Thursday, May 21, 2009

Snakes, lizards and squirrels, oh my!

It's been busy around here the past few days. We found another snake coming up the hill, headed for the house. Or I should say the dogs found the snake. Buddy barked, and moved cautiously forward while Holly stayed back a bit further, and that's when I knew something was retreating slowly instead of scampering into the shrubbery. At first, we thought it was dead, and since the raccoons have decided to make my house their home in the evenings I thought, perhaps, one had attacked the snake. Then it raised its head. After a great deal of research, we determined it was a cottonmouth, and a very large one. We've had so much rain lately and the creek is moving slowly, so I'm sure it was attracted to the water.

I do love snakes, but these particular snakes are very dangerous. It's also difficult trying to distinguish the different types of snakes. There are many poisonous snakes in the Texas Hill Country and it's hard to figure out what is safe and what is not. I have a large racer snake living around the creek and an even bigger garter snake that lives around the house, so hopefully they will help keep the dangerous snake population from growing around here.

Later in the afternoon, as I walked the dogs through the trees, I stopped to look at a white wildflower that I hadn't noticed before on the property. As I bent over I saw a tail sticking out of a hole. I ran to get my husband, thinking it was another snake, but when I approached the hole a second time I noticed a flat nose sticking out and realized it was a very large lizard. He wasn't colorful, but attractive in his own way. His back was covered with silvery-gray scales and he looked a bit like a dragon.

The squirrels have been squabbling again, but I think they're working out a system. They are taking turns at the food dish on my patio. There are many dishes filled with sunflower seeds around the property and I keep all areas very clean, so I'm not sure why they all favor the patio. Perhaps it's the shade. I also think they enjoy watching me through the glass doors as I type on my computer.

The little fella with the injured eye is on the table now. I still pray for him each day, and sometimes I think he can see me through his eye. He turns it toward me when he hears noises, but he could be turning his head to listen. It has helped with the squabbles to keep seed on the floor and some on the shelves of the arbor. They enjoy hanging upside down to eat the seeds off the shelves. Today I plan to buy another corn cob holder and hang this in the patio, as well.

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