Tag Archives: wildlife

Nature 101: Bull Snake

Come back here slippery snake.

It is very disconcerting when you’re following your husband into the house and he suddenly gets a serious look on his face, starts moving slowly, and keeps staring  at one particular location in the garage like there is a big problem…

We’d had our prized Java chickens free-ranging in the pasture while we were working outside, keeping the shotgun handy in case of predators (coyotes are quite brazen here even in daylight).  There was a little bit of daylight left but it was too late to start something else, so we headed inside.  Suddenly hubby hands me the shotgun he is carrying – and I’m worried.  Especially since he didn’t tell me what the problem was.  All I could think by the serious look on his face was Why in the world are you handing me the shotgun if there is such a serious problem?  By this time I’ve grabbed the shotgun and backed up several feet.  Hubby FINALLY blurts “Maybe Bull Snake” after staring at something for what seemed like an eternity.

A snake apparently discovered that a favorite snack, little field mice, enjoy the comforts of our garage.  Mr. Snake had stationed himself on top of an animal condo that had temporarily housed chickens, having curled himself in and out of the vent holes of a cardboard animal carrier.  Right next to the path into the kitchen.  ACK!

I don’t actually mind snakes unless they surprise me.  Or they are in my house where they don’t belong.  Like this one.  Hubby said he was glad that he’d actually had the day off so he could find our visitor instead of me – since I was likely to have had a cow (more like a whole herd of cows), if I had encountered our visitor first.

Mr. Snake stayed put long enough for me to snap some pics with my phone before trying to get away from the paparazzi.  At which point I made it clear to hubby he’d better catch that thing and get it OUT of my garage!  Like many people, we don’t keep cars in our garage.  The thought of that thing slithering behind something and waiting for another chance to scare me…

Hubby took Mr. Snake out of the garage for another photo op, then out to our dilapidated barn and let the thing slither off into the grass.  Hopefully Mr. Snake will figure out that the pasture is a much more appropriate place to be than in our garage.  I also hope that he ate the little mouse that nearly ran across my feet last week while walking through the garage.

After consultation of the reptile book, noting the usual range for snakes that have these types of colorings/markings, this snake is likely a bull snake (hubby’s first impression).  Although according to the book, a Texas rat snake might not be out of the question.  Either are good for rodent control.  And for scaring unsuspecting wives.

*Click on a photo for a closer look.

No snakes were harmed in the making of this story.  🙂

We live in peace with non-poisonous snakes here.  Even when they visit unannounced.  But then I guess they can’t announce themselves very well since they don’t have pockets to carry a calling card and we don’t have a butler or a silver tray with which to receive calling cards anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Scene – July 12, 2012

Nearly every day this week, the daytime heating and moisture in the air has brought thunderstorms.  The storms finally brought us a cooler morning – perfect to let the chickens out into the pasture for some fun.  While enjoying “chicken tv”, this graceful visitor was spotted in the pond looking for breakfast.  There are a few minnows in the pond, although I have no idea how they even get there since the pond does go completely dry on occasion.  The pond is a little oasis with some oak and willow trees in the middle of an otherwise treeless pasture (except for a few thorny mesquite trees here and there).    With the recent rain, the pasture grass has greened up considerably to make for a peaceful scene.  The chickens of course failed to appreciate the scene as they were too busy eating grasshoppers. 🙂