Thursday, April 8, 2010

Snakes, Birds, and Squirrels

I was outside filling the seed dishes and the little golden squirrel was sitting in the tree chewing on a corn cob. He watched me work, but he didn't run off, or even stop eating. I think the workers on the roof are making so much noise that the squirrels are getting used to the constant disruptions and actually adjusting to having humans around while they eat!

As I was leaving this afternoon, I saw a snake slithering up the driveway. I was afraid it might go under my truck tire, or worse yet, into the wood pile and bite one of the construction workers, so I gently guided it with my shoes and hands back into the forest. It was very docile. Not the least bit threatened. It took a little help to identify it, but I think it was a Regal Ring-Necked snake. It was about a foot long, maybe longer, a shimmery silver color with a yellow band around its neck and a black head. I took some pictures, but a few people on facebook responded just from the description. Apparently, there is a similar snake called the Northern Ringneck that lives, of course, up North
There is a flock of teeny, tiny birds in the oak tree at the foot of the front steps right now. Their song sounds like a high-pitched chirp. I had to stand beneath the tree for quite some time before I could actually see them. They are the size of hummingbirds. They have cream-colored bodies and dark wings and heads, and when they fly from branch to branch it looks like they're hopping and skipping on the air.

The mustang grape vine is filling in on the den patio and the baby sparrows--who are obviously a year old now--are still hanging out in the vines, but they're not eating as much as they used to. In fact, they seem to prefer the back picnic table, perhaps because the construction workers are on the den patio so much of the time. I haven't seen the hawk since I put the fake owl on the fence.

Mrs. Toady was not in the garden shoe today. It looks as if she buried herself in a pot of mint on the patio, but I didn't dig around to check. I think she is also a little disturbed by all the noise. She does hide in the plant pots quite a bit, though, even when it's not noisy.

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