An unexpected guest

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There are a few pieces of railroad tie, rocks, a straw bale, and a couple other random odds and ends out in the chicken run, and sometimes when I go out there I roll one over. The chickens are immediately alert, waiting, their eyes on me. If I call “Kip kip keee-ipp!” they come running, because they know I’ve uncovered a juicy hoard of bugs.

This evening I rolled over a rock and, sure enough, bugs. So while they were pecking and scratching there, I rolled over a piece of railroad tie and –Β YIKES!! – I found this!

Gopher snake

Gopher snake

I dropped a small pebble on him to see if he would rattle, but he didn’t, so I just enjoyed him for a bit before the chickens came to see what I’d found. (Yeah, I like snakes – I told you that before!) While I was chasing them off, he disappeared under the straw bale. I don’t think we have gophers in the chicken run, but we definitely have mice. I’m hoping he’s willing to be flexible!

Hey, Steph – isn’t he cool?!?

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About Belladonna Took

Into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, at constant risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic. A wife, a mom, a daughter and sister, kind of a grandma. Until recently a full-time dog rescuer, now more concerned with rescuing myself. User of dog hair as accessory, decor and garnish. Technical writer, strategic thinker, occasional entrepreneur. Voiceless poet and storyteller. Born again Christ-follower and former missionary schoolteacher chewing on some uncomfortable questions. Ignorer of rules, challenger of assumptions, believer in miracles. Skeptical libertarian, equal opportunity despiser of politicians and assholes. Gonnabe gardener, wannabe beekeeper, Monsanto-hating tree-hugger. Morbidly obese chocaholic, with a horse I don't ride because I might break him, and if not he would probably break me.

27 responses »

  1. Well holy yuck! Cool picture though, I think he’s giving you an evil smile there, eh? It’s funny I just wrote a post on being scared of different animals and here you are all being brave with your barnyard snake!

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  2. Yikes indeed. When I was in school we lived on the grounds of the old agricultural school which was basically a farm. At least once a year we were paid a visit by a rinkhals or any of a variety of vipers. They’d just invite themselves in and hide behind a corner to hiss at you behind your back after you’d passed within striking distance. Ah, happy days…

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      • What my dearest wife does NOT relate is how, a few years back, she was in our barn and encountered another snake partially hidden amidst a coil of rope. She brought it to my attention and then, blithely, proceeded to get it out of the rope. I kept telling her to ‘Slow Down!’… it looked like a rattlesnake. Finally, I had to physically intercede to keep her away from it. As it turned out, it was, in fact, a Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus Viridis). http://www.snaketype.com/western_diamondback_rattlesnake_coiled_to_strike/ I separated its it head from the body with a nearby spade, and then suffered her wifely wrath for hurting the poor-wee-thing.

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        • The wifely wrath had nothing to do with hurting the poor wee thing, and everything to do with wasting an excellent natural rodent repellant! Plus let’s not forget the time you lopped the head off a gorgeous and completely inoffensive bull snake. Talk about wifely wrath – I have seldom been so mad at you!

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