Saturday, July 19, 2008
Snakey Surprises and Stewie's New Coat
One of the nice things about PFHQ's wildness is there are constant surprises.
These occur even when we are not expecting them ... imagine that.
Surprising, but true.
Take yesterday for instance. I wasted too much time bloogering and net cruising in the morning, then, feeling guilty about sitting on my computerized butt for too long, I dove into the remodeling with gusto.
"Maybe later, I'll slip out for some photography time" I thought, knowing full well that the afternoon sky would be dark and rambuctious with flashtification and boomnicity.
Still, I toiled on, taking Bear breaks often, but mostly making progress in the living room.
Out near the miter saw, Stewie had a surprise for me ... although it was an expected surprise, like when you KNOW there's a baby coming soon, you just don't know exactly when. He had been showing all the signs of an impending shed, foggy eyes and off his feed.
Stewie's old coat.
Stewie is a domesticated wild corn snake that his previous owners gave to me recently. They had captured him in their garage when he was "the size of a pencil" and they obviously took great care of him as he is beautiful and much larger these days.
Stewie's new coat.
Stewie is a gentle guy and never bites. He's spending the summer on the porch, but will mainly live in my classroom when summer unemployment is over.
Sorry about the composition on this photo, I was alone with giant snake in one hand and camera in the other.
The snake above is not Stewie, but a close cousin. Stewie is a Red Rat Snake (corn snake) and this snake is the 5 foot long Grey Rat Snake (oak snake) that I have posted about so many times, he should have his own blog.
Here's how he surprised me ...
I was out at the miter saw about to trim a bit of moulding when I noticed the 3 baby chicks were really peeping ... way more than usual.
"Their food probably got wet during the afternoon storms (no surprise there). Poor little things are hungry" I thought.
I laid the wood down and went to refresh their food, but when I peered in the cage, the food was fine.
"What is the problem little dudes?" I asked, but they just cowered in the corner peeping profusely.
Just at that moment (SURPRISE!) a big grey snake face peered up over the far edge of the cage. The grey rat snake (this snake needs a name if he's going to be on this blog so often ... suggestions?) was wrapped around the giant sawhorses supporting the "snake proof" chick cage. No wonder the little biddies were freaked.
I'm always in awe of rat snake climbing ability and muscle strength ... I think they could climb a glass pole.
You WISH you had abs like a rat snake.
So here at PFHQ, even a day spent mostly inside working on the house can result in wildlife encounters and a few pics.
I took a few shots of the grey rat snake in the kitchen before releasing him outside by the walkway.
While I was holding him, I noticed he had two or three healing punctures as if he had narrowly escaped a predator ... perhaps the kites or owls picked up more than they could handle.