Bonafide Farm

All I wanted to do was weed whack

June 15th, 2010 § 1

I got home tonight from a busy day at work and thought I’d seek some agricultural therapy. My dad got me a new string trimmer last weekend and I was itching to see if I could start it and wreck havoc on some overgrown parts of the farm. But first I headed to the well house to grab my safety glasses. I was just about to open the door when I looked down and saw this:


“Huh,” I actually said out loud. Truth is, I’d been expecting a snake in this structure since I bought the property. It’s cool and damp and home to mice, and I always felt the energy of a snake whenever I went in it. And here he was.


Unfortunately, he presented me with a quandry. I have a great respect for snakes, and know that they are excellent predators for eliminating rats and mice and other undesirables. But I also keep poultry, some of which are still small enough that they’d be an easy lunch. So what to do? I didn’t really know. All I really could think of was trying to temporarily displace this snake so I could grab my safety glasses and start weed whacking.


I grabbed a shovel that was in the wellhouse and chased him out. It was a laborious process, moving this heavy churning mass with a shovel. In truth, I am grateful to this snake because I’d spent a lot of time today thinking about my yet-to-be-built chicken coop, and by watching how this snake moved, I gained a new understanding of the measures I must undertake to predator-proof my enclosure. I mean, this thing went straight up the wall and could squeeze through the quarter inch between the door and the threshold. It was beautiful, and impressive.

Once I got the snake outside, I had no luck capturing him in a bucket. So I used my shovel to toss him a few feet at a time toward the back of the property. What is absolutely uncanny is that each time he landed, with a thud that sounded like a thick rope hitting a deck, he was always pointed toward the wellhouse and began immediately to slither toward it. It was baffling. So I kept tossing him, further and further from the building, to the edge of the field. I tried to stuff him in the fox hole, figuring the two could keep each other company, but he wouldn’t go. And then I gave up because I signed up for a hot date with a string trimmer, not a black snake.

With that level of determination, he will no doubt be back. And I am pleased to make his acquaintance. We will just have to find some way to coexist, because I store my beer in the wellhouse and damned if this five-foot long black reptile is going to come between me and my Midas Touch.

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