Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slither, Slither, Don't Come Hither!

Boy, this summer -around this little burg -has really been one for the books. The Wildlife books that is, anyway!

On Memorial Day, my son had major excitement at his house when two -not just one, but two -black snakes got inside and made their way to his bathroom where they seemed to think his bathtub would be just a whiz-bang dandy place to take up residence.

They were wrong in thinking that and now, neither of those two creatures are among the living any more.

About a week or two later, my son and his girlfriend found another black snake out in their front yard. This one fared a bit better in that they were able to trap it and then, Mandy's best friend and her husband, Jenn-Jenn and Nick-Nick, came down and got that snake all bundled up in a pillow case and took it away to a new place of residence.

About a week or two ago, the neighbor's son who cuts my next-door neighbor's grass found yet another black snake under the pine and hemlock trees along Deb's house -between her place and mine -and well, that snake is now gone -to his great reward wherever it is that black snakes go, ya know.

But today, I sure wasn't prepared for the events here this afternoon!

Mandy and the kids had spent the morning at our church for second day of Vacation Bible and had just come home and Kurt's TSS (Miss Dawn) along with the kids' mobile therapist (Miss Randi) had also just arrived here for their sessions with the kids today too. We were -most of us anyway -just standing around the dining room, talking, when suddenly Miss Randi pointed to the dining room window and asked me "Uh, Gram, what is that on the window?"

I turned to look, pretty much expecting to see some humungous insect type thing or something along those lines, but I sure wasn't expecting to see a snake dangling there, on the outside (thankfully!) of the window from the window ledge there!

Needless to say, I'm surprised the entire neighborhood didn't come running, that someone didn't sound an alarm that there must be some mayhem of some type taking place at our house based on all the loud, shrieking that was going on here!

Yeah, one old woman, and three younger females between the ages of oh, probably 26 thru 35, all of whom are terrified, absolutely petrified of snakes, do scream a hell of a lot, for sure!

The window where the snake was, shall we say, sort of "perched" -for lack of a better term -was open but there is a full screen in it, so it couldn't get inside -or at least I figured it couldn't do that but the kitten we just acquired oh, about about two, maybe three weeks ago, was in the window sill, on the inside, trying her level best to catch herself some big fat blow flies that were buzzing around there and never, to my knowledge, even saw the snake as it was dangling there, much less when it slowly began to move and seemed to disappear completely.

Well, it did move enough to get out of my sight from my vantage point in the dining room anyway!

I went out on the deck to see if I could ascertain where it had gone and actually, it was still there -on the window ledge in the middle of the window, kind of coiled up in sort of a rectangular shape! Then it began to move some more and made its way across to the roof over our cellar entrance way and from there, it moved on further in on the roof to where it connects with the wall from the back side of the bathroom and slowly was slithering down across the roof there!

Meanwhile, as I was watching its progression along the roof, I was yelling for Mandy and getting absolutely no response from her. I wanted to tell her to pick up the phone and call someone, either our neighbor, Joe, across the road one house up from us, or Jim, our neighbor about two doors down and across the road or if need be, then call Daryl, the neighbor about 4 houses down on our side -I could have cared less who she called, who could respond, but please get one of those guys -hopefully -up here to get this damned snake off the back roof of my house and make the slimy little bugger just go away and do it NOW too, will ya please?

What I didn't know was that she had gone to our next-door neighbor -Deb's place -and asked Deb's boyfriend who is spending a few days here visiting, to come over and rescue two small children who by that time were, of course, extremely curious about said snake and do some big macho type thing to get rid of the unwanted visitor so the four original terrified females would be able shut up, stop screaming and also, stop shaking! By the time Rob got over here though and saw where the snake was, the number of women now lined up to watch the snake get taken out had also grown to five now too as Deb had decided she needed to come see Rob do his brave stuff and take care of this particular menace invading our little society here!

Eventually, Rob was able to get the snake moving along off the roof and to the ground but not before he slipped on one of the ladder rungs he was standing on while trying to shove the snake around and off the room with a shovel! Lucky for him when he slid and banged into this old rusted out wood burner type stove that Bill (the former husband of daughter, Mandy) had dragged home a couple years ago that Rob didn't really hurt himself because the potential of a serious injury certainly was there!!

