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.


Dani said...

They are both so beautiful. I miss having snakes in the house. I had my rough green snakes forever and now it seems so lonely without them. I'll pop back over later if I think of any good names.

Susan said...

Hi, FC. That's a beautiful photo of your house. The Bear silhouette is a poignant touch.

A name for a muscular gray rat snake... how about Ratty? Muscle Boy? Twister? Clingon?

P.S... I've posted a new photo collection on my site if y'all want to peek.

Miz S said...

Both snakes are gorgeous, although I am particularly partial to the red coloring.

And how did you know about my abs?

Freste said...

VERY NICE homicile at PF! Beautiful.
I have sooooooo given up on the abs but am furiously working on something else that might clinch as well.
My snake name: Persssneakity.
Now didn't you leave something outside by the miter saw?

Laura said...

First, I LOVE your house!

Second, I had to laugh when I saw the photo where you're holding the snake up in front of the kitchen cabinets. I have one of Rick holding the same type of snake in front of our kitchen cabinets, too. I'll have to show you that one!

Third, I really like that house. I can't wait to build again. It would probably look a lot like that one.

Fourth, Very happy to see you practice catch and release with your local snakes, although I'm not surprised...

How's the living room coming along? ;)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to get started on our house down there....snakes, spiders and critters included!

edifice rex said...

I think I'd name the snake Nasty Thing. Sorry; I wouldn't kill him but I just don't like 'em. Especially with him making eyes at my baby chooks.

SophieMae said...

Stewie's a beauty! I love rat snakes in general and am right partial to the corny ones.

I was trying to use the letters of GREy Rat Snake to come up with a name. Gregor/Gregors resulted. Or maybe Gretsky. Perhaps Ekan-star yerg? 8-}

threecollie said...

I submit that Stewie has caught the remodeling fever! Great photos.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Your house is beautiful! How wonderful to live in the "real" Florida. I gotta say I'm not fond of snakes though. In fact I have a true phobic fear of them and have been known to hurt myself trying to get away from them. I have 2 boys that love snakes and they are constantly leaving their plastic snakes where they know I'll find them. Why do they do this? They like to hear Mom scream like a girl LOL

The Troll said...

Always nice to take a little nature break whilst working inside. How about "Lucky"? Since he was lucky to escape the predator.

Anonymous said...

Cool house. Will you adopt me, 'cause I want to live there.

Love the snakeskin, too. Looks like a crystal snake; perhaps it's stewie's inner essence made visible.

Anonymous said...

Hey FC, that's the first full shot of PFHQ I've seen. Real Sweet! I can see why you love it there so much. It's the perfect HQ, No wonder you're in the frame of mind you're usualy in. Your own semi-private little world.

Bro J

robin andrea said...

It's interesting to see the house like this, after seeing bits of it in different photos over the years. It looks like such a great place to live. Quite beautiful.

Nice snakes you have there, too.

amarkonmywall said...

That's a beautiful home with lots of room for pure Florida porch life.

I am very fond of rat snakes- those and ball pythons are our principal education reptiles that we handle and travel with at the zoo. I'm pretty envious of the fashion in which they can shed their skins and come out all shiny and new-looking. They get a vacation from visitors while shedding. The ones I handle all have good names, too and, I'm reluctant to say it in public, but the occasional chick. :-(

Anonymous said...

We have two corn snakes at school -- they are totally cool creatures. I would love a classroom pet but just can't decide what would be good. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Oh, I'm glad you listened to your little chicks peeping!

Thunder Dave said...

Hey man, ok Stewie is pretty cool, but that grey rat snake is getting to the size that sort of creeps me out! ;-)

I still agree with Lightnin though, I can't wait until we have those types of visitors/neighbors at our home!

Floridacracker said...

Are rough greens docile?

Clingon has great potential as I am a Trekkie.
Have to spell it with a K tho!

Miz S,
Vicki told me.

I can't imagine what that might be.
Persneakity ... nice.

Thanks, PFHQ needs a good fresh coat of stain ... bring your brush!
Definitely not a McMansion, but very comfortable ... or at least it will be when the remodeling is over and there's room to walk again.

Good! 'cause they are!

Edifice Rex,
At last a flaw ... she can build anything, is an artist, easy on the eyes, but she doesn't like snakes.
I knew you were human.

Ekan star yerg sounds kinda SCIFI.
Which is a good thing here.

CLEVER! You must be home from the camp!

SC Momma,
My boy went through a rubber snake phase when he was little, I never knew if I was seeing a toy or the real thing around here.
Now I use them in the blueberry patch to deter birds!

It breaks up the normality.

I'm sending your chore list and the house rules.
Crystal snake, yes it does.

Bro J,
What chu mean "semi-"?
Thanks, it is hard to imagine being somewhere else.

Thanks. Yes, you and roger have been through a lot of remodeling summers with me!
Great company too!

Thanks, the porch is a big plus!
Might be nice to shed once in awhile huh?
Snakes gotta eat, and pity the poor chicken who just tastes too darned good.

It's a tough decision anymore since so MANY kids are allergic to this and that.

You will have them. Think of it as free mouse control.

Dani said...

No, they're not real happy when you handle them. If you keep them, make sure they have plenty of head space because they're arboreal. The prices for large screen cages can get pricey, so we went and bought window screens(don't get the ones that use metal screening)from habitat for humanity and a big piece of acrylic from the depot and made a big enclosure. I made that sound so easy. LOL. It was a big pain in the booty, but it turned out real nice.