Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love's Embrace

Warning--snake post and picture to follow.

I was out wandering our property a few days ago.  I having one last walk before we had our pastures cut and brush cleaned up.  I was also having a boo-hoo moment.  I really didn't want to have the work done, but it was becoming a clear fire hazard.  That's tomorrow's story though.  

As I walk, I always keep my ears open as well as my eyes.  I heard the agitated twitter of a pair of wrens.  I thought I must be near a tree they have a nest in.  I moved away in hopes of quieting their fear.  The twittering continued.  I searched the trees for any sight of them and saw a bit of branch fall to the ground.  A light went on in my head, they see a snake!  It didn't take long to spot the snake in the tree.  Movement nearby also caught my eye.  Another snake!  No way!  I ran all the way to the house for my husband's camera (telephoto lens), as they were about 15' up in the tree.  By the time I returned it was clear that I was interrupting an intimate moment. Like any good papparazzi, I started snapping photos.  

I know, most folks think I'm out of my gourd. I just find them fascinating and beautiful.  A few facts to keep you in the know---just in case it comes up in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

*Rat snakes are not venomous.
*Rat snakes are often called Chicken snakes because they are sometimes found near chicken  coops.  They are usually there because of a rodent problem, but soon discover the eggs.(Been  there, done that!) 
*Rat snakes can 'rattle' their tail which is to scare away predators.  This is often their undoing when they encounter humans.  A rattling tail equals a Rattle snake for most humans. 
*Rat snakes come out of hibernation late March--early April.  
*The male seeks out the female for mating.  
*Five weeks later she will lay 12-20 eggs in a hidden area, under logs or leaves or in abandoned animal burrows. 
*The hatchlings will appear in 65-70 days later, and are on their own from the beginning.  
*If weather conditions are good, the female may produce two clutches of eggs a year.

Ready?  Here's the pic.  Not scary at all.  If you made it this far, then I'm proud of you.  If you're feeling particularly brave, click on the picture to make it larger.


  1. Holy cow! Like you, snakes don't bother me one bit.

    Awesome picture.

  2. Hey! It's 'Nookie in a Tree" Snake style! hehe

    I would have stuck around and watched, too. That's amazing!

    And, one more thing, instead of cutting down all that brush, why don't you just raise a a few goats? They'll keep it clear for you..and even give you milk, too! hehe

    (hint, hint)

  3. Woot! Snake porn makes me HOT!

  4. Rural Writer TishApril 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Cool photo! I never knew the snakes got so frisky up in the trees!

  5. Snakes doing the nasty in a tree, who'd have thunk?