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.

5 comments:

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

    Awesome picture.

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  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)

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  3. Woot! Snake porn makes me HOT!

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

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

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

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