Monday, June 25, 2012

Snakes alive

Snakes.  Yes, snakes.  I was complaining to someone that I never had anything to write about for a blog and then I was reminded of the snakes.  

I rather like snakes, the non-poisonous, non-constrictor types.  I especially like them if they don't live in my house, but more on that later.  Most of the snakes I have here are garden snakes.  They eat mosquitoes in the garden and more power to 'em.  I see them fairly frequently and sometimes they leave their shed skins around.  I have collected a few of these to admire.  I even left out a small, old, plastic tarp that they very much like to live under.  Well, okay, I left it out by mistake, and then discovered that the garden snakes liked it, so it became officially theirs.

Those are the garden snakes.  Then there are the snakes in the house.  Well, as I said before, I really don't like them in the house.  I know they have sometimes been in the attic.  How do I know this?  I've had several experiences.  One of them came one evening as I was in the kitchen.  I heard something overhead and looked up.  There was a small hole in the ceiling and there was an inquisitive visitor looking down from the attic. (This is an old farmhouse that dates back maybe 175 years.  There are always things that need fixing.)

"Honey," I said to my husband, "there's a little hole in the ceiling in the kitchen.  It seriously needs fixing.  Right now.  There's a big problem here."

"I'll look at it later," he responded.  "It can't be that urgent."

"Yes, it is.  There's a big snake hanging out of the hole."

It was, I later found out, a milk snake, a nonpoisonous native snake that eats insects and rodents.  They can live into their early 20s and can become accustomed to and friendly with people.  Would it eat my cats?  Probably not but we are not going to find that out.   This was the same snake, or one like it,  that I found in the closet one very hot day a few years ago.  It had wrapped itself around the closet bar, somehow weaving itself through the hanger hooks.  It had gone in there to escape the heat.  

I took one look at this snake.  "Yikes!"  I said.

The snake looked at me and probably said the same thing because the next second it was gone.  We hired a contractor to fix the holes in the attic and anywhere else to try to keep the wildlife out.  Will it work?  I don't know, but we had to do something, for goodness snakes.