Monday, June 01, 2009

Hello Black Rat Snake

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I greet the Robin and say hello to the Bluebird who arrives regularly for nothing. He's staring at an empty food dish. I feel badly about that. If I had time to snob feed, I would park myself outside and guard the suet and worms for a while every day. For now, and for good reasons, I’m only feeding my backyard birds once or twice a week.


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On the weekends, I dance around the yard with camera close by and feel high as a kite on color, blooms, and the most unnoticed living things. I’ll elaborate soon on the three-year drought that has ended.

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My wildflower patches are sweet on the northwestern side.


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One small flower. So pretty. Some might consider mowing it…

An old acquaintance put an abrupt halt to my tour.


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Well, hello again, Black Rat Snake.

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Hmmm. I’ll move myself way down here so you don’t get snarky. See? I’m no threat…

We have several species of snakes on our small property. Black Rat Snakes live here and are the ones I see most often. They reside close to the house (probably under it) and make regular appearances from spring to late fall. I don’t mind them as long as I don’t see them take care of chipmunks and other rodents. They’ll take a lizard, too. Oh, dear.

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Listen up, Lizzie. Danger awaits ten feet south. Move it! Yes, I’m talking to YOU!

Hundreds of lizards, Eastern Fence Lizards being the most common, scamper across my path every day. If I can try to save a small lizard’s life, I will.

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Snake had enough of me and slithered away, finding cover. I’ve never annoyed a snake enough to make them strike. Never will, I hope. If I do, I'll put it on the blog :o)

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This one is about five or six feet in length. Good size. And, it's mating season! Oh, boy. Those hatchlings grow fast and appear at my front door - stupid little snakes. I’ll meet them late summer when they’re small and cute.

Black Rat Snake left me so I jogged around the corner and alerted another,

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You are way too relaxed, Lizzie. Have a sense of urgency, will ya?

Yes, I said that. I talk to lizards out loud. And snakes.

It’s Okay…

I’m Okay…

32 comments:

Team Daniel said...

Mary - Your picture first caught my eye. Then your pictures were amazing! I love your story line that goes along with them.

My children (5, 7, 7) pick those "weeds" and bring me handfuls! They make a great centerpiece for dinner!

Heather said...

Mary, what wonderful, fantastic photos! The macro shots are lookin' good! I'm jealous of your lizards. We've got the rat snakes here, though - found 2 of them getting it on last week. I've never seen the babies, but I'll be on the lookout this year.

Ruth said...

I have my feet off the floor in my Canadian living room. "We have several species of snakes on our small property"... You are made of tougher stuff than me. Everything else in your garden is lovely.

Toni said...

Hi Mary!

Wow it has been awhile hasn't it. Um snakes no thanks. don't think I could handle the snakes you get but he lizards would be great to paint. :)

Vickie said...

These lizards are too cute. I see five-lined skinks but nobody as exotic as your guys! Love your dance with the rat snake and warnings to the Lizzies. I can feel you relax when the weekend arrives!

A New England Life said...

Wonderful photo's Mary! Except for the snake of course ; )

That yellow daisy with the blue background is gorgeous! I did a lot of macro shots with my old fujifilm but for some reason I haven't done much with the new one.

Don't you wish you could guard that bowl for the Bluebirds, etc? I know just what you mean. Suddenly the sparrows have discovered my peanut feeder and they are taking over. Not sure what to do about it.

Susan Gets Native said...

Jeez, Mary! Were you up that snake's nose or what???
I am always thrilled to find snakes here. Means we are doing something right.
Goooooood job.
:)

Diane C. said...

I love your lizards and snake, they have the sweetest faces! Your robin and bluebird are nice to look at too with their pretty colors.

dAwN said...

Hee hee..she talks to the animals..I bet the lizards appreciated your snake warning! great photos, Mary

Red said...

I think the jury is still out on your being okay Mary. I'm voting nuts after your snake friendship.

I'm happy for your garden to have survived the drought and now with all that rain will flourish. A welcome sight to be sure!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The pictures are wonderful as usual, but the subject matter give me shivers! So very glad I've never seen a snake in my yard!

Kerri said...

I LOVE hearing your conversation with the lizards and snakes.
If I spoke to a snake It would be to say "yikes" and get the heck out of there :)

I love your flowers pics..(and the birds, and the lizards)

Rurality said...

That is one fat lizard! Great pics. (Doesn't it seem like that bluebird is staring rather critically?! LOL.)

nina at Nature Remains. said...

We're just starting to warm enough to find the snakes moving freely, again.
But I always envy you of your lizards--I can almost see you squatting low to catch those wonderful shots!
Urge Lizzie along, please?

Jayne said...

I have photos of one to post tomorrow Mary! It was the first one I've seen around here, and he was also probably 5 1/2 to 6' long. He was so patient while I snapped away...lol!

NatureWoman said...

Can't wait to see my resident snakes. It's cool you have snakes and lizzies and etc. They know a good yard to hang out in. Get a move on Lizzies!!! Your photos, sigh. . . so gorgeous!

Susan said...

I talk to lizards, too & they're all named Liz.

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary......lovely photographs....if my daughter so the snake shots, she would be screaming now and running from the house. Just the thought sends her ga ga.....
We only have grass snakes here....no real menace, quite cute actually......

Your garden is so full of life....lovely to see......

JeanMac said...

I just love your robin picture.

Susan Ellis said...

Great photos -as always! We have little garter snakes here - now they're cute...rat snakes? well, someone's gotta love 'em...me not so much.

merrilymarylee said...

The robin looks like it's finding plenty of food somewhere. Don't feel guilty about not putting out a spread every day.

6-ft. snake? Holy crap, Mary, it looks big enough to be a truck tire. I do appreciate the Snake Alert in the heading so I could stand back from the screen.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! Loved the photos and story up to the snake. Then I had to scroll through very quickly, peeking from behind my bowl of ice cream:o) Snakes are my one fear in life. I can't even look at pictures without feeling the need to do my snake dance. Lisa

Margaret said...

I'd talk to the lizards, too.
After all, I talk to my frogs in the pond every morning on the way to my car.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Wonderful to see your Rat snake. Very cool.
I also love seeing the lizards. We have a few.
So happy to know you are out of the drought. It was a long one!
Sherry

Murr Brewster said...

Gorgeous. Love them herps. We don't have many snakes here, and none are poisonous. I love them too, but they do have that startle thing going for them. Once on my mail route I stepped into a parking strip right in the center of a batch of hatchlings, all of whom chose a different radius and slithered away fast. Each one took away a small portion of my life; couple years, added together, I suppose.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Mary, the collection of wildlife around your garden attests to its viability. Wonderful!! I love seeing the lizards. I don't have one around my house. We do have garter snakes that patrol the garden. I am ever so glad because of the slug population would be unbearable if they didn't patrol for them.

mon@rch said...

Stunning photos of this blacksnake! Great job my friend!

jemkagily said...

That was one damn handsome snake. You're lucky to have it, I've never seen one.
Funny how evenly your friends divide between love 'em and fear 'em!

BJ said...

Mary - I love your pictures....they are just beautiful! But that darned snake!!!!! I hate them.....but you know that....cause I've told you that before!

T and S said...

Your garden is incredible, its like a wildlife sanctuary. I m speechless at the stunning details on the lizard and the rat snake. Congratulations.

Tina said...

Oh Brave girl that you are..with those snakes that live under your house...I wouldn't be so relaxed.... if I was that lizard!!
Nice picture of the robin and bb..they do look like they are waiting for you to feed them :)

Wren said...

Great snake photos, Mary. I know they have to eat, but like you, I don't have to watch ....