To see pictures of snakes! (Oops, should have written SPOILERS before that.)
Quiet query day as we have only one in the queue and it's scheduled for tomorrow, so you know what that means: random picture roundup. I emptied my camera, and look what I found.
This rotating wall cloud dropped a funnel about 2 miles away on Tuesday night. Lots of tornadoes in the area, but nothing as devastating as those in Joplin and Oklahoma City.
This little rabbit dropped by recently while I was working on my WIP. Yep, another picture taken directly from the window in front of my desk.
This handsome red-breasted, red-headed, red-rumped male house finch, with his mate, built a nest in an artificial fern I hung outside the office window for some winter greenery.
It was a quiet neighborhood until the barn swallows moved in about 10 feet away. The barn swallows are extremely territorial and keep trying to run the finches off. These little finches are tough, though, and are hanging in there. I just hope the babies aren't pestered when they start learning to fly.
I thought I had lost this season's crabapple crop to the storms. There were dozens and dozens of baby apples on the ground after a couple of the worst storms. To my surprise, it looks like it will be one of the healthiest crops I have had in the 6 years I've been here.
Two rat snakes have taken up residence in the chicken coop. Every summer it seems one or two snakes move in with the chickens for a few weeks looking for a free lunch. They eat the eggs, not the chickens, and I usually have a surplus so I let them stay. When they leave -- though why they EVER leave such a cush joint with an ongoing all-you-can-eat-buffet bamboozles me (unless they just get sick of eggs -- I'd understand that; I know the dogs and I reached our limit long ago) -- they'll help keep the mouse/rat/etc population down. Of course, that sometimes means they move into the feed shed, so I spend a lot of time watching for snakes during warm weather. I used to catch and relocate them before I realized it wasn't really worth the effort.
These snakes are about 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) long. There's dead space behind and under the nest boxes (which are about 18 inches across - there are two snakes sharing one nest box in the middle photo) where they can curl up and be out of the way when I'm cleaning. One is shy but the other doesn't seem to be afraid of me. It tucked its body away and peeked its head out after I snapped the photos. In fact, I was cleaning about a foot away from its head and it just stayed there watching me.
And so I don't leave you with memories of snakes, here are some Mexican Hat wildflowers. These are one of my favorites and, since I haven't mown in awhile, they are taking over a couple of my smaller pastures.
I'll go look for some more photo opps. You can send more queries ;o)