A Snake Tale

Ernie sniffed him out.

The snake, that is.

It was a sun-rich, bye-bye to stormy weather day.

Dog and I were inside my fenced, raised-bed garden cage.

I was just finishing minor repairs when Ern became agitated: he wanted to be let out to follow his nose. It was pointing towards the neighbor’s fenced pasture twenty feet away.

Dropping my screwdriver I left Ernie inside and walked toward the high-grassed land. I happened to have my camera so I brought it along; approaching, a faint clicking noise was heard. THERE, right there, as if floating atop the three-foot-high hay was a long grey something.

A snake about six feet long.

We made eye contact.

I got as close as I could to picture it. The camera made clicks of its own as I captured a collection of good shots.

The serpent deliberately began to slink lower within the erect, but tangled hay. We still looked eye-to-eye. The camera kept track of the descent.

Then I realized that I could get much better shots if I went to one knee and got face-to-face. Once I did I saw that it had begun to dart its red tongue silently announcing its arrival to unwitting meals or foes.

An opportunity to get a great image was before me. However, intense sunlight dispersed amongst the reed-like, twisted hay was making it tough for me to see what I was aiming at. Nevertheless, my hope was that one of the images would include that blood-red tongue.

It did! And the picture is a keeper.

Eventually I let The Ern out of the cage. He was wise and followed my admonition to not go over and try to pursue the snake.

Since spring is coming it’s better for him to optimistically keep nosing for his delicacy – grasshoppers – that aren’t here, but soon will be.

[Note: According to our Texas Clint “The Snake Man” Pustejovsky, this is a non-venomous Texas Rat Snake, “often called ‘a chicken snake’.” Visit his site: http://www.texassnakes.net/texas-snake-identification-guides.html  and get an appreciation for these unique creatures.]



  • Our taipans, king browns, death adders that I have come across in darwin and Queensland never seem to have that lovely red tongue just a lot of nasty attitude. A young lad from cairns hopped under a car yesterday and extricated a rather large python from the vehicle before heading off to school.

    • Mark:
      Yes, it is one of attitude towards snakes.
      Like so many creatures that share space with us, don’t bother me and I won’t bother you.
      It’s always good to hear from you. Thanks.

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