Saturday, May 14, 2011

Faux Snake

There are many wild animals living in my barn and I’ve learned to recognize the sounds made by most of them. Occasionally, one will fool me. When I heard a slow, steady movement through a straw pile, along with the soft scrape of scales against chicken wire, I was sure it was the sound of a hunting black snake. What I discovered was the strangest snake I’ve ever encountered.

Tracking down to the other end, I found a decidedly unsnake-like head.

My activity had awakened a sleeping opossum and he was trying his best to do a slow slink away from me.

Once discovered, opossums generally sit quietly and stare at you. They are masters of the slow sneak and will make their retreat in super slow motion. When they believe they’ve left the threat behind, they’ll shift into running opossum mode.

Like just about every other wild mammal at Blue Jay Barrens, the opossum carries a load of ticks. May seems to be a peak time for ticks and the mid sized mammals always carry a heavy load of the parasites. I sometimes wonder how such a small animal can stand to lose so much blood.

NOTE: Sorry about the late posting yesterday. Blogger was having difficulties and was not accessible for about 20 hours. The problem also resulted in the loss of many comments posted during the last two days.


  1. Hi Steve....your not alone with blogger bloopers...what a mess!!
    Well first you had me almost close my know me and snakes.."shivers"...then I saw that cute little face..awww...them that gross ugly tick.. yuck!!! I won't be able to go outside today for fear of picking up one hahaha!!
    Ever night it is "tick check" after being outside...I'm sure you do the same..the one I have a problem with is the Deer Tick and the Lyme disease thing!!
    Cute photos, but the first and last I could live without!! haha

  2. Hi, grammie g. Yes, the tick check is a regular part of my life. We have some Deer Ticks in Southern Ohio, but I've not heard of any near where I live.