Last year about this time, grandson 1 came to spend part of the summer with us. He enjoys doing so because he gets to use the riding mower and drive the tractor, but he also has to help me with farm chores. He helped move some fencing, work in the garden, and just about anything I ask him to do. He cooks some as well and gets lessons and new recipes to add to his book of Grandmom’s Spells and Magic that he got for Christmas a couple of years ago, a loose leafed recipe book with cards that can be filled out and filed, all in my handwriting that my kids and he call a font that should be on the computer. He and I were about to start work on some project last summer when I looked in the egg door of the coop and a 6 foot long Black Rat Snake that I had seen outside of the coop about a week earlier was in one of the nesting boxes. It had gotten eggs the first time and had come back for more. I wasn’t going to have that happen, so without telling him why, I sent him to our tool area to get my leather garden gloves and an empty 5 gallon bucket with lid. When he returned with them, I had him open the egg door from the other end from the snake while I reached in and grabbed it behind it’s head and snatched it from the coop. His eyes got huge and his response was, “Grandmom, what kind of magic was that.” We put the snake in the bucket, put the lid on and he held it from falling over while I drove a bit more than a half a mile away to the woods and turned it loose.
Well, because of COVID, he can’t visit this summer and I miss his help. This afternoon, I got the part of dinner that was going in the oven prepared and put in the oven and grabbed a basket to go gather peas and whatever eggs were under Miss Broody and when I opened the egg door, I spotted movement in an empty nesting box. I hurried back over to the house, grabbed the same gloves, a 5 gallon bucket with lid, and called up to hubby to grab his keys and his phone. He questioned why and I gave him a quick explanation as I dashed back to the coop, opened and hooked the egg door up and snatched this one out of the coop just as he arrived to snap a couple of pictures.
Not as long as last year’s, this one was only about 5 feet and where the one last year was lethargic, this one was a writhing mess, trying to wrap around my arm. Once calmed down and picture taken, it was plopped in the bucket, lidded and back to the same spot the last one was taken. Last year, I had to dump the snake out of the bucket and it didn’t even move away very fast. As soon as I got the lid off today, it went over the rim and off into the woods. While there, I spotted these cool black mushrooms.
I love mushrooms, but I would never gather them for food. Back home, the peas were picked and shelled in time to plunge them into boiling water for 3 minutes to enjoy with our dinner. The plants aren’t blooming anymore, but there are still many peas to pick, enjoy, and freeze.
I would never kill a snake that wasn’t directly threatening me, the dogs, or a family member, but they don’t get to be in my coop and eat the eggs.
Be safe. I wear a mask for your safely, please wear one for mine.