Friday, June 13, 2008

Another day, another adventure

I was out in the corral this afternoon when I heard my dog, Smooch, let out her snake bark. It’s distinctly different than her other barks, and I knew instantly that I needed to investigate. (I operate under the premise that every snake she barks at is a rattlesnake until proven otherwise.) I ran to the horse porch and there was Smooch, and there was the snake. I scooped up Smooch, tossed her in the garage, then did what I always do when there’s a snake in the vicinity – I grabbed my camera.

It was just a harmless bull snake under the barbeque grill. No big deal. But I didn’t think he expected me to cook him lunch, so I started wondering why he chose this particular spot to hang out. I had a suspicion, so I opened the grill.

Indeed. My suspicion was correct. Varmints.

Deets, the outdoor cat, has more work than he can handle. With maintaining law and order in the barn and feed room, he does not have time in his busy schedule to patrol the horse porch. Hence, varmints roam this area and cruise the night away on the wicker furniture. Smooch catches a whiff of the varmints during the day, then proceeds to dig into the cushions to find them, releasing the stuffing, which blows around the area, making a mess for me to pick up. Obviously I missed a few wads of the stuff and an industrious varmint, deciding it was the perfect nesting material, gathered it up and set up house in the bottom of the grill. Clever Mr. Bull Snake was patiently waiting for Ms. Varmint to leave home in search of more stuffing, thinking he could grab a quick snack.

When last seen, Ms Varmint was trying to decide her fate: leave the grill and face certain death in the jaws of the bull snake or stay in the grill and hope to heck rancher-woman wasn’t in the mood to cook a burger.

And the moral of the story is: always preheat the grill.


  1. Oh Linda, that is too funny! I would freak out at a snake that size, bull snake or not!
    So what happened? How long did the snake wait, and did the varmint live to tell the tale?

  2. I'm not sure what happened, Pony Girl. I finished up my chores in the corral and by the time I was done, there was no sign of the snake or the varmint.

    If you think that snake was big, have I got a picture for you. I'll dig it up and post it this week.

  3. Great photo.

    This is the main reason I couldn't talk my wife into moving to the country. We've had a couple of rattlers get into the yard at our home in the suburbs, let alone moving to the country.

    BTW, our barking Beagle is the way I found the first rattler - she was informing me of it's presence. Unfortunately, she was a puppy at the time and didn't know enough to stay well back from it. By the time I arrived on the scene, it had already bitten her on the nose.

  4. Wow! That is a gorgeous bill snake!
    We love bull snakes around here. As you know they've been known to kill and eat rattlers.

    This post reminds me to caution my hubby to pre-heat the grill this week before our BBQ. Yikes and Ewww!

    You lead such an exciting life down there 7MSN.

  5. Considering I recently soiled myself when I found a possum in my trash can, I don't think I would've handled your situation very well.

  6. Yikes, I can't believe you would stick around to take pictures. Obviously you're not the least bit afraid of snakes and varmints. Not my cup of tea, I would have headed straight for the safety of the house.
    I always preheat the grill and I'm only worried about spiders. Yikes!

  7. I would poop my pants if I stumbled upon a snake like that. :)

  8. Personally, I think the cute little varmint hung around to snack on the great-tasting salmon that Gianni, your brother-in-law "King of the Grill", fixed up for you in between wine and margaritas. Both beautiful critters - and evidence of Mother Nature's "flight or fight" at it's best.