July 5th, the footer is hardening and a fun, but scary, thing happened that morning.
The sun was just coming up and I went out to open the gates to the south for my sister to head off to work. Stepping out the door I spotted a snake. I assumed it was dead since the darn thing was only the width of my thumb (about a foot-and-a-half long) but it was trying to eat a toad that was about the size of my fist.
Curiosity made me examine it closer. Its eyes were actually bulging from trying to stuff that whole toad into its tiny mouth. I know they can extend their jaw to take in larger objects, but really – what was it thinking? (Apparently, I’m not the only thing on our farm that tries to bite off more than it can chew!)
I went in and grabbed Darcy telling her she just had to come see this snake. I told her that I had never seen one like this with a bright red stripe down its back before. We have the normal garden snakes, bullheads, and rattlers – but this one was different.
She came out to look and saw that the stupid thing decided to dine right in front of her truck and she didn’t want to run it over (WHY NOT? Its already obviously dead from gluttony!), so she picked up a stick to scoop up the snake to throw it into the front yard garden (feed the worms)…. AND THE DARN THING DROPPED THE TOAD AND BEGAN MOVING! It wasn’t dead after all!
That move totally freaked us both out, but then it decided to run off – not like a normal garden snake going straight, sort of wiggly, ahead – noooo, it pulls this sidewinder trick like the rattlers do – FREAKED OUT AGAIN!
Now we had no clue what type of snake this was, if it was dangerous or not. We just looked at each other and started laughing! It it’s something bizarre, it’s gonna end up at our farm! She then jumped in her truck and left for work.
I got on the internet and started searching for the freaky thing. Turns out it was just another type of grass snake, but not usually found around here! I blame it on Excel Energy. They spent over half of the year digging down in our swamp area. They were removing old poles and putting in new ones.
Just below our farm and before the railroad tracks is a nice little woodsie/swamp area. We have heard the coyote’s down there, foxes and seen the occasional deer in the neighbors hay field, but this summer brought up all kinds of stranger critters. Red-headed woodpeckers (I really though they were extinct!) appeared in numbers one morning. Hung around for a few days but after the big trucks left the swamp/woods, they were gone. I had words a couple of mornings with a small vulture. It got about 10 feet up over my chickens as I let them out of the barn. We have condors that pass over twice a year during migration, but this guy was cool. All black with a brilliant white head circling around the flock. (I told him to go eat the rats in the field and leave my chickens alone – guess he agreed cuz he never took off with one.) He hung around most of the summer.
We even had a muskrat driving our dog nuts in the front yard for a day. Ugly looking thing with huge scary teeth and claws. Had to call the County Exchange office on that one since it got ahold of our dogs nose and wouldn’t let go. We found out they are one of the few things out here that does not carry rabies – yea! But, of course, our dog did not learn to leave strange critters alone. She still chases anything with 4 legs – idiot!
We get eagles and hawks out here at any given moment, but the birds, snakes and 4-legged crawlers this summer were very interesting! Can’t wait to see what ends up getting stuck in the greenhouse once we have the roof on! Eeek!!!