Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thump went the snake

Seeing is believing, so they say. And I surely would not have believed what happened this morning had I not seen it.

Sipping coffee in my kitchen and peering out at my yard, I saw something fall into some perennial plants outside my glass door. It seemed to have some bulk and I though that perhaps a bird had flown into the house and dazed itself. But I hadn’t heard that telltale, “thump.”

Intrigued, I stepped out into the 90-degree heat and looked all around, but saw nothing. Then, glancing up at where the object, or whatever it was had fallen from, I saw something that made me question my senses. There, on a ledge under the roof overhand, was a large garter snake, all coiled up, peering pack at me.

So it must have been another garter snake that had fallen from the ledge into my plants. The two were probably vying for space on the little ledge, when one lost its balance and fell to the ground.

I then remembered seeing a shed snakeskin in a closet area inside my house, directly beneath where the snake currently sat. “So that’s how they get in,” I thought. I took my walking stick and gently prodded the critter, but instead of dislodging it like its companion, it found a crack and made its way into the wall.

Instead of a stick, I should have grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos. Perhaps next time.

Still, the event makes me wonder, how on earth do snakes climb up a vertical wall and not fall off? My place has rough-sawn trim and pine shingles, so both would offer at least a little traction. But I just don’t know.

Nature is full of mysteries, but this one beats all.

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