The drawback to getting the snake off the roof and on to the ground though was that Rob then had to sort of hopscotch around the back yard there, zig-zagging in between various toys of the truck variety of Kurt's that were scattered around the yard in that vicinity and as a result of that, the snake escaped and made its way under the deck initially and from there, it slid along under neath a bunch of heavy pieces of wood that Bill had put down on the ground to kind of make a semi-flat area there -kind of like a really red-necky, make-shift patio!

It was then, when the snake went slip-sliding away under those heavy pieces of wood that Rob gave up the chase, saying he wasn't going to move all of that stuff out of the way to try to capture the darned thing!

A little later in the afternoon, Ken arrived and moved that wood all around but no snake was there to be found. Then, Ken decided to check around my lovely garden -all full to the brim with various large leafy plants that make it virtually impossible for a person to see down to the ground if a snake might be hiding in there -which makes me have a lot of trepidation now about going down to the garden in the morning and reaching in there amongst those leaves to pick what new squash or green beans or snow peas might be ready to be harvested and wondering, worrying just what I might actually grab a hold of in that process then too!

So anyway, that's the saga of the snake at this house today. Lucky little so-and-so that it was to get away scot-free from anyone trying to capture it or even simply just to locate it and maybe re-route it to another area of town!

This evening, while Mandy had Maya in town for her play practice, Kurtis and I took Sammy for a walk up the road and we stopped to chat a bit with Shirley and Bo -my neighbors oh, about six houses or so up the street from us.

In telling them about the snake's visit, I came to find out they had had a visitor too earlier this week from a very unwanted guest too except their visitor was much larger, able to stand on its hind feet and reach up to pull down a big old bird feeder Bo had set up in their yard and managed to virtually destroy said feeder in the process as well. And to add insult to injury there, after having dined on all the food in the bird feeder, their visitor then also left behind a nice big pile of you know what as a friendly, smelly little memento of its visit too!

Yep! They'd been targeted by a big old black bear that apparently has been making its rounds too now along our street!

On the way back home from Shirley and Bo's, I ran into another neighbor on her way back to her house about 3 doors up the street from my place and she proceeded to tell me that they have been having rather regular visits to their place, in their back yard and even coming right up on to their deck as well from a big old black bear too. She informed me said bear has been sighted several times now, usually coming around about 8:30 to 9 p.m. -just before dusk/darkness and then too, also in the early-early morning hours around 5:30-6:00 a.m.!

Lovely, just freaking lovely, huh?

Snakes and bears in the middle of quasi civilization!

Oh and I almost forgot there's yet another little creature that decided my back yard is an ideal zone to camp out in too but this one, though I'm not overly fond of 'em and no, I won't touch 'em either, is really a pretty harmless little character.

And just what might that be, you ask?

Well, I think it's a descendant of "Sophie" the toad that always appeared here out every summer but it always showed up out front along the sidewalk there. I have no clue as to why my Grandma decided to call this toad Sophie, for openers, nor do I know if it was really the same toad that appeared there, year after year, but it was kind of funny that every summer, in virtually the same spot, this little toad would come and camp out there!

Ain't that all just ever so special?


Easy-2-Save said...

I am a new follower. I enjoyed reading your adventure with the snakes.

Anonymous said...

A regular down-river menagerie you have going there. We've had nothing exciting. Well, my son stepped on a bee in the kitchen and got stung - that was exciting to him. I opened our barbeque, only to be greeted by a large mouse (I'll choose to have it be that rather than a small rat, one of the varmints that I occasionally catch feasting at our birdfeeder at which it's time to regrease the feeder pole. you should see those suckers slide!).

I'm wondering, if you keep killing off snakes, will the rodent population increase. I've never seen a snake around here, except down on the bike trail near the river.

Curmudgeon still missing ...


terri said...

I would be none too happy to find a snake visiting my house either. Eew! We don't tend to see them around here, but a few weeks ago, I did see a HUGE one, dead in the street in downtown St. Paul of all places. He was laying in the street just outside my parking ramp. I mentioned him to a few coworkers and it turns out that Tom had seen him INSIDE the parking ramp when he arrived at work, and he even went so far as to take a photo of it with his phone!

Travis Cody said...

Yikes! My main fear is s-p-i-d-e-r-s, but I don't like snakes either.