Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Everyone Needs a Husband (Snake!!!!!)

I've never been crazy about "cookie cutter" houses or subdivisions, but hey!  I'm middle class, baby. That is our biome.

I was thrilled when we found our current home in 2001 (you'd question my sanity, if you knew all the work we had to put in to it for it to be acceptable...but that's another story). It is at the edge of a subdivision, down a long driveway that definitely makes me feel separated from the subdivision. The house is very unique.  In the 70s, the developer of the subdivision saw an antique barn that was going to be torn down at the building site of a new plaza.  He relocated it and turned it into a private home with stone exterior and a crazy floor plan that could be improved upon if you just poured all your cash into it.  Did I say you?  Obviously, I meant me and Hubzam.

My home sits in a beautiful, pastoral setting surrounded by green fields.  At the back of the property, we have a creek at the edge of a wooded area that serves as a nice buffer between us and a busy rural highway.  It's so peaceful.   

Over the years, this place has been home to many critters - some that I purchased and raised, some that were born here and some that just wandered in.  My friends started calling me "Mrs. Doolittle." Some of that is deserved, because I did have quit a few critters at one time.  As a matter of fact, I think I've had an unusual amount of wild animals appearing in my yard.  

One morning, as I peeked out the window to see the what the fuss was at my blue bird house, I saw Ma and Pa bluebirds going nuts and diving at "something":  it was a black rat snake hanging on our fence and on his way to the base of the fence post which held the blue bird house.  Fledgling birdies were on the ground and I could see what was going to happen;  the snake saw a blue plate special.  

As I watched, a groundhog walked up the sidewalk and sat on the porch and watched the action, too. Am I invisible? 

Though I don't like to mess with Mother Nature (remember the commercials?  She'll lightning-strike you over margarine!), I cannot help but save birdies.  And by "I", of course, I mean my Hubzam. Apparently, I have no problem with snakes going hungry, but I happen to know that mice love fields, snakes love field mice and the snake got relocated to the far corner of our property.  Slither away, dear, slither away! Putting two acres between you and a snake just feels right.

A few days ago, we had our yearly visit from a rat snake, or perhaps "the" rat snake.  The one we see gets bigger every year, and I tend to think it's the same one; until he wears distinctive jewelry, I'm sticking with that thought.  Hubzam was going out to the truck when he noticed it and called me out to see it.  If there is anything truly creepy in the yard, you want to make sure you see it because sometimes people run out of subject matter for their nightmares and well, that would just be sad.  
"I'm waaaay bigger...."

"I spit on your broom!"
The snake was now about five feet long, but this year - he was ticked off about something! Usually, we just pick him up and he hangs on the end of a stick till he reaches his new location.  Believe it or not, I have done this before;  I'm not nearly as wimpy as I claim.  But all that confidence melted away when this snake started striking at me and my snake re-locator broom.   Hey, you! You're not even poisonous! Still - it was a scary sight. Hubzam stepped in and the snake irritation heightened;  that scaly guy was determined to bite someone. Grabbing a small blanket, he tried to divert it's attention and I was amazed at the tenacity of this snake - he was going to bite something, darn it.   Finally, Hubzam grabbed a five gallon bucket, covered it and slipped a piece of cardboard underneath to trap the snake.  It was the best thing;  snake murder was on my mind.

Snakes are creepy, even if I am not a screaming, crying fool about such things.  

However, HUSBANDS ARE THE BOMB!  If you don't have one, you don't know what you're missing.  If you have one, make sure you praise all snake interventions, because the darn snakes come back and you just might need a hero again.

That's good, honey, take him away from the house...

Maybe a little bit a mile or so...
Yeah, that's better...don't let the trees stop you...


  1. Hello, dear Cherdo! I don't have a husband (yet) but, dadburnit, after reading your post, I'm a fixin' to git me one!

    First, it's very cool that your house is a remodeled antique barn. Second, it's very cool that "a river runs through it." Third, as a bleeding heart animal lover, I am very happy to know you didn't harm the black rat snake but chose instead to relocate him. Mrs. Shady and I built our house at the edge of a wooded area and over the years have seen many black snakes on our property. I never saw them attacking birds and they never tried to bite us because we don't try to capture and move them. They live in a large, dense bed of wild flowers and the only problem we've ever had was when they're at the wrong place at the wrong time and accidentally get run over by the lawnmower.

    Mrs. Shady and I saved two distressed birds over the years. One chilly March day I found a newly hatched Blue Jay that had fallen from its nest some 12 feet up a tree. I brought it in the house, put it on a blanket warmed by a heating pad and, using an eye dropper, fed it the proper formula. The first opportunity I got I drove the young bird to the home of a woman who is well known in this area for accepting sick and injured wildlife and nursing them back to health. A few years later I found a starling with a broken wing scampering across my property. The poor thing had no way of flying and had to use all its strength to jump up on my birdbath for a drink of water. Mrs. Shady and I captured him in a carton and took him to that same wildlife refuge.

    I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start, Cherdo. I'll see you next time, dear friend!

    1. Once I found a whole next of woodpeckers and we were able to take them to the vet hospital. I, too, am a critter lover!

      Unfortunate news: YOU are the official snake relocator at Casa de Mr. & Mrs. Shady. It's a rule.

  2. Snakes! Arrrrrrrgh! Sound the alarm! I have not seen a snake since I moved to Florida almost five years ago, and it's a good thing because I have no husband to relocate a snake. I have managed to train Willy Dunne Wooters to aid me in the killing of palmetto bugs. He was quite reluctant to become involved. I think he decided to help because it was better than listening to me scream.


    1. That can't be true...I'm sure you are a lovely screamer.

      But I'm with you - palmetto bugs, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Pretty freaky.

      Rock on, Janie J

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo