Monday, June 29, 2009

the drama starts early on November Hill

Thanks to my amazing son, who heard me shrieking that Dickens was facing down another snake and ran outside with my camera, we actually have good photos of the early morning drama here on November Hill.

I was on my way to the bathroom when I glanced out the bedroom window and saw Dickens stalking. It took a moment to see the snake, which was quite successfully camouflaged as the root of a tree.

I realized it wasn't and then saw it moving oddly - it turned out the snake had a bird, which appeared to have been previously dead, as it was covered in yellow jackets, flies, and one inchworm!

The snake coiled around its meal, too distracted by the yellow jackets to get into it with a cat-turned-mongoose.

The approach of my son caused the snake to give up the meal and head for the holly tree, with Dickens carefully tracking its every move.

It became apparent as the snake moved that it had already eaten! Don't forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them, if you want to see the finer details of this unfolding episode. :)

I don't think this is the same snake from a few weeks ago, as the previous one had an entirely white belly.

Dickens was riveted to the tree.

I held my breath and hoped he wouldn't try to climb up and capture the snake in mid-climb.

By the time the snake got to a place of safety, where presumably it would digest that big meal, Dickens had settled in to monitor the situation.

We didn't manage to capture it in a photograph, but a few moments later, he was joined by fellow comrade-in-snake-hunting, Mystical Kit. The two laid themselves out in the shade, like twin guardians, and kept their collective eyes on the tree.

I suspect we're in for an exciting week if Monday morning has started out with such a bang.


ponymaid said...

Billie, Dickens has turned into a Big Game hunter! Please tell him to be careful - next thing he'll stroll in with a Python coiled around his neck. I quite enjoyed the drama - from a few thousand miles away. I have a feeling Dickens and his accomplice will be on guard for quite a while.

the7msn said...

I think Grey Horse may disown both of us if we keep up with our snake posts. What is it about these creatures that turn us into photo-journalists?

billie said...

Sheaffer, I think you're right. He has totally gone into hunter mode lately.

The idea of him coming through the cat door with a python around his neck is too much for me!

I need to put a small sign up - please keep the drama outside the house!

billie said...

Linda, LOL! Arlene may indeed decide to go on strike if we keep it up.

I have no idea why these snakes are so appealing. They have a certain mystery and also the involvement of the felines makes it that much more so.

The day the donkeys get involved too I guess I'll be glued to the scene, camera on automatic pilot!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I do think you and Linda are a bit crazy for sticking around and photographing snakes. As I've said before I have a very distant relationship with snakes, I see them and I am gone.

On a funny note I had a snake in my garage twice last week, (tiny garden variety). I think he was trying to keep from drowning in all that rain we had. My husband sort of pushed him back under the bush outside, by the time we got home he was back again. I'm very proud of myself for not having husband kill him like I would have in the past. My older daughter(also not a snake person) wanted to know if this was really her mother who let a snake live. I guess you two have had a good influence on me and I am getting very courageous!

billie said...

Isn't it wonderful when your crazy friends start to rub off on you?! :))

Dougie Donk said...

Oh my, I'm glad that Scotland only has two varieties of snake - the grass snake & the adder - and that neither are particularly common.

The thought of Theo cat playing with them makes me shudder! It's bad enough that he brings rabbits home to play.... but snakes? Yuuk!

billie said...

Dougie, I know what you mean!

Dickens is a true barn cat, who takes his job as "cowboy" seriously. I never would have thought a cat would do the things he does around the horses and donkeys, as if they are his herd to protect and watch over.

The snakes are just one more thing he has to keep his eyes on! :)