Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Monday, May 25, 2009

Deer, Squirrels and Snakes! Oh, My!

It's been a busy wildlife weekend! Some of you who know me also know I tend to be a magnet for weird events with animals.

Saturday night, we went to Pamlico to take care of some repairs on the trailer. Most of the work required Tony's expertise. The rest of us were just along for the ride. Our ever faithful Riley Dog went, too. Early Sunday, he came into our bedroom to let us know he needed to check on the trees in the yard. I jumped in some sweats, grabbed the leash and headed out with my old boy. We got in a good walk, watered a few trees, and left behind a few piles of groceries. On the side of the road, we encountered a killdeer bird who suddenly appeared with her wing at an odd angle and dragging a leg. I recognized this as her effort to deter us from her nest. There on the ground and just two feet from the road was a nest made of seashells with four spotted eggs. They looked more like smooth stones than eggs. Very cool!

With our walk finished, I dawdled up the driveway hunting for sharks teeth. Riley strolled along and ate grass. When he walked behind the trailer, I followed to make sure he didn't ditch me for one of the free-range puppies from the neighborhood. He walked toward a fresh pile of grass at the far end of the yard. I saw one of our bird feeders had fallen and followed. To my horror, Riley walked right up to a fat, brown snake, sniffed it, and contemplated further action. Thank God he recognized my "oh, shit" voice and came quickly when I called his name. I did that butt-squeezing power walk into the trailer and was right proud of myself for not screaming until I was inside. "BIG ASS SNAKE!" roused all of my boys from bed. Tony to the rescue with a shovel and a back-up pellet gun. When he hit the snake with the shovel, it jumped into the air with its pink mouth wide open and showing his fangs. Once home and on-line, Tony looked up the snake and found it was a cottonmouth. They tend to be aggressive. We are fortunate it did not strike my Riley Dog! Involuntary shivers still take control of my body every hour or so! I HATE snakes!

Back in our Wake Forest neighborhood, we stood at the kitchen window this morning to see a new type of squirrel for our neighborhood. It was large red-headed squirrel. Actually, his tail was more red than his head. He played happily with the 6 or 7 grey squirrels that usually hang out at our BIRD feeders. We are hoping more of these red-headed fellows come.

Later in the day...After a trip to Wally World, I pulled into our driveway to see a damn deer casually walking away from just under our kitchen window. She strolled over to the edge of the woods and surveyed where she could find more yummy buds, then disappeared from sight. It was just 2:30 in the afternoon. Tony could see where she had been eating from one of the BIRD feeders. She had rose buds for dessert!

I'm happy to feed the squirrels. I love having my hummingbirds swarm and sword fight over their liquid sugar. My chickens scurrying to catch any morsel the birds drop from the feeder. With Riley's hearing fading away and his need for more frequent naps, I'm thinking I need to borrow Kujo for a couple of weeks to chase away the deer. What kind of dog do we get to scare away the snakes?


Jenny S said...

Thank goodness Riley was okay!! We lost a cat to a copperhead bite when I was in high school! That sucked!!

Em said...

Wow... that snake story is SCARY! If my little bitty dog got bit by one he wouldn't last more than an hour or so! I wonder what kind of squirrel you have over there... I will keep more of a lookout for them here too - but my cat likes to eat them, so they stay out of our yard for the most part!

Mary said...

I'm terrified of snakes too - thank goodness your Riley wasn't attacked!

Can we really be getting red squirrels here? I promise I didn't tuck one into my suitcase - they are prevalent in England.
I love the black ones I saw in Canada too.