Beavers and Groundhogs and Snakes, Oh My!

Our little slice of heaven that I have previously referred to as “the cabin” has become quite the wildlife circus lately. Birds, turtles, frogs, bats, mice, beavers, bears, raccoons, foxes, insects, and snakes. We cannot claim to be too surprised at the amount of animal life surrounding us, it is the country after all. For many months the property was undisturbed until we became part-time residents. Our first weekend here we encountered two snakes in the tall grass at the edge of the pond near the dock. In the evening we heard a chorus of frogs singing our praises for ridding their hollow of the ferocious beasts.

We quickly shed our suburban skin and donned our tougher country threads. But jorts (jean shorts) and PFGs do not prepare you for some things out here in the sticks. Especially when it is snake INSIDE of our log cabin. Well, actually what we found this weekend was a four foot long three inch wide SKIN of a snake inside our living room on the ledge at the top log of the wall. I inspected it closely, mistaking it for some kind of insulation material coming loose. The telltale scales told a different story. I jumped back and called out to my husband.

He grabbed a flashlight, examined it and then proceeded to search the whole cabin for the owner of that skin. I huddled in the kitchen with Koda and Summer. Grabbing my iPad, I googled “snake skin in the house.” The fact I read that creeped me out the most is that skins are usually shed when the snake is growing larger. My husband’s search did not turn up anything, only a plea from him for me to call someone. This, from a man who likes to take care of things himself. Snakes and spiders fall into that category of “call someone” for him. I did and we are waiting on his arrival now. Unfortunately, the pest guy told me on the phone that likelihood of finding and capturing the snake today was slim. The slithering creature is probably coiled up resting in the crawl space and will come out in time. That though haunts me as I type this.

I do not mind the beaver in our pond, he has not done any damage and keeps out of site until his evening swim at sunset. The groundhog family that burrowed under our cabin this past winter was even kind of cute when they would emerge and stand on their back feet and look around. They eventually left. We share the pond with the harmless turtles. Only tracks of raccoons and bears were seen on the muddy banks of the far side of the pond. I like observing this natural habitat. However, the animals out here in the country that I fear most are the ones that could hurt my babies (my puppies). Before this snake presence in our cabin, we had an encounter with an eagle who preyed upon my little twenty pound fur balls outside on the grass.

The dark shadow circled the lawn. I looked up to see the wide-spread wings just beyond the treetops. The flying predator passed overhead repeatedly. Koda and Summer were a few yards away chewing on sticks in the grass. My husband warned me that the eagle spotted them and could swoop down at great speed and grasp the defenseless puppy with her sharp talons. It felt like something out of a Planet Earth episode. I quickly brought them inside to safety. The hungry bird flew away. Little did I know, as we sat looking out the window, that somewhere inside our house was a four foot snake.

Snake Skin in the Cabin
Snake Skin in the Cabin, Oh My!

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