Tag Archives: reptiles

Field Trip

31 Oct

The four-foot-long orange Corn snake, Goldilocks, who lives here and helps by eating rodents we catch, went on a field trip last week.  A young lady from the local herpotology club picked her up from Jay’s office and then brought her back home after she had visited the local middle school.  She is a perfect color for a Halloween visit!

When the young lady learned that we feed Goldilocks live and freshly dead mice and voles, she was alarmed.  It seems to her captive snakes should be fed only freshly dead captive raised mice!  When I inquired about the reason for her belief, she said that “wild rodents carry disease and may bite the snake”!

Umm.  Yes.  We think that God designed snakes to deal with bites and germs.

Now I am assuming, which is not a wise thing to do, but it is to make a point.  Why would a good Darwinist not want a snake to be challenged by live prey?  Survival of the fittest, and all that.

For my part, I think it is cruel to keep a snake in a tank all its life and never be able to constrict its own prey, never able to hunt, however artificial it is in the confines of the tank, never to eat “natural” food.

For a similar reason I take Goldilocks outside and let her slither around.  Under observation.  Perhaps that is not “safe” either, but, gee whiz, life is not all about safety, even for a pet snake!

Week in Review

28 May

Yesterday 13 red efts were out in the newly planted corn field when Hawthorne and I went for our morning walk.  That brings the May sighting total to 15.

Lots of rain and thunder and lightening.  About 1.3 inches the past two days.  Loss of power one night.

And now sickness so am not doing so much.

The tree peonies have been blooming, and quickly since a sudden heat wave has shown up.

The red bush was first and is almost done now.

Jay went fishing up the other end of the lake Thursday and caught perch, rock bass, sunfish and a gar.  The gar has lots of pointy teeth (see the blog header) and a skin so tough Jay was able to only get a small portion of flesh from near the tail, even using a filet knife and an electric knife..

I have modified the cooking on the last of the catfish and this new batch:  the pieces are rolled in mayonnaise  then in a spiced cornmeal/flour mixture and either baked or pan-fried.  The mayo has oil and egg and lemon and salt–all help to flavor and prepare the fish for the coating.

At Mom M’s the wisteria are blooming beautifully.  And lastly, a photo of Alison, Susan and me last Sunday before they had to leave.  What good friends to come to celebrate with us from far away!  We all went to Cornell together and along with about nine other ladies lived in apartments around the county in various groups for about a decade–or more–during and after college.

Spring supper Wednesday was fresh lettuce and green onion salad, baked fish and rhubarb custard with ice cream.  All but the ice cream we grew or caught.  Last night was the same with addition of a tomato-carrot-herb soup.  Only the carrots were store bought.

What is New Here

9 Jun

The fields behind the house got cut.  The Boblinks left.  The tree peonies finished, the deciduous peonies are almost done.  The foxgloves are in their full glory now.  Lots of rain came on the heels of running a line from the spring to the west of us because of the depth of the dry.

The heliotrope, dianthus, clematis, roses, alliums, sage, thalictrum,  campanula of one kind, irises, perennial and annual poppies are in bloom. Just started harvesting hellebore seed.  The beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, etc. are up.  Not the pumpkins yet.  This rain will push them up.

We are harvesting garlic scapes, swiss chard, lettuce, herbs, and peas.  The wild strawberries are ready. Last night we had fettucini with scapes, chard, dill, fake crab (cooked in chicken fat) with parmesan and cream.

Isabelle has started live trapping rodents for the snake. Goldilocks has eaten one live mouse,

been bit by a shrew (which she then left alone), and rejected a dead vole. She was not given much opportunity with a chipmunk because the brother protested.  I was not home at the time.  One well-placed bite by the chipmunk could have killed her.

Painting on the upstairs has commenced.  Scraping and painting on the west side of the house has also commenced.

These eggs have hatched.  Other robin eggs have hatched.  Isabelle has been feeding young robins in their nests.

This morning Hawthorne jumped a very young fawn in the hedgerow where he was searching for his favorite woodchuck hole.  He chased ten feet behind the poor thing around the field for minutes, me chasing them yelling his name, the fawn bleating as it ran.  It was piebald.  They eventually ended up far down by the road’s edge where he broke contact.  I hope it went into the hedge before the road, though the girl and I could find no trace of it.  Hawthorne would not have hurt it.  He likes chasing, though.  The noodle.

He weighs about 10% more than he did a year ago.  Between 54 and 55 pounds.  He was too skinny.  Now he is just right.  He is built like the older typical Airedales.  Many of this breed are now tipping the scales at 70-90+ pounds.  Much too big, in my opinion.

The piano soft pedal got fixed once again.

Five of us went to see the movie ‘Babies’ last night.  I really liked it.  The babies from Namibia and Mongolia made the US baby in particular look like an incredible wimp.

Snake Hunting

3 Jun

A very minutely sized red-bellied (or Storer’s) snake came home with the girl about a month ago.  It was exchanged for a slightly larger one a week later.  It lived in a white bucket with some grass, a large piece of bark and wood to hide under and the sowbugs and small earthworms which are its food.  She finally had pity on the creature and let it go yesterday in a flower bed after it spent most of the morning shedding its skin.  So it must have been eating.

Then she spent a couple hours hunting for and finding numerous snakes of several kinds and sizes up back.  Maybe I will go with her to document some today.  I am sure one will come home with her.

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