Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Snakey Visitor!

I was walking into the garage this morning and saw the large, black snake with gray markings moving slowly through my garden. I recognized him as the one I saw by the pond last week. I ran for my camera, but he was hiding beneath the aloe vera plants. I decided it was best to try and identify him. If he is poisonous, we will need to call experts for a catch and release, but he wouldn't come out from beneath the aloe vera.

I sprayed water nearby and the snake came out, but instead of slithering across the ground, he went up the rock wall of my garage! It was very cool to watch. He was moving between the protruding rocks, stretching thin, then bunching up. He finally reached the roof and started east across the trim above the door, where I got a good picture of his length. He is about four feet, black, with grayish-white markings. I sent the pictures to a local expert and I'm waiting for identification. His picture is to the right.

The important thing is that this snake was not threatening in any way, even after I spooked him. He never turned to hiss at me. He seemed intent on getting away from me. In fact, he pooped on the door, which made me feel very sad because I think I literally scared the poop out of him. I am hoping he is not poisonous so he can stay. He is a rather attractive snake, and they are very beneficial for gardeners.

As long as he stays away from the kangaroo mouse! I have a kangaroo mouse who likes to eat standing up on his hind legs. He cleans up the corn crumbs when the squirrels are through. He stands at the back door holding the corn between his paws, watching my cat. I suspect that he is giggling at the poor cat who is trapped on the other side of the glass door.

There is a squirrel lounging inside my bedroom patio. He is lying on his belly, enjoying the shade. He looks very content. I am out of corn cobs so I put a handful of seeds on the shelf and he is lying on his belly, munching on a pile of seeds beneath his chin. He is watching me. Once in awhile he will tip his nose over the side and glance down at the cat, who is curled up at the base of the glass door, sleeping. I think the squirrels think I am a fish in a fish bowl.

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