Snakes in the Battery Box – Coming to a Theater Near You.

Sunday morning started out as nice as could be. I had the honor of taking Dr George Archibald out to the pen to meet the chicks. He kept the birds busy while I did chores. Number 3-17 did his watchdog impression but quickly settled down.

Dr. George Archibald, co-founder of International Crane Foundation.

When it was time to go I double checked the gate and connected the fencer wires. 

As always, when one leaves the pen, the last thing to do is to turn the hot wire on. I touch it with the back of my finger to make sure it’s working. Well it barely bit me, so I hugged Dr. Archibald goodbye and whispered the the fencer was grounding out somewhere and I needed to do a lap around the pen to fix it. He set off on his journey and I started weeding my way around the pen and checking the wire. It looked fine, not touching anything, not slipped off the insulators. Hmmmm. Brooke changed the battery a week ago, but that was the only other thing to check, so I took the lid off the battery box and there was the resident Garter Snake. 

Ugh, ok, I can handle this I told myself. I took a couple of pictures as he slithered down. I stared at the box for a minute, willing him to slither out and off. He did not. So, I took a deep breath and picked the battery up and set it in the shed. It was very bright out and the box was in the shade, and I had a fogged up helmet on, but I was pretty sure I saw 2 snakes! I took a picture and sent it to Bev Paulan, who was at Pat Fisher’s Osprey banding, to show her she was not the only one having fun on a Sunday morning and one to Heather, cause she hates snakes and it’s always fun to freak her out.

Now came the tough part I had to dump these 2 snakes out, which meant I had to get my hand semi near the snakes. I told myself, they are on the inside they can’t bite you through heavy plastic. It took a minute to convince myself this was true, there was no doubt that I had to do it, so I took a deep breath, reached my hand down… and my phone vibrated, one of the ladies was texting me back, YAY! I could read my text and postpone my task for a few more seconds! As I was getting it out of my costume pocket it vibrates again. Both Bev and Heather said the same thing. 3!!!

3!!! I can’t tell you why, but 3 instead of 2 was way worse. In a creepy kind of way. So I took another deep breath before I could ponder the creepy aspect any further and dumped at the same time doing a little dance backwards. 

I am glad no one was in the blind. Off they went behind the shed. I replaced the battery, the fence bit me nicely and off I went toward the van thinking I deserved both combat pay and to drink my breakfast.

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  1. Mindy July 20, 2017 1:04 pm

    Great story Colleen! Good job! Even though you know they are not poisonous, it is still hard to pick them up but I have been trying for years….

  2. Lindi Allen July 19, 2017 5:20 pm

    You are very brave. I am glad you handled it so well. 🙂

  3. Susanne Shrader July 19, 2017 11:37 am

    Garter snakes are beautiful. I love touching snakes. They wouldn’t have hurt if they bit you anyway.

  4. Betsy July 19, 2017 10:40 am

    Thank goodness they weren’t the venomous kind! Good job!

  5. karen anne July 19, 2017 10:32 am

    Nice and warm in there, maybe. Building a nest? Do snakes have nests?…

    • Heather Ray July 19, 2017 10:42 am

      Garter snakes have a den, usually under a large rock or other support structure (like a crane drypen). They’re often found along building foundations, under steps, or in/around rock walls. Garter’s give birth to live young (not eggs).

  6. Dana Courtney July 19, 2017 8:54 am

    Brave soul! Hope this is not a regular task. Thanks for all you do.

  7. Sue McCurdy July 19, 2017 8:03 am

    Great story! Were they siblings, or mother and her children?

  8. Richard P. Chase July 19, 2017 7:21 am

    What a brave girl !! At least something like this will keep your blood pressure up. 😉

  9. Vickie July 19, 2017 7:07 am

    Lol, just a few Garter snakes!!