Saturday, July 4, 2009

Squirrels, Snakes and Psychic Premonitions

It's a lovely fourth of July here in Central Texas. Breezy, with clear skies. I woke up late and didn't even feel guilty for sleeping in. It's just too comfortable outside to feel guilty about anything. Then I remembered that I did not finish watering my gardens yesterday because I was stung by the wasps. So, I ran outside in my bare feet and pajamas to hook up the hose. And yes, that is a dumb thing to do. All gardeners know that you should never run through your gardens with bare feet, but in Texas, that's just plain silly.

I reached down beneath the sunflower leaves to connect two hoses and had the strangest thought. "You're about to be bitten by a snake, and that would be very funny considering the day you had yesterday." So, I stood up and thought it over, pulled the sunflower leaves to the side and saw nothing, and decided to connect the hoses. Nothing happened. Then I turned around and headed back for the water faucet and almost stepped on a three foot snake.

I looked down at my ankles and sighed. "So it was a premonition," I thought. I looked back at the snake. Running would have been another dumb move--he already had his mouth open in a hiss and was prepared to strike. So instead, I decided to take a good, long look at him. Oddly enough, I didn't feel even the tiniest bit of fear, and I could see that he didn't, either. He was warning me, that's for certain, but didn't seem too intimidated by me.

At first, I thought it was a rattler because of the pattern on his back, but he wasn't at all aggressive. The warning was more like "If you harm me, you will feel very guilty later." We stood and stared at each other for a few moments then he slithered into the shade garden. I finished watering, then looked him up on the computer. Sure enough, he is a checkered garter, and absolutely lovely. I am so grateful for this encounter because I was able to call my husband and describe the snake and warn him not to harm the little fella.

All of the squirrels are out at the same time this morning and four of them are eating on the back porch. One is on the ground sniffing the seeds to see if they are full. The raccoon pats them with his paw, which is rather fun to watch. The squirrels always prefer to eat on the table, though. I took a picture of the one on the ground and you can see it to the right. All of the squirrels on my bedroom patio were male teenagers. They're not babies anymore. One of them was the squirrel with the injured eye. I really should give him a name. I think I'll name the tiniest male Squirt. He's pretty easy to pick out. He's much smaller than the rest and spunky!

No comments: