At the barn this morning feeding the llamas, I climbed down the loft steps with an armload of hay and spied 6 inches of shiny black tail sticking out from under the bottom step. Peeking under the steps, I saw the owner of said tail, another 4 feet of glossy, scaly black snake. I don’t have a fear of black snakes; rather they are good to have around for the most part. They do steal bird eggs from the nests of eager avian parents, but they also catch mice, moles, and voles that cause a lot of damage around the house and barn.
It’s unusual to see a still black snake. Usually, I’m startled by them as they are darting in their slithery “S” fashion trying to get away from me. But this snake was completely motionless. My first thought was that it had been mauled by the barn cat, but closer inspection showed he had no external injuries. He was laying stretched out to his full length, with his head elevated a couple of inches off the ground. I guess the early morning coolness had slowed down his metabolism. I just left him be as I continued my chores.
Returning to the steps to close up the loft, I looked for the snake, but he was gone. I scanned around the foundation of the barn, and in the surrounding grass, but he was not to be seen. Too bad, I was hoping to go back to the house and get the camera to get a shot of him. I climbed the 10 steps to the loft, my mind chewing on the missed opportunity to get a close up photo of the snake, when I put my foot on the top step and saw 6 inches of shiny black tail dangling out the door.
That startled me. I had no idea he could negotiate those open steps, but here he was stretched out on the floor of the loft and hanging out the door. Now, I’m not averse to non poisonous snakes, but not to the point that I’m going to pick that thing up by the tail and fling it out of the barn just so I can close the door.
So, what the heck, the door can stay open for the day. And I still have the opportunity to get a photo. But not to be. Upon returning with the camera, the snake was not to be found. I’ll have to be on my guard whenever I move a bale of hay, just in case he’s decided to bunk with the cat.
On to the Puppy Dog Tails. Bayley got spayed 2 days ago and to keep her from licking at her stitches, we fashioned a shirt for her.
This is a tank top of mine that is on her upside down. Her tail is through the neck hole, and her back legs are through the arms holes. Then we tied a knot at the waist to cinch it up.
So far it’s doing the trick. But how in heaven’s name do you keep a rambunctious puppy quiet for a week. Without her being able to do her crazy dog dash around the property twice a day, she’s taking out her pent up energy by: chewing holes in the bedspread, ripping the edges of our hand loomed woven llama rug, gutting all of her stuffed toys, fraying her leash, gnawing on chair legs, nipping our ears in bed…. Yikes! Will she survive the week?
And as for the snail part, I haven’t actually seen any, but I did see a turtle. Does that count?