Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Treasure in the Morning Sun

This fellow was basking in the early morning sun on the woodpile behind the house. The woodpile is just a few feet from the house and I was taking a short-cut from the strawberry patch to the basement door. As I passed, my brain said that something was a bit different. "Stop and look, fool. You're being shown something really neat."
I've seen him before. In fact, I've taken him from inside the basement and placed him on that very woodpile twice this summer. The Hired-Hand-With-Benefits leaves the basement door open with just the screen latched when he works about the place on the weekends. As there's quite a gap at the bottom, bugs, mice and the occasional snake have wandered in. While entering our house is an act of kamikaze-like suicide for a mouse in this "House of Seven Cats", I don't want the snake hurt. He's doing his job around here and it's an important one. He too eats mice, bugs and the odd fallen baby bird.
Terrestrial Gartersnake

This fellow is a youngster. These snakes can reach up to about 36 inches in length. Years ago I actually saw one that size here, but haven't seen any that big since. Seeing this snake actually makes me feel good about the eco-climate here at Oleo Acres. There is food here to sustain him. It's probably the "mom" in me - I enjoy seeing everyone in my charge eating well. I am a believer in not letting someone going away from here hungry. :)

Of course the sheep would tell you differently. They will tell you, even right after consuming their "mass quantities" (my apologies to the movie "Coneheads"), with hay still hanging from their fuzzy lips, that I do not feed them enough. They are starving. Their shepherdess just never feeds them enough...pudgy wee beasties that they are!

Welcome to the menagerie, Mr. Snake. Rest assured.
Some of us like seeing you around. Just be careful not to sneak up on the HHWB...he spooks easily. ;)

8 comments:

Tina T-P said...

Ha - poor was the gartersnake that caught my grandma's eye. She hated snakes even tho my grandad tried to convince her that garters were harmless to humans - she's chop them up with a hoe! Poor things. We've had a few around here that I used to have to protect from Neelix the hunter...

Are you counting the hours yet? T.

Theresa said...

What a handsome example of a snake! We get some of different varieties but few as large as that fellow, at least that I've seen.( the few large ones I've seen are rattlers and we give them wide berth) We have a very fast and eye catching number that's black with bright yellow green racing stripes.

Oh, I know about animals and their hay! I have five horses and five goats who would tell you that they haven't eaten in weeks!

Laura said...

I found a rubber boa in the too cold shade a couple of months ago - I put him/her in the sun by my barn (they eat baby rodents so they don't get big and make more). Haven't seen it since, but I'm sure it's still around.

One of the things I warn people about with sheep is that they lie. They can still have food available and they'll tell perfect strangers that they're starving...

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

You are definitely a good mom to all the creatures in your care and within your reach!

Mim said...

So happy to know you let the snakes be. They are valuable to our farms. The rattle snakes scare me tho. One day one of my ewe's was up close talking to one and asked if he'd please leave. He did! and the ewe went on eating her grass.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

There's an award for you over on my blog. :-)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for the positive snake story and picture. And, yes, those darn sheep DO lie. ;-)

Sharon said...

Everyone here thinks they're starving to death. Just ask 'em.

We had a gopher snake couple here for a while earlier this summer, but the female got into some netting by the side of our garden. Ian spotted her and it ended up being a scary rescue. He lifted her with a lawn rake while I cut her loose from the netting with some dull garden snips, her wriggling all the while. I'm not a snake fan but I appreciate their value. That's an experience I hope to never repeat. I think they felt the same because we haven't seen them since.