Greetings and Salutations;
For something completely different, let me tell you about a moment we had a few years ago, when we were starting to move into the new house. The cats were not there yet, as we were getting possessions moved. So, of course, the door to the Mud Room was open much of the time.
I had gotten the washer and dryer out of storage so they were set up in the Mud room. I was in the garage getting some boxes stacked out of the way, when I got a ping from Lisa. She was in her room, and in the call, said that she would like me to check the mud room, as she thought there was a dead snake in there! I had just walked through there 10 minutes before, so, this puzzled me a bit. However, I worked my way back out from the boxes, and up to the mud room.
Sure enough, curled up in front of the washer was a very large, very black, and healthy looking Eastern Black Rat Snake! I rather thought that this was something I would have noticed when I walked through a bit ago, but, walked over towards it to see what was happening.
Well! It was hardly dead, because as I approached, it started to slither under the washer! Since this did not seem like a good thing to go along with, I quickly grabbed it by the tail, and dragged it back out. I got my other hand on its neck, just behind its head, and lifted it up. It was NOT a happy camper about this treatment, and, managed to twist around and bite my hand a couple of times! Rat snakes are not venomous, and, being a beekeeper, this was not an effective strategy for the scaly kid! I adjusted my hand a bit, Shook my finger at him, and told him he was a “Bad snake…NO biscuit”. Instead of trying to bite again, he wrapped his body around my arm, and tried to constrict it to make it let go! He was a big boy, and covered my arm up past my elbow.
I just laughed at him, and walked him out into the fields, near one of the groves of trees, then, let him go. Sadly, he did not thank me…just vanished into the grass!
My only regret is that I did not call Lisa out with her camera to record this Nature moment. Since then, I have seen this big, black snake a number of times, around the same area. I suspect he will be around for some years yet, as they tend to live 10-15 years in the wild. He also has a lot of safe places to live, and a lot of pests to help him grow!
So…if you happen to see a large, black snake crossing the road ahead of you, or zipping through your yard…PLEASE, do not hurt it or try to kill it. It is doing its best to keep the rodents out of your way, and is more scared of you than you are of it.
God Help Us All!
Bee Man Dave