I am a great admirer of snakes…..from a distance….and I’m always pleased to know that they are among the diverse wildlife species that inhabit this farm. But, even at my advanced age of 62, after having been startled by seeing snakes all my life…..and nothing bad ever came of it…..I still can’t control my heartbeat when I see a snake.
This morning, I got the sheep and cows all moved to fresh pasture and went into the feedroom/old milkhouse to check the power on the fence and get some kelp for the mineral feeder. Now I had developed, over the past month, a rather cautious manner of entering the milkhouse, ever since I looked up one day to see a rather long (well, to me over two feet of snake is rather long) garter snake resting on a shelf near the window. Craig told me, “Close the door when you’re not in there and it probably won’t be able to get back in” and I have been pretty good about keeping the door closed since then. But, not having seen my friend for some time, I was letting my guard down, and this morning I was nonchalantly reaching for the kelp bag when I glanced up and saw a slithering sinous shape moving around on the same shelf. You bet I high-tailed out of there, heart beating harder than any aerobic exercise could summon, and when I told him about the event, Craig obliged to get me a bucket full of kelp. He pointed out how great it is that this snake is hunting mice in the milkhouse. I agree. I just wish I knew his working hours.
Coming back from pasture, I was on the four-wheeler coming up the field road towards the house when I saw a fast-moving (slithering, sinous) yellow-striped snake make its way into the grass. Sure enough, another big (by my standards) yellow-striped snake! I shared my amazement with Craig at seeing two yellow-striped snakes in one day and he said “I’ve seen that one in the driveway; it’s really fast.” Something to think about….how fast are these snakes?