This is one of the prettiest.
What might they be saying?
Some day, I should write speech bubbles for this group.
We like the Swiss cows with their fluffy ears.
They have the cutest squirrels.
They move too quickly. I especially like their pointy, ear-tufts. Cute! For some good photos, see wiki link.
Spotted Nutchrackers near lake Davos
Along the way we ran into another slug.
A marmot watching the cows.
The marmot again. So cute.
Another view of a marmot
OK, marmots are cute and I had never seen one before.
Here's the slug.
On the way down, we almost stepped on this little mouse.
He just held still and seemed unaware of us. I wonder if he was sick, injured or what...clearly adorable though. Looking into this a little bit here at home, he might have been a pet as he looks like a Kangaroo mouse from the SW US.
The critter "chamois" and "chamois" that can be used to polish things are traditionally related according to Wikipedia. (link)
Chamois leather, traditionally made from the hide of the chamois, is very smooth and absorbent and is favoured in cleaning, buffing, and polishing because it produces no scratching. Modern chamois leather may be made from chamois hides, but hides of deer or domestic goats or sheep are commonly used, and cotton flannel can be used as a fake-chamois fabric, with similar qualities.
A chamois, viewed from our balcony in Austria
We had seen chamois a few times from our apartment balcony. I was happy to see the pictures. Here is more about chamois (link).
A moose and elk made from straw and wood, I think.
We saw lots of these on this trip. This pair was near our front door.
Adorable....sheep not goats....I think
So, I had to wonder and research this. A lot of you know that these are sheep, but I was not sure. Here are some interesting differences. (this was taken from Sheep101.info, see also Differencebetween.net)
Taxonomy - While sheep and goats have many similarities, their taxonomy (scientific clasification) eventually diverges. Each is a distinct species and genus. Sheep (Ovis aries) have 54 chromosomes, while goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) have 60. While sheep and goats will occasionally mate, fertile sheep-goat hybrids are rare. Hybrids made in the laboratory are called chimeras.
Look at their tails - The easiest way to tell the difference between a sheep and goat is to look at their tails. A goat's tail goes up (unless it is sick, frightened, or in distress). Sheep tails hang down and are often docked (shortened) for health and sanitary reasons.
Foraging behavior - A big difference between sheep and goats is their foraging behavior and diet selection. Goats are natural browsers, preferring to eat leaves, twigs, vines, and shrubs. They are very agile and will stand on their hind legs to reach vegetation. Goats like to eat the tops of plants. Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grasses and clover. Their dietary preference is forbs (broadleaf weeds) and they like to graze close to the soil surface. Goats require a more nutritious diet.
Behavior - Sheep and goats tend to behave differently. Goats are naturally curious and independent, while sheep tend to be more distant and aloof. Sheep have a stronger flocking instinct and become very agitated if they are separated from the rest of the flock. It is easier to keep sheep inside a fence than goats.
Goats will seek shelter more readily than sheep. Neither species likes to get its feet wet and both prefer upland grazing to lowland. In a fight, a ram will back up and charge to butt heads. A goat will rear up on his hind legs and come down forceably to butt heads. During controntation, such fighting behavior favors the ram.
Physical differences - Sheep and goats have numerous physical differences. Most goats have hair coats that do not require shearing or combing. Most sheep grow woolly coats that need to be sheared at least annually. Lamb tails are usually docked (shortened) whereas goat tails are not.
Sheep have an upper lip that is divided by a distinct philtrum (groove). The goat does not. Male goats have glands beneath their tail. Sheep have face or tear glands beneath their eyes and foot or scent glands between the toes. Male goats develop a distinct odor as they grow in sexual maturity. The odor is very strong during the rut (mating season). Sexually mature rams have much less of an odor, if they have an odor at all.
Horns - Most goats are naturally horned. Some goats have beards. Many breeds of sheep are naturally hornless (polled). Some sheep have manes. Goat horns are more narrow, upright, and less curved than sheep horns. Sheep tend to curl their horns in loops on the sides of their heads.
One of the local snails
Hiking down to Telfs: snail
Frogs and rainy weather
A lizard caught in mid-shed
Other Critters (not insects ;-))
You know we love insects, but we also like other critters as well.