Serpent, disturbed

September 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

A week post-angiogram, I was given clearance to get back to normal, and one of the first things I did was to spend quality time by the woodpile and, raising a "toast" with my splitting axe, ascertain that my heart was indeed healthy enough for, well, working up this winter's stove food. There was an old mound of semi-split wood to get going on, but when I pulled back the blue tarp that covered the compilation, I noticed that, nestled in a depression made in a hickory log, was a snoozing Ring-necked Snake. These little guys are, according to state biologists, "shy and secretive," and while they're by no means uncommon, they're rarely spotted. However, they seem to enjoy calling my woodpiles at least temporary home, where they can hide out by day and search for earthworms and tiny salamanders, their preferred prey—worms abound in the wood-chip compost made by my activities—at night. The serpent wasn't particularly pleased to have been discovered, but it did stick around long enough for a portrait before disappearing deeper down the stack. I got back to work. My heart worked just fine.


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