Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nature Comes Calling

Grima the Second
This is a snake.
On my carpet.
This was the second time I found a snake on the floor in one day.

This morning, as I was walking downstairs I see a snake shaped thing on the floor in the library. I assume it's one of the boys' rubber snakes. As I get a bit closer, I realize they don't have any that are quite so wiggly...and long...and alive. Luckily, I am not afraid of snakes so it wasn't as big of a deal for me as it would have been if something like a large spider were sitting in the middle of the floor. Then I might have dropped my coffee and run screaming back up the stairs. Instead, we found a container to pop him in and tried to decide what to do. As it is currently around 30 degrees Fahrenheit most days, it didn't seem like putting the poor thing outside would be an option.

I made a phone call to the park naturalist we know from some homeschooling events. She told me he had probably been hibernating in our walls and came out when we had a warmer spell the last couple of days. I already knew that the snake was a northern ring neck since the snake from our critter zoo was the same species. I also still had our terrarium in the garage from our last adventure in snake containment. While all of this planning was going on our visitor was waiting in a plastic container on my desk in the office. When I got off the phone and brought the terrarium into the classroom, I found the snake on the floor. It had escaped from the storage container. The lid was the snap-on type, but not the exact fit for that particular container. I never thought it could get out of there AND off the desk.

So, we scooped it up again and popped it into the terrarium. I made absolute certain there will be no more escapes. I took a pipe cleaner and tested all along the edge of the lid to be sure there isn't even a tiny space for him to slip through and terrorize the house. The boys named him Grima in honor of the first ring-neck who was also Grima. Our first Grima was released back into the wild in the fall of 2011. There was a bit of debate over whether this was in fact the same Grima. Ring necks don't do all that well in captivity, so we only plan to keep him until he can be released in April when the weather is right.

For now, I guess I'll be stocking up on red worms and keeping my eyes open for any more surprise guests this winter.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Excellent! I love the way you calmly handle a learning opportunity and a chance to do right by another living thing. I'm also glad it was you and not me. :D