John was walking toward me down the hallway of our single-wide mansion and he did a double take look out the window then said with a weird tone: “Come look at this.”

And this is what we saw:

A bullsnake climbing our 6-foot tall fence.

A bullsnake climbing our 6-foot tall fence.

a 5-1/2-foot long bull snake at the top of our 6-foot fence … headed toward the house. Yeah, that’s not freaky at all.

Endlessly fascinated with nature in its boundless creepiness (as well as its beauty and power and blah blah blah, insert your own descriptive here), I recorded as much as possible with my trusty auto-zoom camera … which didn’t always work that great.

Of course, the bull snake wasn’t happy with the audience, so he turned around and headed toward the shop at the other end of the fence line. Like that was going to get rid of me.

It managed to loop back on itself without falling off.

It managed to loop back on itself without falling off.

And, really, I thought this was the coolest thing to see this bull snake maneuvering itself on that thin wire, in perfect balance.

And, really, I thought this was the coolest thing to see this bull snake maneuvering itself on that thin wire, in perfect balance.

When the snake got to the shop, it didn’t lower its head once. It knew what it wanted: Up.

And up it went.

And up it went — about 3 feet up to the top of the roof of John’s shop.

And this series of photos shows the coolest thing that snake did -- redefining upward mobility.

This series of photos shows the actual coolest thing that snake did — redefining upward mobility.

Very little of its body was still pushing from the wire fence.

Very little of its body was still pushing from the wire fence.

Very little of the snake was actually on the roof when it finally let go of the fence. This is just the first of those photos that is actually in focus.

And very little of its body was actually gripping the roof when it finally let go of the fence.

You can almost hear it grunting.

You can almost hear it grunting.

Cool, quiet concentration.

Cool, quiet concentration in the face of hard labor.

This is the view from inside the house, through the window screen. The snake rested here for quite a while.

This is the view from inside the house, through the window screen. The snake rested here for quite a while.

Then the snake headed over the peak of the roof.

Then it headed over the peak of the roof …

to grab hold of the one branch i left within reach of the roof when I was up there trimming tree limbs. the week before.

to grab hold of the one tree limb I left within reach of the roof when I was up there trimming limbs — just the week before. And, yes, I’m glad I had NOT seen this first.

At this point, the bull snake was cleary on a mission.

At this point, the bull snake was clearly on a mission …

snaking its way up the limb. (Pardon the pun.)

snaking its way up the limb. (Pardon the pun.)

If you enlarge the next photo, you might be able to figure out exactly why a snake would climb a tree.

Can you spy with your little eye the foes both lurking in the leaves?

Can you spy with your little eye the two foes lurking among the leaves?

Yes, the bull snake was in the tree to hunt bird nests for a snack of eggs, or perhaps helpless hatchlings. That’s a robin sitting in the tree, softly chirp. chirp. chirp. chirping. Beware the snake in the tree.

 

Foes clearly marked for the visually challenged.

Foes clearly marked for the visually challenged.

It was trying to lure the snake to the wrong part of the tree. And it worked. At first.

You can't see the robin, but it's luring the snake down the wrong path -- kind of an ironic twist of fate, biblically speaking, and if you've ever seen the Disney cartoon of "Robinhood." Not that those two stories are related, I was just ... what were we talking about?

Here it is again, luring the snake down the wrong path — kind of an ironic twist of fate for the snake, biblically speaking, and if you’ve ever seen the Disney cartoon of “Robinhood.” Not that those two stories are related, I was just … what were we talking about?

Maybe I'll try another limb of this branch of the tree, snake says.

“Maybe I’ll try another limb of this branch of the tree,” snake said.

And he's searching.

And it was searching.

And he's searching ...

And was searching …

and it's searching.

and searching.

Wait a minute, I think that fucking bird has been leading me on, snake said.

And … “Wait a minute,” snake said, “I think that fucking bird has been leading me on.”

Screw you, Red Breast, I'm going down another branch, going with my gut, following my instincts, and there ain't nothing you can do about it.

“Screw you, Red Breast, I’m going down another branch, going with my gut, following my instincts, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

And snake was right. Robin Red Breast's fluttering attack was no deterent for the symbol of evil.

And snake was right. Robin Red Breast’s fluttering attack was no deterrent for the scaly skinned symbol of evil.

And so snake traveled his own road, closely watched by a worried robin.

And so snake travelled its own road, closely watched by a worried robin.

And when that road turned out to be a dead end, snake casually turned around, telling the robin that it had meant to do that.

And when that road turned out to be a dead end, snake casually turned around, telling the robin “I meant to do that.”

Aw, but look how happy it looks to have found a proper "tree branch highway" to more lucrative hunting grounds.

Aw, but look how happy snake looks to have found a proper tree branch “highway” to more lucrative hunting grounds.

And it's whistling a merry tune.

And it whistled a merry tune.

And it's slowing down.

And then it slowed down.

And it's stopping.

And it stopped.

And it's thinking blondie with the camera is a bit freaky and obsession with the picture taking.

And it thought that blondie with the camera looked a bit freaky and obsessive with the picture taking.

Ultimtely, I manage to do what the robin couldn't, scare the snake away. I was not surprised that I had this effect on the snake, I repell humans daily, with less effort. It's a gift.

Ultimately, I managed to do what the robin couldn’t: scare the snake away. I was not surprised that I had this effect on the snake. I repel humans daily, with less effort. It’s a gift.

I left the snake alone for a while, to do the thing its nature was compelling it to do: hunt. eat. hiss in peace. That was altruistic of me, er, um, plus it was time for my own supper so that worked out alright for both of us, though not the robin so much, and for that I’m sorry that Nature is cruel. I’m also thankful that I had chicken fajitas for supper and not robin hatchlings. I hope the chicken wasn’t a cousin, that would be a lot of tragedy for one family in a day.

I did see the snake once more.

It was on a branch known to house a robin nest.

It was on a branch known to house a robin nest.

It looked content.

It looked content.

The robin was nowhere to be found at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

Advertisements