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Bugs and "Critters" in the Midwest USA

Updated on June 29, 2011

Lizards, frogs, snakes & all kinds of bugs!

I love mother nature, and *almost* all that it entails. Truly, I love to discover new things in the wild, that bring joy or pique curiosity to learn more. From the praying mantis, to the random fox seen in the woods, I have many happy memories in the mid west USA, and all that it offers. Growing up in near the coast of Southern California, I didn't always see so much wildlife out in back yards and front yards or in neighborhoods.  So this is all new to me still here, and I am truly enjoying it.  Now, while I am a woman, some might find that odd, but it is what it is and I am glad I have this view towards nature.

Above, you will see a lizard my younger son caught and we kept him for a short while.  Actually, he was found in our pool, and we rescued him out.  I am not sure if he fell out of tree or what exactly.  Regardless, he couldn't stand those chemicals for long, and that is just one of the critters we have seen that I happened to capture "on film." 

Big bee flying by forget me not flowers
Big bee flying by forget me not flowers

Big Bumblebees, small ones, and Praying mantises?

From Texas to Missouri and Arkansas and Oklahoma, I have seen  lot of critters and bugs.  For a long time it seemed that bees were on the decline and it was causing some concern.  This is just one bee of a different kind, (not a honey bee) that we found visiting the wildflowers we had growing in our garden. 

Some neat bugs that I was able to observe up close were butterflies, moths, beetles and praying mantises.  One year I planted a garden of tall growing zinnias.  My husband called them jungle flowers they grew so well and tall.  They were on either side of you when you walked up the walkway to our house.  Well, a large praying mantis decided this was a great place for him to hang out, atop the zinnias.  Now keep in mind the zinnias were planted for the butterflies and they did come as did moths and bees.  This is what also brought the praying mantis though!  SUCH unique creatures to observe up close.  It is like they are really "folding their hands in prayer" and it also looks like they bow their heads at times!  Too funny!  Try to look at their eyes sometime if you can.  Very interesting!

Cute frog (or maybe not so cute to some!) found in the midwest USA
Cute frog (or maybe not so cute to some!) found in the midwest USA | Source
Dragonfly | Source

Toads and Frogs of all kinds

This is a cute picture I was able to capture of my son holding a frog that came out on a summers night. Don't worry, we didn't hurt him and he was put right down. We like to observe these guys, but let them go on their way of course. We watched him until he hopped out of sight into the dark night.

Once, I rescued a turtle crossing a busy road. (This can be dangerous, you must be careful if you attempt. Would suggest not attempting it actually!) I brought him home to show the boys and they thought it was the greatest thing. I couldn't get his picture though, because he was an escape artist and was already on his way by the time I got my camera outside.

I know some think I am weird for liking wildlife like this! I love birds of all kinds as well, and small animals. We saved a snake once, which some people think is really nuts! They do so much for the food chain and help gardens and the circle of life. If not poisonous or super huge, what does it hurt to allow snakes to just "be"?

Some other favorite critters I have observed have been hummingbirds, squirrels, wild turkeys, beavers, fox, vultures, eagles, falcons, rabbits, and deer. My neighbor feeds the wild turkeys and we don't live that far from a creek, so its a great habitat I guess for these things. If you keep your eyes open, you too will see a variety of wildlife. Even when I lived on the west coast in bigger cites, I saw all kinds of things!

If nothing else, keep in mind that many of these creatures keep other pests from overpopulating to the degree they truly impact human life negatively.   That is a real positive thing.  Hope you also get the chance to observe some wildlife one way or another.

Do you enjoy viewing wildlife when it comes around close enough to see?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I agree Daydreamer, and thank you!

    • daydreamer13 profile image

      daydreamer13 7 years ago

      Nature is so awesome! Great hub!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks for your comment PhoenixV! :)

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Yikes ! Thats one heckuva lizard!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Okmom, thank you! Oh wow, what an introduction to the Midwest! Well, hopefully that was the first and last time for that kind of thing. Appreciate the comment!

    • okmom23 profile image

      Donna Oliver 7 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Great subject, informative hub! As a native of Northern N.J., moving to the Midwest took quite an ajustment! Especially when we found a snake had crawled into our house through a broken dryer vent. (It was a copperhead!)

      I think every Game Warden in the State visited our house.