Sunday, August 21, 2005
Egg Raiding Ratsnakes and Escaped Emus
Saturday started out normal enough...until I went out to the geriatric chicken coop. In this coop I have an ancient barred rock hen and an old guinea hen...and a completely stuffed grey rat snake. This beautiful snake had eaten her fill of guinea eggs. You could easily count all 5 of them in her swollen belly.
My parents and my brother were coming over, so I caught her, photographed her, and put her in a covered bucket in the den. The last time I did that with a ratsnake, it climbed out and it was a day or two before it turned up in the kitchen, so I was careful to secure the lid.
After the neat snake encounter, I headed to the grocery store to get wings, wing sauce (Texas Pete's), celery, carrots, blue cheese dressing, Klondike bars, and peanut oil. On a whim, I decided to take the long way home.
As the jeep bounced along the dusty limerock road, I could see movement up ahead.
A flock of emus, two adults and a bunch of nearly grown chicks were strolling down the middle of the lane. Emus on the loose and I had broken rule # 1, don't leave the house without the Nikon. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Wait! Hadn't Katie left her trendy little digital camera in the jeep yesterday? Yes! Lucky, lucky, lucky!
Armed with a camera, I crawled the jeep closer to get a few shots. One of the adults came over to inspect me and for a moment I was a little concerned he might decide my precious jeep was a threat. Although it would make a good tale, I did not want emu scratches all over my jeep.
As it turned out, he was just checking me out, and after a few photos, the flock and I continued on our separate ways. It wasn't eleven in the morning yet and already this day was turning out to be an exceptional one.
The family came, we chomped wings (chicken, not emu), visited, and all too soon, they left for St. Augustine.
All day, the chance encounter with the emus kept popping into my head. I hardly ever go that way...was it a bit of serendipity or are they strolling that road every day?
Now when I drive past the mouth of some stray dirt road, I will be wondering what weird encounter am I missing by driving by "the road not taken".
Posted by R.Powers at 8:50 AM