆 Have a super weekend.

  6. Tarantulas! Shudder…I have arachnophobia…even the teeniest spidey gets me all in a tizzy…that started after I had some in my bed a couple of time in my younger years….yikes! But I suppose it would be kind of cool to observe that migration…from a safe distance!
    I once found a deer jawbone in our backyard, but not the rest of the carcass bones. Some critter must have taken it off the main skeleton.

    1. They used to bother me but I’m more terrified of Black Widows than tarantulas. Found one in the garage just a few minutes ago. That sucker ain’t never coming back. Just saying.

  7. During my year living in FL I spent some time picking apples for $. When I pulled my hand down from reaching up for an apple, a tarantula was on top of a sore I had on the back of my hand. I shook it off and started screaming and running blindly down the row of trees. One of the guys in the group finally caught up with me and stopped me. *shudder*
    I do love that skeleton, it looks so real! And Elsa you dumb sunflowers are very pretty. Have a great weekend, y’all!

  8. Tarantu-Noooooooo! No spidey hunting for me! I fought off chills with each pic! Although great pics of them, umm..nope. Uh-uh. I can’t run well these days, but watch me try–in the opposite direction! LOL.

    I love the sunflowers. One of my fave flowers. And that is really a great cloud horse image! So realistic! And speaking of horses…I’m really liking the skellies! Maybe add a horse?! Oh, the fun time of year is a-approaching! BooooooHaaaaHaaaa!

    1. They’re actually quite shy and beyond fascinating to watch. Not sure I’d be brave enough to see hundreds of them looking for a mate, but what a sight!

      People around this neighborhood seem to really get into Halloween and this particular neighbor goes full out. He must have 2 dozen skellies now and arranges them into all sorts of smile inducing scenes. Oooh, I like the idea of a horse skellie-haven’t seen one yet. The sheepdog rescue shared an OES kind of skellie this week that apparently an be found at Home Depot. It’s truly unusual! Have a super weekend.

  9. At first seeing the opening pic, I thought Elsa was going to the Barbie movie – but I get tarantulas instead … and my wife will not see the pics or hear about this post. Meanwhile, fall is approaching and the colors of the season are easing their way in. But hey – that means Halloween is approaching … and your Broncos open Sunday!!!! Elsa needs to wear orange on game day!

    1. Hahaha. Yeah, can’t see Elsa on the Barbie train, even if she does look great in pink. 🙂 Sunday’s game against the Raiders is a big deal and not just because it’s the home opener. Should be beyond crazy. 😲

  10. No tarantulas in Cleveland, but how interesting! Especially the flinging of hairs. We do have some hair flinging here. Elsa, no road kill. But that skull was awesome!

    1. It was quite remarkable that we came across it. The rest of the bones were just a couple of feet away. It probably got hit by a car and between vultures and coyotes, it was completely picked clean. I’ve seen them from that road but it’s a private and fenced ranch. We’ve never seen them on the outside of the fence-they usually stay quite a ways away.

  11. I like Elsa’s version of the song.

    As for those tarantulas, I don’t think I’d be interested in watching a migration of the buggers, even though I’m not creeped out by them in the least. But all of my interactions with a tarantula have been singular. When it starts going crazy plural, I’m really not sure how I would do with that if I’m being honest.

    LOVE the sunrise and the gallery of Mother Nature’s finest. She can be quite the artiste when she’s not sweating us out.

    This post has . . . wait for it . . . good bones.

    1. Hahaha. Good one, Marc!

      I became acclimated to one-not sure how I’d do seeing hundreds of them racing across the road for some nooky. 😉

  12. Interesting information about the tarantulas. I think I would rather see a video that see the migration. I enjoyed the photos. We are still under above 100 degree temps. Supposed to go to 92 next Tuesday.

    1. When I heard the story I knew I had to share. I find them very interesting.

      92, eh? Is that considered a cool spell by Texas standards?

    1. No tarantulas in NM? I’m shocked! They really are very interesting creatures. Have a good weekend!

    1. They used to scare me, but after my daughter decided to get some, I learned to live with them. Trust me, they more afraid of us than we are of them. Enjoy your weekend.

  13. At one time, years ago, we had quite a few tarantulas in Karnes County, but I’ve never seen any here in our yard.
    Have a great weekend,

    1. I admit, they are pretty fascinating to watch and I’m not much of a fan of crawly things. Can’t imagine thousands of them crossing the road!

    1. I suspect yours are a whole lot scarier than the little ones we have here! 🕷️ Have a great weekend.

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