Over the Thanksgiving break my sweet mom brought me an adorable little patio-sized kumquat tree. (A kumquat is a type of citrus fruit similar to a very small orange that's sour like a lemon). I've always wanted one, so was just giddy when she drove up to my house with it her car as a surprise. What a great holiday gift. Thanks mom!!
It's been chilly at night in Austin, so each day I've been diligently dragging the little kumquat tree (who is maybe 3 feet tall) in and out of the garage so it can have sun during the day and can stay out of the night's chill in the evening.
Last weekend, I grabbed the pot by the top rim and picked it up and eeeeeeeekkkkk there is a snake curled up under where the potted tree had been sitting. A very tiny snake, but still...it's a snake people. It was maybe 5pm and I was cold and didn't want to deal with it. But the snake looked cold (and I am a giant softie) so I went inside and got an old bath towel, tossed it on top of the snake and went inside to enjoy my evening. Didn't give the snake another thought.
The next morning, I went out to move the kumquat back to it's usual sunny spot, and figured the snake would be long gone. I mean, what kind of snake is going to just hang out under a bath towel all night? So I moved the towel and eeeeeeeekkkkk there is the snake. Hmmmm.... Now what?
OK. So this little snake is maybe only 12 inches long and no thicker than a pencil. It's still pretty cold so he's being really still thankfully. Mom (who has been great at catching all icky and scary creatures for my entire life) was in town again, so she grabbed some garden gloves, a box with a lid and just scooped the little snakey into the box. I then came out from behind the pillar on the porch (where I was bravely encouraging my mom) to check out the little guy. And to my surprise, guess what that little guy has on the end of his little tail? Holt cow. It's a baby rattle snake people. Yes, a rattle snake! eeeeeeekkkkk. A rattle snake!!
Yep, that's fluff from the bath towel by his eye in the shot below...
Mom (who is even a bigger softie than I am) knows where the Austin Wildlife Rescue Center is, so we put 1st the snake box into a 2nd box. (I mean I don't want it to pull off some sort of Houdini-like escape while in my car, right?) We drive to the rescue center and drop off the snake and a donation. Easy peasy and they were thrilled to welcome their newest boarder.
Now...On the drive home it starts to occur to me... Does that little snake have brothers and sisters? And where the heck are they?!? After much discussion and several days, we've determined that my yard (which is NOT in the boondocks or anything people) is likely not hiding a rattlesnake nest somewhere among it's leaves. Mom got the kumquat from a little garden center that IS in the middle of nowhere in the Texas hill country and the snake was probably just a stowaway. That's my hope anyway...
But good old Mom is coming back over this weekend to help me re-pot that little tree. I just want to be sure there aren't a bunch of scary little guys waiting for me amongst my kumquats. And if any of you out there know anything about snakes that you think I should know (i.e. my stow away theory seems very unlikely) I'd appreciate your thoughts!
So, don't be surprised if you see a snake appear in some future fabric design. You'll know just where he came from!