Not Going to Go Well for Me

This has definitely been a good month for production here at Intrigued.  Today’s post will double my minimum quota of 6 (including the non-wildlife ones on the mothership).  So far, retirement appears to be agreeing with me.  Unfortunately, the topic being covered today will probably get me into some very hot water with my lovely wife.  The real question is whether relationships are stronger with complete openness or whether the unknown is wedded bliss.  If nothing else, it will give a good indicator on whether Linda reads my musings as I’m sure I’ll know the EXACT moment she starts reading this.

In what may be a first in the history of Intrigued, leading with a shot of a restroom – a bad cell phone shot taken last month none the less.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Okay, now for some background.  This particular restroom sits in the back part of Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas.  Note to self, I really need to dedicate an entire post to this incredible birding site.  Estero is a very close second on my must visit sites to South Padre Bird Viewing and Nature Center (and now Alligator rescue) which currently reigns at top.  The nice thing about Estero is it has multiple habitats for a large variety of birds.  The pictured restroom was straight out from the parking lot in the now reclaimed mobile/RV area.  We happened to be back there to tin an extremely nice +1 that will certainly be featured in the coming months.  The previous year Linda had used another bathroom in that area and didn’t have good things to say about the experience.  I was actually elated to tell her this set was very nice and even recommended she use them should the need arise.

Okay, this is where it gets a bit tricky – hit the jump to see why … unless you are Linda in which case it would be a great time to simply go outside and take pictures of the cute Bunnies hanging out under the feeder.  No, I mean it, go take pictures of the Bunnies …now! hehehe

If you are still reading this, then safe to say you are not Linda and clearly curious as to why a restroom would be featured on a wildlife blog.  The answer lies in the top right of that cell phone picture – specifically in rafters behind the scraggly branches.  I grabbed another quick cell phone picture just in case it decided to fly away before I got The Beast brought to bear.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Likely would have completely missed this visitor had a nice couple not alerted me to its presence.  “Would you like to see a Snake?”  Knowing Linda had already returned to the RV, I promptly responded “Certainly!”  Who am I kidding, that would have been the exact response had Linda been standing next to me.  The only difference is our ears were spared a piercing scream and I my clothes were not ripped from my body.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

The informative couple then started walking toward the featured restroom.  Upon realizing that the restrooms were not on the way, rather the DESTINATION all kinds of comical/horrifying (perspective determines the proper word there) scenarios started playing out in my head.  The ongoing mystery as to how fast you can run with your pants down would have been put to rest for sure.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Only about 12 inches of the snake was exposed from the rafters when we got there.  I thanked the couple for alerting me and they continued on with their own exploration.  Took a bit to get a decent angle for the big glass.  Struggled to figure out how to capture the overall scene and yet bring enough detail to make it an interesting shot.  As in most of these cases opted for individual solutions.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

I am absolutely horrible at Snake identification and wanted to make sure I got enough detail in the markings to use when pouring over the reference material.  Note, my digital darkroom treatment brings more warmth to the images – in this particular case, the Snake had a greyer hue to it that what it seems from this series of shots.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Let’s bring you in just a bit closer.  It did occur to me at this very minute that  there might actually be someone using the women’s restroom being surveilled by our forked tongue one.  Took a few steps to the side of the door just in case – didn’t want anyone blasting out of there and trampling me – I have firsthand experience on what a woman might due when confronted with such a creature.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

After exploring the side of the building, the Snake decided to move on to some nearby branches.  Problem is I had to keep stepping backwards to get the entirety of the Snake.  Slither out a little more, take another step back, slither out some more, take another step back, slither more… the damn thing kept growing!

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

I kept waiting for the tail to drop down from the underside of the rafters, but it never did.  Nor could I tell it was getting any thinner.  Just a giant slinky with a head getting stretched longer and longer and longer.  Suspect there would have been an emergency vehicle involved if Linda was still in the area to address hyperventilation or complete exhaustion on her all out sprint back to the RV (see link here for a previous sprint to safety episode).  Never did end up seeing how long it really was due to a new sighting of my +1 bird that immediately grabbed my attention – birder before snaker.

