Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Tenant

I have been very negligent of the blog recently. I appologize for the long break, but spring on the farm takes no prisoners. Things are being planted, weeded, harvested, weeded, tilled, cultivated, harrowed and yes, weeded. So its a little crazy around here.

We've been trying to make it into the woods for a little mushroom hunting a couple times a week. So far we've found about 9 pounds. Its been a weird year for morels. Our tried and true spots aren't producing but we are finding them in new places. We even had one come up in the flower garden beside the back door! I'm hoping we might get one more flush this week.

Our new discovery on the farm this week was a 3 1/2' long snake. Sean found it in the prairie grass near the lane. I couldn't immediately identify it, so had to take photos and do a little research online. Our new friend is a Prairie Kingsnake, a breif description from HerpNet.net:

A medium sized Iowa snake that is 30 to 42 inches in length. It is
nonvenomous.

Prairie kingsnakes are dietary generalists and feed on a wide variety of
prey. Mammals, birds, birds eggs, snakes, lizards, frogs, and reptile eggs
have been reported as food. Prairie kings, like other kingsnakes, will eat
venomous snakes. They are immune to the venom of North American venomous
snakes and such snakes will use other methods to escape kingsnakes. Instead of
striking, the venomous species will throw loops of coils at the kingsnake in an attempt to bat the head and make a quick escape. Prairie kingsnakes are even known to consume other prairie kingsnakes (Smith, 1961).
Kingsnakes are constrictors; killing their prey by suffocation before devouring it.

Always something new to learn around here!

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