An Unexpected Visitor


Rat Snake in the holly

Rat Snake in the holly

written by Laura, Certified Master Naturalist–Riverine Chapter

My favorite visitor of the summer and an example of what you miss if you aren’t looking (or gazing idly out of the kitchen window while washing dishes). My son and I spent quite some time watching this Rat Snake make the rounds of the holly tree, the deck railings, and the (empty) water dish for the birds from just a couple feet away. The sinewy acrobatics and grace of this common snake gave me a fresh appreciation for reptiles.

Rat Snake visits Larua's deck

Rat Snake visits Larua’s deck

You can click on the photos to enlarge them.  Click on the back arrow to return here. Another unexpected guest this summer was a Copes Gray Tree Frog who found his way into our half bathroom and whom I spotted inside the toilet bowl, seeking water. After some hijinks and sealing off the bathroom, I successfully captured and released him or her. They can be as alarmingly jumpy as mice!

One more occasion of the rewards of simple going outside and looking around . . . an osprey eating a fish on a dead limb of a pine tree a couple houses up from us.  I’m accustomed to seeing them hunting over the river, but this was the first time I witnessed the meal.