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Ain’t nature horrible…

Today, I stood on the shore and watched a cormorant drown a snake and then eat it. He kept diving down and staying down, then coming up with a weaker and weaker snake until finally he swallowed it whole.

I got some shaky phone footage of it, but it wasn’t very good, so I stole this excellent picture of a cormorant from Canadian Geographic. Who knew there was such a Canadian Geographic?

Not long after, I got a call from Uncle B saying a big dog fox was crawling all over the henhouse. Ten minutes later, he came back. Twenty minutes later, he came back. Half an hour later, he came back.

He wasn’t really fazed by us at all. He ran, but he didn’t mean it. I don’t think he can get into the chicken house, but he can literally scare them to death.

We got on the phone to our local fox-shootin’-guy (he shot 29 in this parish recently!), but we’ll have to keep them safe for a day or two until he can show up. I got nerves that jingle-jangle-jingle.

Have a good weekend, and keep your livestock close!


Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: May 31, 2019, 10:04 pm

As a carry-over from yesterday’s otter post, I found this YT vid of a family of otters dispatching a caiman who tried to make An Otter Family Meal. Caiman tail: baked, broiled or fried!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 31, 2019, 10:08 pm

Stoatie, Uncle Badger – You could do a satisfactory job of discouraging that fox with a good sling shot (the Y-shaped kind with surgical tubing with ball bearings for ammo). Or are those weapons forbidden to you over there?

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 31, 2019, 10:10 pm

You should fight them in the garden, in the hen yard and in the chicken coop.

You must never surrender!

Comment from Ric
Time: June 1, 2019, 12:23 am

You’re an American. Put on some warm clothes, grab a chair & your shotgun. Go protect your property.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 1, 2019, 2:18 am

I have family that live north of Amarillo—on rugged, nearly treeless land. They raise chickens and geese, but the coyotes and bobcats sure do love a warm chicken dinner. Of course the kinfolks are well-armed, but they still have to go to work.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 1, 2019, 8:54 am

We have airguns, including a fairly powerful air rifle that they’re hot to ban over here. I don’t think it would kill a fox short of a lucky headshot. Much as I’m mad at the fox, I don’t want to consign him to an awful slow death by sepsis.

So we’ve gotten out the weakest of our BB pistols hoping to deliver a harmless sting. Unfortunately, he’s been coming out of the hedge behind the chicken run, where we can’t easily get at him.

And yes, he’s been back twice this morning.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: June 1, 2019, 5:42 pm

Are ye no Scots at all!

Pikes woman! Pikes!

Or at least point-ed sticks!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 1, 2019, 9:24 pm

I have a hoe. I have run after him swinging it over my head.

Now that I think of it, both my mother and my auntie have beaten snakes to death with a hoe. My mother did it before my eyes; harmless black snake, but it had been stealing eggs for a while. But my auntie killed…what’s that super venomous one? The colorful one? It was in Baton Rouge.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: June 2, 2019, 12:06 am

You’re probably thinking of the coral snake Stoaty. It has bands of red, black and yellow and is often confused with the harmless king snake so we have the handy rhyme that nobody can remember: “Red on black, venom lack. Black on yellow, kill a fellow.” Or maybe it’s the other way ’round. Something like that anyway.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 2, 2019, 6:32 am

That’s the one, Mitchell! They lived in a fairly new subdivision built on land reclaimed by the bayou, and the critters used to wander in, confused.

Comment from SCOTtheBADGER
Time: June 2, 2019, 9:46 am

Did you get the photo of the cormorant out by the lighthouse, the one owned by the politician?

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: June 2, 2019, 10:59 am

Mitchell – we learned that one too though sadly we all remember it the same way – “something like that”.
This generally results in a poor outcome for harmless king snakes.

Which snakes and garden tools reminds me –

One evening in West Texas at an old frontier fort our troop of LARPing Cosplayer Federal infantry was staying in restored barracks when the local dog raised a ruckus. After a prolonged bark, we, perhaps a bit annoyed, wondered what it was about.

Later period western barracks usually had a nice covered porch/walkway on them. Sitting in the grass at the end of one such that evening was a coiled rattler, presumably out taking the air on it’s evening slither.

There followed much hullaballoo and then a fusillade of .32 caliber pistol shots from 2 old cap and ball revolvers in best western movie tradition (we were doing live fire demos that weekend). Being uncertain as to the efficacy of our volleys and after much pondering of “did we hit him Gunny?” we resorted to spade work to finish the job.

Thus did the rattler suffer his (or her) untimely demise though his (or her) legend lives on as a hat band, and a rattler toy with the wise prohibition not to mess with the head of a recently deceased viper because it WOULD bite…
We had all heard some such nonsense, but thought it to be an old wives’ tale.

As attested in the link above, it ain’t.

The following morning, we apologized to the owner of the Fort for the fireworks and the subsequent massacree of what we all knew was not his pet rattler.

His wise words were as follows.
“Son, this is West Texas, when you see a snake, you kill it”.

Unfortunately for non poisonous snakes the world over, I believe that rule covers far more territory than Fort Chadbourne, West Texas.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 2, 2019, 2:51 pm

Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow is how I learned it.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 2, 2019, 11:09 pm

I learned it this way:

Red next to black is a friend of Jack.
Red next to yellow will kill a fellow.

But BEWARE! There are exceptions that will kill Jack deader than a doornail (aside: what the heck is a doornail?). According to Snake-Removal.com:

While this [rhyme] is often a reliable way to determine if a snake is venomous or not, it is not a fail-safe.

A good example of where this rhyme fails is with the coral snake versus the shovel-nose snake. Both snakes have yellow bands that touch red bands. Only a bite from the coral snake will be life-threatening. Though this mix up is harmless—the shovel-nose snake is seen as poisonous when it is really not—it still shows the old adages can be incorrect. This rhyme becomes deadly when the eastern coral snake, which holds true to the rhyme, is compared to the South American coral snake, which has black bands touching red bands. “Red touching black: Safe for Jack” is now a fatal mistake. For more info that will help, read more about Coral Snake Look Alikes.

True be told, there are no ways for an amateur snake hunter or an innocent hiker to tell if a snake is going to be venomous or not.

Comment from Ric
Time: June 3, 2019, 1:39 pm

Stoaty’s on the Tower with a high power rifle aimed at the balloon!!

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: June 3, 2019, 2:22 pm

Coral snakes, king snakes, rattlers, South American coral snakes . . . I do my best to stay away from ALL of ’em.

As for Br’er Fox, Stoaty, I suspect that he can run faster than you can with your hoe. What about a trap of some kind? But then, your cats roam around outdoors too, don’t they? A trap might not be a good idea then.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: June 3, 2019, 4:38 pm

Traps? traps? Where would one find traps of this nature?

Lo! and Behold!


Oh Lord save us from Re-entrant website-ing!

Comment from drew458
Time: June 3, 2019, 5:01 pm

Yeah, but in South America they speak Spanish, so they’d have a different rhyme.

“When rojo touch negro, the feet go allegro.” or something.

Comment from homer
Time: June 3, 2019, 10:45 pm

At any distance over 15 feet, the pistol won’t phase him. Get out pellet rifle number two, and have at it. Trust me, at 25 feet, all it will do is sting. The only way it would do him any real damage would be if you hit him in the eye. This is the voice of experience.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: June 7, 2019, 1:32 am

“We got on the phone to our local fox-shootin’-guy (he shot 29 in this parish recently!)…”

Huh! England has changed – shooting a fox was the one crime that satisfied Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd’s ghostly ancestors (who enforced the family curse that required a daily crime).

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