Yesterday morning, while watching Sunday Morning, I finally focused on the flutter and excitement happening in my front yard.
The robins were passing through that morning! They were everywhere. Weaving in and out of the trees on the fence line, flying to and fro – ground to tree to roof of the house, and kicking up the red oak leaf litter with childish abandon! They were looking and listening for prey.
I checked them out in my copy of Birds of Texas and found they had passed through “in the hundreds” February 29, 2020, at 8:30 am.
Yesterday, there were many to watch, but not hundreds.
Pamela originally wrote “February” and our editor just took her word for it. It’s fixed now!
Pamela: Remember the snake encounter I had right after the storm?
I was walking out of house to meet the mail carrier and something ran between and over my feet and ankles. When I turned to chide the cat, it was a snake.
Watched snake long enough to see it was about 2′ long, light green/slight tan mixed in, no spots, no stripes, non-venomous head, fat middle, slim tail and fast. When it ran away from me, at the steps of the porch it turned and looked at me – and then went on into the flower bed. The light/medium green color blended into the grey of the porch – same value! perfect camouflage.
I searched all photos of non-venomous snakes I could find on internet. Thanks to Donna Lewis, I got the contact information of Dr. Crump at Texas Parks and Wildlife. I received a call back from him and he identified it – with all the disclaimers that come with an ID – as a coachwhip.
Why? Because: they vary in color from pink in the west to black in the east; they are fast; they are fat; AND they are curious. Dr. Crump described coachwhip behavior as “curious, and looking back to check is typical.” That was the final clue to the ID. So the valuable identification clue is that it paused long enough to turn itself around and look at me before continuing on.
Yea! I have a coachwhip here! Good mousers, etc. One of the good guys. I wanted to post a photo of the pink variant, but could not locate one that would copy.
Thank you, Dr. Paul Crump.
Phyllis: Coach whips are really neat to watch. They will stop, raise up out of the grass as if to ask, “What are you looking at?” They will also come up from behind you and slither through you legs. And if you run, they will chase you and whip their tail at you…yep had all this happen several times.
I had some in the puppy pen area. Once they moved into Club Med for puppies and mice, I didn’t have a bad problem with the mice. However, I had help quit once because he got chased by one.
[Various members of our Chapter are sharing their snow memories from January 3, so we can look back on them in the future. Here are photos from Pamela Neeley’s farm just north of Cameron.]
These photos are when the snow first started. Later the trees you see will be full of snow and their branches touching the ground. If you want to see any image larger, just click on it.
Ruby the dog growled at the snow, with the ridge of fur on her back while she explored. She preferred to stay on the road and not walk on the actual snow. She was happiest back in the house on her sofa!
After the snow had fallen more, the art looked very interesting, and the evergreens had a heavy burden to bear (around town, a lot of limbs broke).
Later on, the farm was visited by a large flock of black vultures. There were at least 30 in the sky, while at least four of them rested on fence posts.