March is a month with manic-depression syndrome. One day it is bright and sunshiny and cheerful, and the next day it is sullen, cold, and rainy. The creatures that hibernate through the winter have to figure out when to rise and shine.
The chipmunks have been out and about for several weeks now.
One evening last week I began hearing the spring peepers singing at the pond, and on lovely afternoon a few days ago, I spotted these two black snakes coming out to assess the situation.
Perhaps a baby snake from last year and an old grandpa snake.
No, they are not miraculously coming out of the solid wall. At one point in the journey of this house through time, it rested someplace else over yonder, and when the highway department built the first bypass around the town and carved a swath through the farm that was here originally, the house literally did make a journey: they picked it up and moved it where it sits now.
Then the owners added on a screened-in porch, which they eventually enclosed to make the room where our boy slept for many years. The foundation for the porch doesn't quite meet the foundation the owners constructed when they moved the house. Not only that, the porch wasn't square (one wall is 7 inches longer than the other wall), the walls are not plum, and in fact -- as you can see in the picture -- this part of the room hangs out over the edge of the foundation. If Richard were writing this blog he would have quite a bit to say about the skills of the people who built this house. But he isn't writing it.
Getting back to the story at hand: the end result is that there must be a very a nice, cozy space in there on the other side of the bricks where the snakes go to spend the winter. I would love to be able to slip one of those little cameras that are attached to a cable that field researchers use in their studies to investigate burrows. I would be very interested in seeing just what all is in there during the winter. Are they all curled up together in a ball? How many are there? Inquiring minds want to know, but I think I probably never will.