Monday, July 25, 2011

Biscuits, Snake, Shovel, & Squeals!

ShastaI know I promised pics from my research trip (I still need to sort - check for them later this week), but I had such an eventful morning I couldn't wait to share what happened. I slid in a batch of homemade biscuits in the oven and was interrupted on my way to cook bacon when I heard my dog, Shasta, begin to bark. (That's her on the right - Blue/Red Heeler mix.)

This wasn't the there's-someone-here bark. No, this was the I-found-something bark. She's done this recently, and I knew it was most likely a snake. I figured "No big deal!". Right? I've had to kill baby copperheads in the past when she's done this. So I fetched the shovel and headed down the fence line to the barking tree.

oak tree
In case you haven't seen a copperhead, I'll tell you their camouflage is great! They look just like a limb from an oak tree. Needless to say, I was looking for a head on one of the many sticks at the base of the tree. :) I was a little skittish to say the least. When I finally moved some leaves and something that didn't look like a stick moved, I squealed - loudly! I'm sure my neighbors were wondering what was goin' on in my neck of the woods.

I found a snake! Colors - red, yellow, & black! I immediately began quoting the old adage "Red and yellow - kill a fellow. Red and black - friend of Jack." Actually, I didn't get any farther than "red and yellow"! Those two colors were touching! And I was moving! There was a corral snake hiding in the brown leaves! A poisonous, red, black, and yellow corral snake that was about 2 to 3 feet long!

By now my adrenaline has sky-rocketed and my heart is pounding a mile-a-minute. Not to mention the squealing and barking (from the dog, that is. Not me. I growl more than I bark :) ).

After multiple stabs at the slithering menace, I connected and sent it scurrying toward my dog. Shasta steps in with something more than a bark and before I can react the snake is three feet up in the air flopping back toward the grass. I'm shouting at my dog, hoping to save her from an unnecessary, painful bite. The snake slithers back my direction as my poor confused puppy tries to figure out why I'm yelling at her for doing her job. I quickly became singularly concerned about the predator moving my way.

A couple more unsuccessful attempts and another successful jab later, the colorful serpent begins slithering across my rocky driveway as I back pedal further toward my house. I was glad to see the last half of the snake wasn't moving in harmony with the rest of his body. For you snake lovers out there, I hope I don't offend, but I could only pray the little bugger was scootin' away to go and die in the woods. All I can say is "Good riddance!"

Now you may ask: Did the biscuits burn? Actually no! I still had to brown them a little more while I cooked the bacon. :) Just another day in the country!