Thursday, May 28, 2009

Snake in the grasssssss....

I headed out the door one evening with my big camera in hand and my field glasses round my neck, all set to go birding. I hadn't treated myself to any bird watching time except by-the-by, so I decided to start in the back yard on the west side of the house where the wind wasn't blowing as much and the sun was shining warmly. Immediately, way up high, I spied a pair of goldfinches bringing little bits of grass and small twigs to the crotch of our green ash tree. I was so excited and kept on walking and gazing upward and nearly stepped on this sleek fellow. I think I let out a short squeal, but I knew right away that he was nobody to worry about. He was a jolly bull snake whose main job is to eat mice and other small rodents. Bull snakes hardly ever strike, but mind their own business. They say that bull snakes will attack rattlesnakes so if that's true, we appreciate them for that. They are not poisonous so I'm not afraid of them, but I was surprised when I nearly stepped right on top of him. I'm sure he would've coiled up and tried to bite, had I done that, but since he didn't seem one bit bothered by me but was seeking a quiet place in the warm sun like I was, we shared the same plot of lawn for a few minutes. I watched the birds while he basked in the sun.

When he started moving my way, probably to head for his home, I decided to move. I think he would've just glided by me without any worries, but I really didn't want to wonder what he was doing or where he was crawling behind my back. So I got up and moved and took pictures of him. He did get a little bothered by me fiddling around him so he coiled up a little bit just to give me the "don't mess with me" look and I decided I had had enough of bird watching for the evening, picked up my things, and went back home.


  1. Oh my goodness! That is one big snake! I'd love to have those around here instead of rattlesnakes!!

  2. You're so brave. I guess living where you do one would have to be up on snake identification! So glad you are.

  3. Ewwww -- you must give a snake alert before you post those pictures. I do suppose he's a bit beautiful...but only in your pictures!!!

  4. My heart is beating wildly. A snake is the one creature I can not find it in my heart to like. I'm a daughter of Eve, for sure. LOL!

  5. Wow, that is some snake !! Clarice

  6. Great photo! You do learn the "good" snakes when you live in the the country and also the scent of some of them. We have Cottonmouths that we especially avoid. Glad you had your camera! Abby

  7. A good friend of mine, sadly passed on, made it part of his life's work to educate folks about snakes--his larger point being that if something scares you, educate yourself about it. He made me really appreciate snakes and not be afraid of them, though I do wonder, given how phobic so many people are, if there's not something in our hardwiring that keeps us wary?

    Anyway, I think you've done a wonderful job of giving this beautiful snake his due!


  8. Ellen B., we used to have lots of rattlesnakes on our ranch, but not so many anymore. Hubby think it is due to the swather (hay mowing machine).

    Diana, yes, you do want to be up-to-date on snake ID. We share the prairie with them, so we best know who they are.

    Thimbleanna, sorry to frighten you, my dear. Alert! Alert!

    Cassie (daughter of Eve) sorry to frighten you too!

    Clarice, do you have many snakes in WA?

    Abby, I've never seen the Cottonmouth, but they sound vicious.

    Frances, It is much better, I think, to learn more about that which you fear. Especially when there may not be much to fear. And I agree that we must definitely be hardwired to fear snakes -- at least be cautious of them. I really did not want to step on this bull snake.



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