Grey Rat Snake found at Estero Llano State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Wrapping this up, I was spared the hours and hours trying to figure out what this was.  A naturalist volunteer came over to see what captured my attention – either that or he was concerned I was taking pictures of the women’s bathroom hehehe.  Hopefully putting his mind to ease, he noticed my real target as he got closer.  Asked him if he happened to know his Snake species.  “That is a very nice looking Grey Rat Snake”.  I’ve seen my share of the Black Rat Snakes – now get to add a new family member encounter.  Big thanks to that individual for saving me hours trying to ID it.

Should probably clear up some vague references from above.  Linda is completely convinced Snakes have both feet and wings and they keep them concealed until the want to sneak attack an unsuspecting woman – thus the fly away comment.  This encounter will only perpetuate that falsehood, sigh!  In regards to losing my clothes earlier, we encountered a Snake while on a rather narrow trail likely out in Yellowstone.  Linda was behind me while I was carrying The Beast.  She spots at little 2 foot snake on the trail in front of us and goes bat-shit hysterical and what can only be explained as an irrational attempt to climb to safety using me as a human ladder.  clawing at my flesh and ripping my clothes in the process.   To this day on trail walks I fear being rendered naked by the mere sighting of a crooked stick.

Take it easy everyone.  If you do not hear from me in a while, figure Linda read this post and assume it didn’t go well for me!

 

25 thoughts on “Not Going to Go Well for Me”

  1. Beautiful little snake! I once had a pet “Texas Ratsnake” (the common names and taxonomy of the Elaphe/Pantherophis genus has changed multiple times over the last 3 decades and is still genetically up in the air). Anyway, this “pet” Ratsnake was quite the feisty little striker, so I wasn’t quite able to take him to the restroom with me. And that was before I was married, as my wife has a similar reaction, although perhaps not quite as dramatic as you describe from your wife. William

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    1. Yikes, the words feisty, striker and pet would probably put my wife in a coma! This one didn’t seem to mind my presence and wasn’t any a big hurry which is my favorite kind of snake. Not comfortable around these things to have them for a pet and much less consider grabbing one (I didn’t let Linda see your post on the copper-bellied moccasin), but do enjoying watching and photographing them from a safe distance in the wild. Thanks for dropping by William – still waiting for Linda to see this post hehehe.

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  2. Beautiful, healthy looking rat snake. I love snakes. I have a red tailed boa constrictor that’s around 8 feet long. I had a black rat snake once. I have had all kinds of exotic, non-venomous snakes over the years.

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    1. Wow, more snakers out there than I imagined! You and William could probably swap great stories! As far as being around an 8′ boa.. I think that might test my stay or flight instincts. There is a great story related to Linda and a Black Rat Snake – get this call from her at work in complete hysterical gibberish. Finally made out words “must come home” There were expletives in there I left out. Find out a resident in our woods had slithered up a chair on our porch and was raised up looking directly through our glass door at her. I learned a life lesson – in that scenario laughing is NOT the right move. Thanks for dropping by and commenting Timothy – wait.. do boa’s get along with cats?

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      1. No. The boa is in a large, secure cage in her own room where the cats can’t go. We also have birds. Lots of incompatible pets.

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    2. Now that is an interesting combination of pets. I’d probably just stay out of that room as well hehehe. Oddly enough, my first pet was a gerbil then a hamster (snake food) and then finally got to dogs – never felt the rodents really appreciated me.

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      1. Rats, snake food as well, make the best and most interactive rodent pets. I never liked gerbils and hamsters they were too uppity and tended to bite. I had a Ruby Tree Boa that was confiscated in a drug raid and I ended up with it for a few years. It liked gerbils. It was one of the most beautiful snakes I ever had, but it was the meanest, most aggressive snake I’ve ever encountered. I understood why drug dealers had it for guarding their drug stash.

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    1. Think I’m with you. Definitely appreciate their role and since we live in the country/woods their rodent control is much appreciated (which I point out to Linda every time she she’s a mouse in our garage – doesn’t help ha). Good news is now I can keep my mancard and simply state I’m keeping my social distance… for the snake’s safety ha! Glad you stopped in Cheryl.

