Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Running of the Bulls

It's not what you think.  For me, today was about the running of the bull snakes.

While driving up the street, we had to stop to let a big, long, fat bull snake finish crossing the road in front of us.  A few hours later, I walked Midge and Stewie to the mailbox, but before turning the corner to the box, I looked down.  A couple of days ago I startled a kangaroo rat and it ran right into my leg in that location.  This time there was no rat, but another bull snake right where I needed to stand to get my mail out of the box.  Had I not looked at the ground -- something you should do at all times when in Arizona -- I would have stepped on it.  I almost didn't see it, because it was flattening itself in the rocks to try to hide from me and the dogs.

The dogs could smell its tracks, but couldn't see it even though it was right in front of us.  I grabbed my new phone and squinted to try to find the camera icon among the glare on the screen.  I realized that I had no idea how to use this camera, and I couldn't even tell if I had the snake in frame.  It was like looking at a black rock in my hand with the sun's glare, and on top of that, I didn't have my reading glasses.

While I was attempting to photograph the snake, which finally moved away from the mailbox once it determined that we were not going to eat it, yet a third bull snake came racing across the street a little further away.  Either they are just coming out of hibernation and are hunting for food, or it's mating season.  They were all headed in the same direction.  So far three is the record for the number of snakes I've seen in one day.  I did see three rattlesnakes in my backyard during a rainstorm last year.  Oh yeah, and I finally saw a red racer yesterday.  It's really snaky around here.

Here are my photos of the bull snake.

Stewie is focusing on the critter hole, but the snake is at the top of the photo on the edge of the road.  It's very well camouflaged.

At this point is was trying to hide.  You can barely see it between the rocks and the asphalt, but once it started moving, it's shadows became more defined...

I got a shot of both snakes just as they were finishing crossing the road, but it's so hard to see them.  It's not worth posting the photo.  I went out with my zoom point and shoot and looked for them, but they were gone.  I hung out in the road for a little while hoping to catch more crossing, but didn't have any luck.

Both of my hips gave out on me these past couple of days, so I've been trying to stay off my feet.  This morning I felt well enough to take some manure to the dump, but when we did the grocery shopping, my right hip gave out again, so I limped over to the pharmacy and bought myself a cane to help me walk.

Stewie is terrified of it.  He runs out of the room whenever I use it, and when I keep it on my right side, he lays on my left side, and vice versa.  I remember when my mother passed, she had a bunch of orthopedic equipment, including a cane, but I donated all of it to a hospital thinking I'd never need it.  Here we are only five years later, and I'm in need of a cane.  I wish I kept her walker, because next time someone asks me to do them any favors, I'd invite them over and answer the door in the walker.  Ha ha.


ellie k said...

Does the hot road surface burn the snakes? The sidewalks and roads here get hot enough in the summer to blister a dogs paws. sorry for your health ups and downs, I know what you mean, if I over do it one day my pain level is over the top the next, but I am 71, I like to think some of it is age for me. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it in the evening. Thank you

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ellie - I'm sure it does burn them once the temps get up above a certain point, but I don't know what that point is. Today was cloudy and windy, so I suspect they were following scents. I often marvel over how snakes can move the entire surface of their bodies over rocks and asphalt. I'm flattered that you look forward to reading my blog. Thank you.

Crystal said...

3 in one day hmm. I don't like snakes much but they don't bother me as much as they once did now I can kinda laugh at them instead of being screamy. We also have bull snakes here but we don't see them much, mostly on the highways suntanning.
I had to look up a red racer never heard of it before, they really are red, kinda neat looking

Mrs Shoes said...

I recently saw several thousand snakes (TRUE story), but they were too busy pitching woo to bother with silly humans.