I would rather be posting about what’s blooming around here right now instead of about …ahem…… snakes. But in light of today’s events, this topic definitely warrants a post. Regular readers of this blog may know that I am very afraid of snakes. Before moving to the country I was afraid of all snakes, even garter snakes (which were thick on our tiny city lot in Mt. Vernon). Over the 4 years out here in the Bohemian Alps, I have gradually become desensitized to the “smaller” garter snakes. I still don’t care for them, and some aren’t exactly small, but I now save my anxiety for the longer and thicker in diameter bull snakes. Bull snakes sightings have been rare in previous years. And I saw two last week! up until today, that is (and by the way, I have lost many hours of sleep over this and can no longer enjoy myself entirely in the garden). The first and scariest sighting occurred in our green shed (which I now would like to torch!) I went in the shed and heard a buzzing sound. I happened to look up and saw a bull snake in the rafters, above my head! To be fair, bull snakes are not poisonous and generally will not strike unless provoked. They simulate the rattlesnake’s rattling sound when they are afraid. Alan came to the rescue and relocated the snake. I had a feeling it would be back since mice are plentiful in this shed.
Today my helpers, Cat and Joe, removed not one, but FOUR! bull snakes from this shed while I took pictures from a safe distance away. The snakes were caught in some mesh deer fencing that I chucked into the shed recently. Their heads and bodies were stuck in the mesh to the point where they could not free themselves, or even open their mouths in at least one case. One was dead, two were quite weak and the fourth had probably just gotten trapped and was still rather feisty. Despite my intense fear for these creatures, I wish them no harm and felt twinges of guilt for having inadvertently trapped them.
I could not have employed 2 better people for dealing with this situation. Cat has 2 pet snakes and Joe has rural roots, and both were very comfortable handling them, as you can see in the photos below. The snakes had to be cut out of the mesh. One of the snakes Cat freed had to have the mesh carefully cut from his around its head in several places. The freed snakes were finally transferred to a pillow case (now on the burn pile), which was tied shut and placed into the back my old Chevy pickup. The snakes were then driven 10 miles away and released. Apparently they cannot smell their way back if relocated 10 miles away. I hope this information is correct! If it isn’t, it will probably take them a while to get back here.
Who knew Cat was such a BAMF? She is my new hero.
There are more action shots featuring Cat, but Joe handled them just as much. Plus he decapitated the dead snake with a box cutter because there was mesh around its head. The mesh could be fatal to another animal if it ate the head. Notice, Jake is not helping and doesn’t even seem the slightest bit interested.
Thanks Cat and Joe!