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Adventures in Yard Life

There’s so much happening in my yard to distract me from writing today, y’all.

FIRST, a Nova story.

Nova gets to sit outside with me when I write because she’s generally well-behaved, doesn’t leave the porch, and doesn’t hunt. Outside cats can be a bane to songbird populations in particular, so I’ve always been glad that she’s confident enough in her food supply that she doesn’t feel the need to go for my yard critters.

Well, turns out I was wrong about that. 😐

It’s not that Nova doesn’t want to hunt. It’s just that she’s too lazy to hunt anything that presents the remotest challenge.

Which I learned when she zipped off the porch, snatched something from the ground, and sprinted to bring it in the house as it was cheeping for its dear life. 😮

Turns out she’d gotten her fangs on this little dude – a fledgling mockingbird who’d just barely left the nest in one of my trees, and hadn’t even learned to fly yet.

After lots of incoherent screeching and chasing Nova all over the yard, I finally got her to drop it. Thankfully, it was unharmed, if a little traumatized, so I left it in the shade with a bit of water and put Nova inside so it could recover without the fear of being eaten.

Then, interestingly enough, another mockingbird came to give it some attention. I’d noticed this mockingbird totally freaking out when Nova first snatched the fledgling. It wasn’t too cool about me being near the fledgling, either, so I let it be and went back to my porch to continue writing.

Over the course of the day, though, I kept an eye on the fledgling, and every now and then saw the adult mockingbird – probably its mom – hopping around with it, showing it how to spread its wings and do other essential bird stuff. Eventually mom bird finished her duties and flew off. I lost track of the fledgling in the evening, but I assume it flew off, too, and is now doing happy bird things like being in the sky and avoiding cats on the ground.

So, even though it started rather roughly (for the fledgling, at least), it was neat to see that little bit of nature’s cycle take place in my own backyard. 😊

But that wasn’t my only adventure of the day.

SECOND, when I sat back down on my porch after rescuing the fledgling, I noticed an unusual shape in my jasmine plant.

So now, in addition to a yard fledgling, I had a frickin’ yard snake to keep away from Nova. (Needless to say, she did not come back outside the rest of that day.)

This was the first time I’d seen a snake in my yard in all the years I’ve lived here, so after sharing some texts and photos with family, I learned that this lil’ dude was a rat snake, and a good snake to have around for pest control. 😊

He was a surprisingly chill snake for having witnessed all the chaos of The Fledgling Incident, and much to my surprise, stayed in my jasmine the entire day, despite being well aware of my continual presence on the porch. He was a surprisingly relaxing little presence, too, and I found myself rather pleased that, of all the local nature he could have chosen to rest in, he chose my jasmine vine.

When he was still there the next morning, though, I became extra curious. 😯 After all, why would a snake take ten hours of night and safety from humans…and still stay hidden in a plant very close to humans?

So I kept peeking out to see what he was up to.

Finally I saw him leave.

And slither into one of the vents leading under my house.

Turns out he was hanging out in the jasmine because he’d eaten himself too fat to get back into his home. He’d just needed to digest. 😂

I haven’t seen him since, but I do make sure that little vent is cracked open so he can get in and out.

And since he spent the whole day with me, I gave him a name, so now whether I see him or not, Sir Biscuit is part of my yard posse. 😊

***

Originally posted on H.P.’s Instagram.



Categories: Adventures

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