As I was composing the previous post on my front porch (coincidentally next to the mulberry tree) Sunday morning, I happened to notice that a couple of branches were still bearing decent fruit that with a little finegling I could reach. A second glance upon catching movement over the patio didn't result in finding whatever I had seen flutter, but what I did spot on the laden branch with my triple-take sent me running for the camera...
Laden branch indeed!!! It seems that everybody does indeed love the mulberry tree. I love snakes, but even I am a bit concerned over the identity of what appeared to be a slight bulge in this one's body...
Do I have one less catbird? Cardinal? Wren? Not a hummer, surely?! Nah, this was a big rat snake; a hummer wouldn't have caused even a ripple going down. [Unlike that eel I watched a cormorant swallow last month; the fish was as big around as and even longer than the bird's neck. Gaugh!] It does make a perfect sort of sense to find a predator hanging out (literally) in a spot frequented by lots of prey. And black rat snakes are noted and skilled arborealists.
They are also typically quite docile. I suppose this one didn't want its photo taken; as you can see, I was on the receiving end of a hard stare (well, yeah, no eyelids)
[Yikes! Stupid cardinal--there's a snake in there!!! Sheesh, damn lucky bird; he was six inches from the snake's nose! And was watching me, not the snake. (I didn't precisely scare him off; he just decided mulberries weren't worth dealing with the crazy lady. I'm not certain the bird ever saw the snake.) Eep, it's Wild Kingdom live and in person at the Wren's Nest this morning...]
Where was I? Oh, yeah. The snake rattled it's tail at me while I was documenting its hunting tactics. Guess it didn't like me blowing its cover.
[Uh-oh. I should have been on my way to work ten minutes ago, and what I'm wearing is sooo not even business casual... Eek. If I still worked for Audubon, they'd understand why I'm going to be late. Real estate office might, too, though; to them, I'm now known as the animal lady. *hee-hee-hee* Shocked the beejeebers out of some tenants last week who mentioned their cat was the most wonderful they'd ever had. "Ah, you have an orange tom," I replied confidently. Well-educated guess, and I guessed right; people were stunned, coworkers just laaaaughed.]