You Never Know…


…what you’re going to find in a haystack.


This five-foot gopher snake ‘on the move’ took my breath away yesterday afternoon as I loaded hay from the barn.



With apparent interest, judging by the comments, I’ve added this photograph of the gopher snake poking its head in a Black Phoebe’s nest of mud about ten feet up the vertical stack of hay bales. The nest has been empty for quite awhile. The snake knew just where it was and I suspect the Black Phoebe decided to move to another zip code.

On the Move

12 responses to “You Never Know…

  1. A five footer would give me a real startle. That’s a big gopher snake. It should keep the mice and rat population down. At least it’s not poisonous.


    • Of course I’m glad he or she is on duty, but to find one under a bale in a barn where I’ve seen more rattlesnakes than gopher snakes is hard on the heart. I took a break from the heat to photograph this one climbing up the stack to hide just to surprise me again. Keeps me on my toes! Thanks, Allen, for the comment – have a great weekend!!


  2. Laurie Schwaller

    Now that must have been exciting — especially the first moment or two. Nice of him/her to pose so effectively. 🙂


  3. Impressive! We’ve got some here, too, but smaller.


  4. Whey hey… 🙂


  5. My worst nightmare! Thank goodness the snake I found in my horse’s hay was skeletal. That was bad enough. 😉


  6. What a great creature to have protecting your hay from rodents. Yes, my heart would also skip a beat at first glance.


    • I’m in the barn twice a day for hay to feed the calves we’re weaning now, looking, really looking, for Mrs. Snake. What may not be clear in the photo, she (I’ve sexed her now for convenience) is climbing a vertical wall of hay about six feet above the ground where she, or any of her distant relatives, could be anywhere in the stack. Being a jumpy son of a gun gets intensified when you’re not as agile as you used to be. Yet another cardiovascular workout awaits me this morning!


  7. I lived next door to my first cousins. They had a barn with a loft full of hay and who knows what else. We could only play in it if we took my dog with us. We had to teach her to walk a plank to get her from one level to another. It worked. We spent many hours up there playing.


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