Sunday, October 20, 2013

Colors and Critters

 Sunlight through plum leaves yet to feel frost

 Chokecherry leaves against Montana blue

 He thought he was invisible!

 Young rattler hiding his wounds

Box Elder bug


daily haiku

trees in their glory
against the rain-sodden sky
a golden pathway

More than halfway through October and fall colors are beginning to fade. The river that wove a golden path towards the Big Horn Mountains has now turned more bronze but is still beautiful even as it fades.  Plums and Chokecherries are shedding leaves and the Ash tree at my office in town, flamed gold, then in one night dropped all it's foliage.

Along with the colors come the critters. In the house, flies, wasps, box-elder bugs, spiders and centipedes roam freely.  There is a large spider that keeps me company in the bathroom. He loves the new vinyl floor and runs full pelt across it while I sit on the toilet in the morning. He's a real show-off! I am not quite as tolerant with the centipedes. They appeared about five years ago, everyone complained about them; that year we had dozens of them. Now, they just seem to appear one by one. Not sure if they are a different species to the large scuttling ones or whether they are babies that will grow larger later; they get picked up in a Kleenex and flushed. 

Outdoors the rabbits run freely again and I have seen a couple of snakes. A pretty young Bull-Snake 
disappeared into the rock wall two weeks ago and yesterday I encountered a young rattlesnake. I tried to chase it back into the long grass, but it was stubborn, and I injured it, so it may still be out there - I surely hope not - that is one breed I don't like to have around the house. As long as they keep out in the rest of the acreage they are fine. 

Tomorrow the furnace technician will visit. In October 2006 he disturbed a rattler lying on top of the door frame to the basement utility room.  He came running up the stairs yelling, left, and said he'd come back when we got rid of it. Our neighbor came up and obliged, and an hour later the furnace at last got serviced for the winter. We gave him the rattles to impress his friends at work!  Two years later we had another in exactly the same place, called our neighbor who dispatched it once more, and we all hunted, found where they were getting in, and plugged the hole. As always, tomorrow the furnace tech will delicately ask "Any rattlesnakes down there?" before he'll go to the basement and do his work!


  1. Dear Chris, I am deathly afraid of snakes, even nonvenomous
    ones. All this stems from getting into bed one night as a child of 8 or so and having a snake lying on the comforter and walking into the kitchen and having a snake lying on the window sill. I don't think they were poisonous but we did have water moccasins in Missouri and i was fearful.

    So I admire your savoir faire! And the photographs are of the leaves and sky are so lovely. The rabbit also! Peace.

    1. Thanks for visiting my page, Dee. I enjoy your comments.
      Snakes in the house are NO fun at all!

  2. I found your blog through Art's. I need to try to be more like you and be more sanguine about our invasion of box elder bugs in Sheridan. I did see a snake's tail hanging out of a bird house this summer but as yet we have not seen one close up to our house or, thankfully, in it!! Good luck with your house sale and move.

  3. Looking back now from the middle of November when most, if not all, of the leaves are down, it was nice to see those leaves. We had a chokecherry tree in our yard in the Springs and loved it when the leaves turned that gorgeous red.

    Those prairie rattlers are pretty non-aggressive and will normally turn tail, so to speak, and head off to hide when they sense you coming. But around the house they are a nuisance. At the PCC, we move those who come into the areas where we have visitors. Move them out into the prairie near prairie dog burrows where they can hide until they decide where to settle down.

    Some we have to move several times before they get the idea.