August 31, 2016

White Dog trotted out to make sure Trixie was behaving herself in the kitchen and let out a full out White Dog Army call to action. White Dogs of every shade created a blizzard as they headed to answer the leader. The noise was incredible.

I was able to see into the room. Trixie seemed fine. She was standing by the cabinets focused on something on the ground. She was surrounded by everyone else. Hackles were raised and growls deafened. Steve came rushing from the office. "What is wrong?"

I shrugged; Stormer and Sachi ran to his side, like Lassies in stereo, to warn him that we were in danger.

Zsofia, YoYoMa, and White Dog blocked his way in protection as Steve waded through the bodies pressed together in attack solidarity. Poor Trixie looked at him not quite knowing WHAT to do. Gently Steve parted the Army and revealed that Trixie had cornered one of nature's oddities found here on the Frontier...

...a Giant Whip Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus
According to Wikipedia: Vinegaroons have no venom glands, but they have glands near the rear of their abdomen that can spray a combination of acetic acid and caprylic acid when they are bothered.[9] The acetic acid gives this spray a vinegar-like smell, giving rise to the common name vinegaroon.

Vinegaroons are carnivorous, nocturnal hunters feeding mostly on insects, millipedes, scorpions, and terrestrial isopods [9] but sometimes on worms and slugs. The prey is crushed between special teeth on the inside of the trochanters (the second segment of the "legs") of the front appendages. They are valuable in controlling the population of cockroaches and crickets. In other words, they are "desirables."

This specimen was a little over 2" long and was clearly upset. 

Steve stretched to open the cabinet and took out a recycled glass jar. "OK, everybody. Let's give this scared guy some room. Back up." Zso bent her head down to it. "Leave it!" Steve told her. It would not poison her but the bite is painful...and he could already smell that the vinegaroon was in fight mode.

He set the jar down on top of the sci-fi looking creature, then groped around for cardboard. Tearing a paper plate in half he slid the cardboard under the jar and picked it up. He screwed on the lid then turned.

"I am going to take him out front and put him under the bushes," he announced. The WDA followed him, barking their victory, and watched at the windows as he waked down the drive, unscrewed the lid and set the jar on its side under the sage. When he returned, every member of the Army had to verify that the intruder had, indeed, been dispatched. 

Then each pair of eyes lifted to Steve's face. "Yes, it IS time to make dinner," he told them. "You must all be exhausted of such a fierce battle!"


Random Felines said...

Ah yes....the great protectors (and ewwww)

Nan√ľk said...

It was good to return this creature to the wild. Cheers!