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    1. Howdy B! Linda would also much prefer me to get to the butters!!! Found what I think is the prettiest of the trip when I was tracking these snake shots down. Will move them to the front of the queue if any of them came out worthy of people seeing them. Will help calm Linda down .. after she reads this. She caught a glimpse of me prepping the snake shots and threatened divorce papers if those were from our recent trip. Deny, deny, deny….

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  3. Enough on the snake, back to photography for a minute. You need an over/under to solve the Beast photo angle problem. Get a 70-200 with a small body mounted on top of the Beast (I know you have the foot on the top when you are shooting). This may lead to more shoulder work and a bunch of funny looks though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm, you know I am always up for a good challenge. Sounds very doable as I do keep the foot up so really just need to attach the 70-200 collar to The Beast collar and go with the 7000 body. Will have to see if I can even lift it heheheh! Not worried about the looks as I get them all the time normally, but do worry about the extra time required in the gym – but I definitely like the way you think.

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  4. I love snakes. I have no fear of them or any animal. I’m not too crazy about armed men. That’s a healthy fear. I know several men who are afraid of snakes or spiders. Snake phobias are are not sexually biased. I think many men are afraid but try to hide it.

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    1. Sorry for the delay in response, but as you can see below I am officially in hot water (she does read my posts ha). Interesting to compare the different perspectives related to fear. Sounds like I am little less assured than you on the animal front, however, I have little fear of ill intentioned men (assuming that was your reference) – as my father instilled in us – training, awareness, tactics and superior firepower insures a peaceful life. Pretty sure it’s the Serpent Style Kung Fu that concerns me the most with these slithery creatures -humans are surprisingly predictable, but these cunning little devils with lightening fast strikes, stealthy maneuvers and deceptive defenses can be a handful. Thanks for dropping in Sherry, by the looks of Linda’s stern looks at the moment I need to get her some field sessions with you.

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  5. I don’t fear snakes, but… if I saw that hanging around a bathroom I wanted to use I would think the tree line was safer! 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂 Nice clear shots. You have nothing to fear from Grey Rat Snakes than fear itself. Safe travels.

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    1. If Linda had seen that I think she would have opted for a one in another state!! A bit odd as this is the woman who spent a week horseback riding the back country of Colorado with a few of her girlfriends and is a life member of the Girl Scouts – she must have failed at the Snake badge. Good to know nothing to worry from the Grey – problem is I struggle to distinguish the various Snake species in the field … well, even when looking at them online. Basically live by the flat head keep back vs round head hold your ground rule. Basically, as long as they aren’t crawling up my pant leg I’m fairly good and if they are anywhere around my wife – DON’T TELL HER hehehe. Thanks for the support, a couple thousand more comments like that and I might get to leave the couch.

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      1. You know if you look any snake in the eyes they all look the same. So no matter what the color it is best to stay away. Linda might be smart as she never gets close enough to see the eyes.😊 BTW – saw a border here today that would have put the Beast to shame. In fact I almost to a picture for the hummm file as not only was this guy a border but camouflaged to snick up on the birds.😂

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    2. I think if Linda saw the eyes that close we’d be heading back to Mayo. Ah, would have loved to see that in the Hmmmm files – depending on how many glass elements that could be really heavy! .. wait, are you sure that wasn’t a hand held bazooka.. maybe he was a hunter hehehe.

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  6. Absolutely loved this post – great capture of the snake, and refreshing sense of humor. In my family, it is my husband who would, upon seeing a snake, call the Marines for emergency chopper evac, leaving me (and my clothes, thank heavens) to focus and retreat as necessary to get the shot.

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    1. Thank you! Sounds like my wife and your husband could relate, although apparently your husband is gracious enough to go looking for help rather than ripping my clothes off or jumping up on my back hehehe. I didn’t even go into the incident where she nearly depantsed me while trying to get a can of bear spray out of the back pocket of my cargo pants – she claims she was trying to help me … jury is still out, but I am thinking more along the lines she could out run me when the bear charged if my pants were down at my ankles… and as the adage goes, you don’t need to be the faster person.. just faster than the person you are with! Appreciate you dropping in.

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