Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Recently my wife, Bea remarked that we had not yet caught any mice this Fall.  Then she added "I guess the black snake must be in the basement".  The black snake is our resident Black Rat Snake that we see from time to time both inside and outside of our buildings  It is a beautiful animal with a coal-black body, a snow-white belly and is about 5 feet long. It feeds almost exclusively on rodents and is a welcome resident.

A couple of weeks ago I was awakened in the middle of the night by the "swish" and breeze of a bat flying around our bedroom.  Our resident pair of bats live in our attic, but they seem to have a problem finding there way outside. From their roost they have two avenues to leave and they sometimes make the wrong choice and end up downstairs. They are annoying, but have always
found their way outside after a few minutes of flying around.  I guess they soon realize that our living quarters don't have a lot of flying insects to eat.

In early August, Bea was sitting in her recliner watching TV, when i heard her say "One just fell on me"  The "One" was a baby Northern Ring Neck Snake that had just fallen from the ceiling.  Each Summer the female Ring Neck Snakes crawl into our attic and lay their eggs.  The heat of summer incubates the eggs and once hatched, the 5 inch babies start looking for a way out and often find a crack in our wooden board ceiling as an exit. So in late Summer, we can always plan on it "raining" snakes.

We have a resident population of Northern Flying Squirrels living in our woods.  When we first moved to our home some years ago, I live-trapped 13 of these animals in our attic.  It took several years to find and plug all the holes they were using to get into the house. These cute little guys are nocturnal and at night they would be scurrying around in the attic while we were trying to sleep, so excluding them was a necessity.

One time I heard a very loud scream.  Bea had discovered a sleeping squirrel in a bag of nylons in our closet. I trapped the squirrel and put it in a large cage.  I included a bluebird box so it would have a place to hide.  Several days later, I took the box (the squirrel was inside) to a wooded area some distance away.  I opened the box and the squirrel jumped out and ran about 20 feet. I saw a small object fall out  and heard a tiny squeak in the box. The squirrel turned around  and ran right toward me and jumped back into the box.  The "object" was a baby squirrel. I put it back in the box with the mother and took the box back home.  I set the box with the mother and babies inside, on a shelf in my barn, where she could finish caring for her young. That was a really neat experience.

This time of year we often hear acorns and hickory nuts falling  on our deck in the middle of the night.  It means Our Flying Squirrels are busy gathering food.

Living in a Log House in the woods, that was built like a sieve, is never boring.