Sunday, August 17, 2008

Snake in the Oat Bin

I didn't have my camera and I was preoccupied thinking about other things than taking pictures of the snake. And that was even before I saw the snake. I was really preoccupied afterwards.

I chose this image from Google image search because when I saw the snake it was up high on the steel wall of the oat bin. It is from the website, Screaminghawk(© Photo(s) by Tim Vechter, About Screaminghawk is interesting, too.

It was (is) a black rat snake. He (I am making him a Mr. for now?) was dark gray, nearly black, but a pattern was also visible even in the dimming light. Really the snake was very pretty and I would have enjoyed observing it more had it not been in the bin.

This is the oat bin. I took the image.

Gives one a little pause about going inside the bin and scooping up the oats.

But the horses were hungry and they enjoy eating the oats and I kind of enjoy watching them enjoy eating the oats, too.

I could see the "track" in the oats where Mr. Rat Snake had been before acquiring his position on the wall of the bin. I would appreciate Mr. Snake more if he would do a better job of eating the mice and rats that eat the oats.

My "excellent, wonderful" step-son did the honors of climbing in said bin and scooping up the oats while Mr. Rat Snake watched from above. I stood at the door and watched the snake from a very respectful distance. His mother tells me that said step-son always liked snakes.

We have a lot of people here in Oklahoma who enjoy snakes, especially the rattlesnake kind. We have roundups of them and people actually go out and capture them in bags and then do something to get the venom. Yes, you can find rattlesnake on some restaurant menus and, no, I don't know what it tastes like and have no desire to find out.

I told one close friend who is one of the above described snake lovers about my snake. He asked "did it have a little white patch on its chin?" I looked at him like he was crazy and said "I wasn't really looking that closely at his chin." Chin close to a snake is not something I really want to do.

Undoubtedly this posting will do wonders to increase the readership of my blog. Another of our blogger friends gets visitors hunting for, shall we say "racier", terms having to do with more adult themes. Not me though. I get people interested in snakes and spiders. That search term alone is responsible for an amazing number of visitors to my blog.

You'd think I'd get someone interested in birds or Alzheimer's or caregiving or porches or even a few of the other subjects I've written about now in more than a year's worth of rather useless posts. But no I get people interested in snakes and spiders.

Speaking of snakes and spiders I took this image of what I consider a very beautiful insect. You can't really tell from this photo but it is about three-quarters of an inch long and kind of fuzzy. The orange is much brighter than the disappointingly dull image indicates.

I've heard them called Cow Killers or Cow Ants. I think they are more commonly called Velvet Ants.

But she isn't an ant at all. Not that there would be anything wrong with being an ant mind you.

She is female and she is a wasp. She eats pollen. She has a really painful sting and she can do it over and over again. In fact her sting is said to be so painful it could kill a cow and that's supposedly the way the cow killer name came about. But it's not true and her kind does not kill cows.

There are an estimated 5,000 species of this beautiful wasp worldwide. I read that the earliest known specimens were found preserved in amber in the Dominican Republic. That made me think of Jurassic Park of course.

Our Monkey Face Owl is still staying in the barn, too.

He doesn't seem to mind me too much now when I stop by to check on him.

The image is hard to get because it is so dark up there where he is. He is in the very highest part of the barn right up against the roof. I messed with the filter on the image program to try to make him a bit more visible. This isn't so good though.

Some of us (not me though) think he is really spooky looking. I love him and really appreciate the opportunity to see him. I haven't seen the Great Horned Owls lately so not sure whether they've moved on or not.

The moon was so beautiful on the night of the 15th. I took a digital image but it just did not capture the beauty of the moon.

The moon light was sufficiently bright to let me see a great deal around me. Then the moon was framed between several old trees as I drove back down to our home.

The temperature was very nice and there was no wind.

I stopped and tried to capture a bit of the moment digitally. But all you see here is black with a little point of light.

Still I decided to include the image because maybe in another year I'll read this again and it will help me recall the feeling of the glorious moment.


Lori1955 said...

So lets see now, you have owls, snakes, wasps and tons of birds. If I ever get out your way, can we please meet in town. :)

~Betsy said...

Snakes freak me out. We had one take up residence in our garage last year. My husband said he was just doing his job of keeping the mice at bay. I told him that's what our cats are for!

I do like your owl, though. Have you named him?