In and Out

Video link (subscribers must click through to watch).

The first part of this video may look familiar — I used it for a video poem back in July. At the time, I kind of felt I should upload a straight-up, full-color version of the footage as well, but video uploading is time-consuming and I never got around to it. Then on Sunday, the same guy who spotted the snake going into the house — our friend and caretaker Troy Scott, this time with his son Andy — spotted it emerging. You can hear all three of our voices on the soundtrack. It was fascinating to watch the snake figure out a new way to get to the ground, now that we’ve pruned out its handy walnut branch.

I’d like to say it caught all the mice, but in fact there’s still at least one. It ran under my chair just an hour ago.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. That’s so cool! Very large snake. I’ve never seen anything larger than a garter snake around here.


    1. My mom was just telling me yesterday that black rat snakes are getting very scarce in some parts of the country. We’ve always had them around the farm, so I had assumed they were common everywhere. But I should’ve known better. It’s actually pretty easy to eradicate local populations of most herptiles.


  2. I haven’t seen a black snake for years. I thought maybe it was because I left the hills of Northern Kentucky for the more cleared, flatter Bluegrass. That was thirty years ago.

    I haven’t seen any snake bigger around than my finger for a long, long time.

    That is one impressive specimen you’ve got there.


    1. Thanks. I don’t think I could live in a place without big snakes — though not, perhaps as big as those Burmese ball pythons which I gather are taking over central Florida. Come to think of it, black rat snakes are pussycats, even down to their choice of prey.


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