Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Confused Snake

with 2 comments

I forgot to mention last weekend, after we finished raking the front yard and playing with the chickens, I was about to go inside when I spotted this unlikely sight:

Sure, it was above freezing enough that we were able to rake up the leaves, but was it really warm enough to entice a snake to slither out and lay on the cold pavement? Not in the world I was familiar with, but apparently this little critter is just fine with temperatures hovering around the freezing point. The snake was moving a little slow, but luckily the chickens didn’t seem to notice its existence, so I didn’t have to witness any crazy unsettling nature scene play out.

Heck, there was also that fat, green caterpillar that one of the hens picked up right in front of me that day, so maybe the ground isn’t as cold yet as we thought it was. The air sure feels cold this time of year. With the slightest breeze, and air temperatures in the 30s(F), we have been feeling chilled to the bone because we haven’t fully acclimated yet for winter.

That’s frustrating, because the natural response to the start of cold weather is to bundle up excessively, but by the time we have walked Delilah around the perimeter and started doing horse chores, we get too hot. Then we have to wrestle out of all the extra layers.

The horses seem to be adjusting well enough. I think it helps to avoid putting blankets on them when cold temperatures first arrive, if that can be achieved with minimal stress, because then their bodies naturally respond with a thicker growth of winter hair. They are doing their part by finally becoming (after only 5-years {sarcasm}) comfortable enough with the sounds under the overhanging metal roof to stay under its protection from wind and wet.

I understand any auditory aversion they have with it. I was shocked at first by how much the sound of the slightest amount of precipitation is amplified to levels evoking high drama. It seems like it must really be coming down with intensity, but then stepping out into the open proves just the opposite.

It’s all relative, of course!

The forecast for the next week is currently offering more of the same variety of early winter. Some snow tonight, warmth near 40°(F) on Friday, and teens/twenties over the nights.

Maybe this will just confuse the snake further.

If I had my way, the legless masters of surprise would be long into their dormancy by now. I’m not a fan of the involuntary adrenaline jolt when suddenly startled by their presence just as I’m about to set foot where they happen to be hiding/sliding/sunning.




Written by johnwhays

November 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Makes me wonder at what temperature do snakes stop crawling?

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    November 28, 2018 at 8:43 am

    • You and me, both, Jim! I was genuinely shocked to see that little one out and about in chilly November.


      November 28, 2018 at 8:51 am

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