ringneck snake boulders
Wednesday, June 10 2009
After much digging and hauling, I finished the stone staircase down to the greenhouse today. I tried to use the largest rocks I could move, finding several monsters in a place 100 feet south of the greenhouse and several others in another place near the drainage pipe terminus sixty feet east of the greenhouse. Generally speaking, if I could move the rock at all, I could haul it on the handtruck. And if I could haul it on the handtruck, I could get it up the steep slope to where I intended to set it.
In the process of lifting rocks from places where they had lain for tens (if not hundreds) of years, I was careful, out of concern for creatures living beneath them, not to let them slam back down upon their ancient footings. I came upon three snakes while moving large boulders and all of them were ringneck snakes (which I don't remember ever having seen before). Interestingly, if there is an ant nest under a stone then there usually won't be anything else unless there is something dividing the ants from another section sheltered by the same rock. But I'll often find a range of creatures living peacefully near a snake, including crickets and sowbugs. While garter snakes tend to live in natural voids beneath rocks, ringneck snakes always seem to be living in burrows that happen to be walled on one side by whatever rock I'm lifting. Such burrows must have been excavated by some other creature, a creature with limbs.
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