Ok, so we have a possum that vacations in our recycle bin (I've since named him Clyde), and little bunny rabbits that dart across the street every morning when we go to work (Friday, one of these bunnies sadly didn't make it across the road... no, I didn't hit it, it was dead when I passed), and the other day, Loki (mutant pawed wonder puppy) decided to show me just what is lurking in my very own back yard.
It's dark, he's out there shaking his head and prancing around, which is the international husky sign that he's found something cool to play with, and it's not a squeeky toy. Armed with a flashlight, I investigate and find... a snake! EUUUUUWW. Loki backs off when told and throws up his dinner. Now I'm really freaking because what if he threw it up because said snake is poisonous?
It's about a foot long, and oogie snake-like, and STILL ALIVE!! AAAAAAAAAH! I check it over, and it looks like a garter snake, doesn't have a rattle on the tail, doesn't seem very poisonous, so I attribute the throwing up to just general doggie excitement. I picked it up (cursing that once again I neglected to put on the rubber gloves I bought for just these occassions), and the snake's tongue starts darting out and it's bleeding from a lovely puncture wound on the head. Carried it over to the fence of bones (where all dead and dying get tossed) and heave it over with that chilled goosebumpy feeling of ick.
After herding Loki back inside (he's looking for more snakes to play with), I consult the Internet. I LOVE the Internet, as it affords me the ability to look up things immediately, instead of freaking out and making whacky calls to people in the middle of the night trying to find out just what does a poisonous Maryland snake look like. It has pictures of snakes and facts on snakes, and to my relief, there are only two types of poisonous snakes in the whole state, and one of those only lives in the mountains (like you can call those hills in Maryland mountains. Washington state has MOUNTAINS, Maryland and Pennsylvania have big hills... when was the last time you heard of someone becoming trapped on a Maryland "mountain" and needing a helicopter to rescue them... but I digress).
I found this great Web site:
Wildlife & Heritage Service - All About Snakes in Maryland
It lists all poisonous snakes in Maryland, and even pictures. I google searched for more pictures to be sure, but apparently Loki had come across either a rat snake or garter snake, neither of them are dangerous, unless you are a rat or garter.
Last night all of the dogs were VERY interested in something that was in the neighbor's yard, peering through the fence and refusing to leave. I have no idea what it was, don't want to know what it was, and I hope it doesn't decide to come in the back yard because I'm running low on rubber gloves and the bone pile is growing.