Ramble On

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Battle of the Species: Snakes, 2014 ed.

This whole snakes and karma thing got out of hand earlier in the spring.  On our first weekend back from vacation, Mary was cleaning out the pool filter baskets and found this little corn snake in it, drowned.  They warned us that we would find critters in it from time to time, and we have, but this was our first snake.

By the way, the fact that it lay there in something of a heart shape is just random.  It's not a love snake, as somebody on Facebook guessed.

Far more significant to the karma of Hawksbill Cabin was the much larger black rat snake that was recently found.  We'd had some work done by Bill in Luray, and some of it took place around the laundry room door - scene of many past encounters with snakes (click the label "battle of the specie"s for some of them), including finding a recent shed snakeskin there.

As Bill and his colleague started doing their work one day, the snake was up in the soffit, poking its head out as they approached.  They postponed whatever they'd planned, and determined that they should watch and wait for this critter to do whatever it had in mind.

Like so many of us, the snake was fixed in its daily habits: it would sleep in the relative cool shade of the soffit for part of the day, but once the sun was warm enough to make his lair uncomfortable, he would move out onto the stone wall side of the house.  Black rat snakes are climbers, so he'd just cling there to the wall in the shade.  Once Bill and his colleague understood this cycle they moved in one morning and caught the snake unawares.

He needed to be relocated out of the house, so they kindly took care of that for us.

There are trade-offs for having the snake out of the house - we might have more mice this winter, for example, although hopefully the barncats will take care of that.  We'll see.

No comments: