Thursday, May 12, 2016
Well Hello There
Looks like the resident farm Ratsnake is really beginning to get some size on him these days. Of course he owes his domain and easy life to me although he doesn't know it.
You see for years and years we had one Ratsnake that was over 6 foot long and ruled over his domain secure in the knowledge that he was pretty much at the top of the food pyramid. While dogs, humans and the like were not his prey of course he was pretty secure knowing he was big enough that he wasn't theirs either.
He wasn't afraid of much and would openly slither around the barn, the yard, sun himself on the deck or driveway. In fact that's how we knew how long he was because he once stretched himself out on a six foot 2x4 I had cut and was laying on the porch.
I used to know when he was prowling around the yard because the mocking birds would go bat-shit crazy chasing him and pecking at his tail.
Then one day the old patriarch met something higher on the food chain than himself. The lawn mower. That was about six years ago but after that I began seeing smaller versions of the late king around until one managed to get larger than all the rest and a new king was born.
I been seeing this guy pictured above once a month or so every Spring and Summer for the last three years. He is getting increasingly more bold as he gets some length to him. I am guessing he is about 5 foot now and grew at least a foot since last year. The old king used to really like a small rock wall I have on one side of the driveway but this guy seems to prefer the trees behind my bee hives. Usually that is where I see him although last year I found him on the roof when I went up to take the plastic sheet off the air conditioner we have up there. I haven't come across him in the barn or outbuildings yet but I am sure he goes into them.
In Missouri you don't have a farm unless you got one of these living with you. Despite my dislike of snakes I have learned over the years to co-habitate with these guys once they take up residence and establish their territory. At least you know when they are around that there won't be any worse snakes moving in since the Black Ratsnakes pretty much grow bigger than any other snakes around here. Once you get a good five footer or larger there ain't anything in the snake kingdom going to challenge them.
This one appears to be afraid of lawn mowers though which is why he is up that tree.
I think I will name him George.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!