Friday, May 30, 2014

Rain and Mud.... Ick! (warning: snake pictures at the bottom of the post)

Funny how I was just saying he looks leggy and then I take this picture above where he looks short and THICK!  Funny how perspective works hehe.

We've been getting a LOT of rain.  It didn't really bother me when my back was hurting because I couldn't do anything anyway, but now that I'm feeling better I'm really annoyed.  I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I'm really not a fan of rain.  Obviously I'm happy when we get it because it makes the grass grow and living things need water.... but a week straight.... really?  Grr!

So since I'm evidently a fair weather rider and have no desire to go slop through the mud I'll just share pictures (I took during a break in the weather) of it instead LOL!!!


 In front of the small gate to the pasture.

 Poor Chrome is so itchy.
Can't wait to get some claritan for him.

In front of the big gate.  Not too bad.
I can still walk through it without mud boots thank goodness! 

 In front of the barn is a SWAMP!
There's even water inside the barn.  :(

Before the rain started this was bone dry....  we had hay on the right side (a mixed grass bale that someone gave us that they only ate half of, they weren't crazy about it) when it was drier, but when I saw the forecast I asked my hubby to put the new bale on the left side.... which until now has stayed completely dry.  Oh well it's still drier than anywhere else.  Zep appreciates it because he hates rain.  He would rather starve than stand out in it to eat.  Once I get a part time job and pay off our OUTRAGEOUS property taxes in two counties (wish our renters would buy the old place and get it off our hands) I'm going to buy some gravel for the barns.  :)   There are drainage problems that need taken care of too.

Zep says thanks!

 Walking toward the pond.  Another swamp!

 The pond is FULL!!!  It was a foot lower than this a week ago.

 Yep, definitely up a good foot.

 Chrome follows me around like a puppy.

 Tadpoles!!!!!!! I saw a bullfrog the other day too.

 Chrome thought I wanted him to get a drink I guess hehe.
If I stand by the pond, he drinks.  Love it!

 I started stalking wildlife.
A lizard! He's hiding behind a stick lol.

 Little bitty teeny tiny baby turtle!  Cute!

Chrome got bored and decided to graze.

Jackal was pissed I left him behind and stared daggers at me the whole time.


For those of you who don't like snakes please stop reading here!  When I first walked up to the pond I startled a snake, but I didn't think much of it because there are always black water snakes out there.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this guy!!

At first I thought it was a cottonmouth, but after doing some research I figured out it's just another non-poisonous water snake.  I'm just not used to the colorful ones.  The thing that makes it hard to identify them is because both cottonmouths and water snakes can be colored like this or solid black, olive green or brown.  I'll share with you some of the ways to tell them apart.

 This guy was around two feet long.  He just looks bigger in pictures.
This picture shows his cool coloring.

Water snakes swim with their heads above water, but their bodies are submerged.  Cottonmouths puff up their lungs when swimming so their whole body floats on the water.  Water snakes rarely come up on land (but will sun on sticks above the water) where cottonmouths are just as happy on land as in water.  Cottonmouths when threatened (if you throw a rock at it, don't get close) will open their mouths and show the white inside.  Water snakes dive under water to hide.  Cottonmouths can be territorial and threatening, but aren't always.  Water snakes are usually fairly shy.  This one was swimming circles around the pond, hunting I guess, but he would dive under water if I waved my arms or startled him.  He wasn't as shy as the black ones that I'm used to though, which is why I took the pictures and went to research it.  Now on to physical characteristics....

Here is a close up of his head.  The water snake has a rounded head with his eyes visible from above.  The cottonmouth has a flat head with hooded, vertical eyes that you can't see from above.  Water snakes have round pupils and cottonmouth have oval pupils (they can make them into slits in bright light I'm pretty sure).  Water snakes have a rounded nose, cottonmouths are blunt.  Cottonmouths also have a pit between their eyes and nose, but I'm not getting close enough to see that LOL!!  I think the eyes are the easiest way to identify it in pictures.  However if you can't take pictures, they move so fast it's hard to tell when they are swimming around, so just be careful!!  I thought this was a poisonous snake until I got this close up and could see his eyes more on top of his head than a cottonmouth is.  :)  He's not poisonous and won't hurt anything so I'll leave him alone.

Anyway sorry if I scared anyone with the snake.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures!


  1. omg I love tadpoles, please take pics of them when they become woggies!

  2. Sounds like a plan. I'll keep an eye on them and see if I can get pictures of them as they develop. I used to love catching tadpoles as a kid. We kept one in our fish tank until he grew legs and then we turned him loose. It was so cool watching his transformation. :D

  3. excellent photos! love the snake

  4. Great photos! The snake is cool! I like the turtle though :)

  5. Love these! I love snakes but am never sure which ones are poisonous or not when encountering them in the wild, so I just stay away from them in general. I had garter snakes as a kid and always wanted a boa. Thank you for the awesome detailed explanation on telling apart water snakes vs cottonmouths!

  6. I love seeing pictures of wildlife in different parts of the country. I recently got a couple of books on snakes and am so jealous of some of the more colorful snakes they have in other states. I find that with most snakes, if the face has a sweet expression, it's non-venomous, and if it looks evil or angry, it's venomous. Not a good rule to go by, but something I've observed.

  7. i've never seen a snake in water in my life - wow.

    remember when i rescued a bunch of tadpoles and then they got so big i had to put them in my saddlebag and take them on baasha to the watershed? i found out later you're not supposed to do that, but you're also not supposed to throw them on land to let them die (what the neighbor did).

    you live in an interesting place!

    today mara had HIVES on her from insects. i've never had a horse get hives before, i feel so bad. i immediately put on the equispot and ultrashield.

    i have fire ant bites all over my hand still causing me pain from tuesday, and i just got stung by nettles on that wrist so i should just cut it off and spare myself some agony: )

  8. Thanks guys!!

    NuzMuz, I've sort of observed the same thing. I agree it's probably not 100% accurate, but it seems to be the case most of the time.

    Lytha, OMG!! You're as accident prone as I am!!! I hope you feel better soon. Sorry about Mara's hives. :( Chrome is rubbing his shoulders raw already. I really need to get some claritin, but I'm waiting to go to Sams to get the HUGE bottle. What can you give a horse for hives? Benadryl? I've never had one with hives either!! I hope she feels better soon too!

  9. Oh cottonmouths... If I hear one more person in WV cry "cottonmouth" or "water moccasin" I'm gonna kick them in the shins. I don't know what state you're in, but in WV those snakes aren't even present! We're out of their range. People LOVE to spazz over nothing though.

    GREAT shots of the snake!! Water snakes always startle me more than any other snake because their movement is so unrestricted and unpredictable within water!

  10. I'm further south than you are so we do have cottonmouths, but they are usually on the river. I don't think I've ever seen one in a pond. I really thought at first this was one, but it's just a harmless water snake so I'm leaving him alone. :)


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