A Red Bird, a White Oak Snake and Blue Jays

Ah, a nice hot bath! What could be more relaxing? The Mutts are in repose also, and the day is winding down. It’s time now for a little down time, time to just meld with the water, and be as one with the heat and the sound of Blue Jays screaming right outside the window. HUH?


Dogs are fairly intelligent, this episode notwithstanding, but they are simple creatures. Bert cannot see the Blue Jays. Bert understands something is different just outside the window. Bert’s job is to guard the house. Bert’s mind equates different with bad, and it is at this moment I realize he has hope of becoming a Republican.


“WOOOWOOOWOOOWOOOO!” Bert tells the Blue Jays right outside the window. You don’t think they heard him? There are Marines in Iraq who are looking around during an artillery barrage wondering where the damn dog might be. “WOOOWOOOWOOOWOOOWOOOWOOO!” Bert tells the Blue Jays, even though he has no clue as to what might actually be going on out there.  It is at this moment I realize he aspires towards being a radio talk show host. Sam gets into the act, but Sam doesn’t have the voice Bert has.  When Bert lays it down, you are going to get up.


Nine times out of ten Bert is just letting me know a stranger is getting close to the house. Once he laid it down to tell me the oven was on fire. I don’t give a damn how many times Bert is wrong, because he was right when he really needed to be right. But it doesn’t matter because when Bert is really putting his best bark forward, it’s a voice to be reckoned with. I peek out the bathroom window to see a brace of Blue Jays sitting no more than two feet from me. Damn. This is bad. They’ve got the mother Cardinal surrounded in her nest. She’s talking back to them but she’s heavily outnumbered here. I tap on the glass and one of the Jays looks at me as if I just interrupted something.  He takes flight, and the rest follow. Bert wants to go and investigate, and Sam won’t be still. Oh well. At least I can go out and see if the Jays destroyed the eggs.


I get dried off, get dressed, and herd the mutts out the back door. I go out the front to check on Mama Cardinal. The nest is hung with care amongst some Spanish Moss. It’s just above my head, so I can see Mama Cardinal, but not the eggs.  I look down and discover that the Jays were not raiding the nest, and they weren’t attacking Mama Cardinal either; there’s a four foot long White Oak Snake no more than six inches from my left foot.


In the second time in as many months I’ve walked up within spitting distance of a snake and not realize it was there. I don’t think that’s happened to me twice in my entire life. It’s unnerving. It’s a little scary. Mama Cardinal saves the day by fluttering to the ground like a leaf, and flopping around on the ground. For those of you who have never seen this, some mother birds try to distract predators from their nests by pretending to be injured. As the predator chases the seemingly wounded bird, she will lead it further and further away from her nest. Both predators in this case, the White Oak Snake and I, don’t care about the nest. I’ve a little freaked that I just walked up on a snake, and he’s freaked because a human just walked up on him.


I pick the snake up and carry him to the edge of the yard, and toss him into the woods. Yeah, yeah, I know he’ll be back before I get into the house, but Mama Cardinal needs the rest. The Jays are in the top of the oak tree debating all of this, and Mama Cardinal returns to her nest. Bert and Sam are returned to their proper place at my feet, and as I begin to type this story, I realize I have all but forgotten about a hot bath.


Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/27/2008 2:17:59 PM
Peacefil in the sense there are no manmade noises. You haven't lived until a Hoot Owl cranks up two hours before dawn...while sitting on your roof. Talk about getting the dogs up!

danicpa68   danicpa68 wrote
on 4/27/2008 2:01:42 PM
Nothing quite as bad as the smell of wet dog...well, maybe..LOL I thought moving to the country was going to be quiet and peaceful as you have demonstrated here, not so much!!

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/27/2008 11:22:38 AM
Ron, Yeah, right now Bert just got evicted ( temporarily) for coming into the house soaking wet! He has his moments.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/27/2008 11:21:31 AM
Thanks, Bill! It certainly isn't boring!

rcblove   rcblove wrote
on 4/27/2008 11:02:08 AM
Really like the story Mike and wish my dog was more like Bert.

Mike Firesmith
Special Interest
Outdoors and enviornment
writing Mike Firesmith
I write
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A man, his dogs, and more nature than a hot bath can stand
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