Saturday, August 2, 2014

Snakes and Squirrels

We were amazed after living here for 18 years when two squirrels moved into the cabbage palms at our back property line.  That was about 5 years ago.  Two months ago, I saw that there was a 3rd squirrel.  They were having words with each other - that's why I noticed.  Apparently 3 is a crowd.

I do believe we are now minus a squirrel.

One night last week we were investigating the progress of the dragon fruit next door and hubby noticed something odd on one of the huge limbs.  It "looked" like a snake, but it was HUGE!  He ran walked in to get our binoculars while I kept an eye on it.  It certainly had the coloring of a yellow rat snake, but it was grotesque looking.  With the binoculars we confirmed that yes indeed it was a yellow rat snake and it had clearly just eaten something quite large.  This is a very large yellow rat snake - nearly 5 feet long and quite thick.  It's been around our yard for several years. The length of the creature it ate is about the same as a nice fat squirrel!  We can't think what else it could possibly have eaten that would be that size. We do have palm rats, but they're pretty small (short).  It would have had to catch and eat the creature right there, because there's no way that snake was going to be able to move for some time.  Cause it was freaking HUGE!!!  I honestly thought it was a "bad" snake (a python or something like what's in the everglades).  It was a relief to confirm it was the yellow rat snake.

Today, I was taking some kitchen scraps out to the compost bin and a 4 foot black racer scared the crap out of me on the back patio.  I clearly startled him too because he thrashed about then took off in the wrong direction and ended up getting into the other corner of the patio near the sliding glass doors!  I heard more thrashing then nothing for a few minutes so I assumed the snake was laying low or had snuck out while I was busy getting the courage up to go back in the house.  I cautiously crept back onto the patio and got into the house, not wanting another close encounter with Mr. Thrasher.

After I got inside I looked out the sliding glass door to see if I could spot it.  I was very upset to see that it had gotten tangled up in some netting!  OH NO!

So I called hubby to see if he was nearby (which he wasn't) and had to wait an hour or so before he could get home to help me get the snake free of the netting.

Hubby held onto the snake while I took some surgical scissors and cut him loose. It was very distressing.  The wait for hubby to get home to help free him gave the snake plenty of time to tangle himself up pretty badly. Once I got him free and hubby let him go he went off like a shot. There was no skin broken by the netting so he'll be fine.

That netting is horrible.  We're still scratching our heads over why there was a wad of it on the patio.  We could have sworn we had thrown all that old netting away.  Things that make you go hmmmm...

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