Saturday, January 5, 2013

snakes & bones & more cool stuff

they're not everybody's favorite.
but you have to admit...even though you may not want to hold or touch one...
they sure are beautiful to look at.

this little guy, a juvenile Rat Snake has hunkered down in our shed for the past couple of weeks...
trying to stay warm enough to make it through those nights when the temp drops to freezing.

in the woods out back...camouflaged in the bare wintery-thorny-vines...
is another young Rat Snake (but older than the one in the shed).

take a look at this snake. a Black Racer.  i spotted it out a clearing in the woods.

wanna guess how i got so get this picture without the snake racing away?

mm-hmm.  dead. no blood.  no bite marks.
the detective in me thinks it froze to death.
i flipped it's the underside.

you probably know by now what i do when i find dead critters.
i take them home.  bury them.  wait for them to decompose. dig them up.
collect the bones...clean the bones...and then decorate them, or use them in my art.

besides this dead one, i've found two snake skeletons along the side of the road.

what to do with all these snake bones?
a couple of months ago i started to make SNAKE VERTEBRAE earrings.

ok. enough about snakes.

i was surprised to see mushrooms & lichen 
still pushing their way up through the ground or clinging to trees...
 in this colder weather we've been having.
when i think 'fungi', i tend to think warm, humid. 

two more pictures...
a dragonfly trying to soak up a little warmth...

and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. 
not an easy task to get a picture. 
i can hear 'em, but by the time i usually spot them...they fly to another tree.

depending on where we live on planet earth,
chances are we're dealing with the winter cold or the summer heat.

but when i got an email from a friend the other day,
who lives in Siberia...and she told me the temperature there right now is 40 below 0...
i felt a little woozy!

that takes all the FUN out of winter...don't you think?

anyway...whatever YOU'RE dealing with right now...
be safe.
take it easy.



  1. I do not mind seeing snakes, as long as they keep their distance. Love your bone collection, very cool. And the pretty mushrooms. Are temps now are in the 20's feels pretty cold to me. I could not stand 40 below. Wow. Have a great day, Laura!

  2. LOVE your RB woodpecker and fungi ..... but I must admit- the snakes creep me out just a bit :)

  3. Brilliant color on the Red Bellied Woodpecker . . . If I was walking around with you, I would never look up because of what I would fear underfoot. You have a much stronger character than I have Laura . . . and a Rat Snake is a Rat Snake because it eats . . . Yikes . . . Don't tell me!

    Bring me your butterflies, dragonflies and beautiful pictures of the moon! (Are you smiling . . . ? )

  4. Snakes are fine in pictures...fungi is fine as long as it's not on my lawn...dragonflies are okay as long as they're not buzzing around my head...gotta love the little woodpecker. He's a cutie. It was -8 here yesterday. Soooo glad I don't live in Siberia.

  5. I also feel like I've taken a min-vacation into a magical land when I stop by here. I don't often get a chance, but when I am some place and touch a snake, they do have an incredible feel, and amazingly enough often cool to the touch, and like at the Renn-fest some of those folks have little cloth bags they carry them around in at times to keep them warm and safe!

  6. Very cool, Laura.

    I took a picture of a woodpecker in the backyard, but I wasn't too close. I thought it was a Pileated, but it turned out to be a Red-bellied.

    1. yep!! that's a red-bellied alright!! the Pileateds are pretty BIG...and at least here in florida...they make a lot of noise when they're jumping around in a tree!! =)

  7. I love the snakes, accept the dead one, oh. And, the fungi are something else, brilliant.

  8. Beautiful snake pictures Laura and the earrings too. You are very creative!
    It's winter in Holland at this moment but too warm for the time of the year.
    (+ 10 C) Fourty below zero....brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  9. laughing at your poor friend. yikes! LOVE the snakes. so beautiful. very creative voodoo-ish earrings!

    i love the fungi that look like pancakes. maybe because i've not eaten yet. :)

  10. I do love snakes from a distance. They are such amazing creatures that give me the heebie jeebies......wonderful shots of everything. You are such a creative soul! Happy New Year my friend!

  11. Ahhhh... delightful. And what a great shot of that pretty little snake--those eyes look almost like fake plastic eyes, they are so clear. I saw a short stretch of vertebrae the other today, and now I'm wondering if it was from a little snake--looks like the vertebrae in the earrings w/the blue baubles.

    Nice work getting that red-belly in the shot--great! =) Lovely colors.

    Yes, re: mushrooms & cold. They're still here, too. And the highest density I ever saw was in the Pacific Northwest which is NOT warm, but IS wet. However, I expect freezing is not their favorite, tho' we still have numerous mushrooms here post-many freezes this winter.

  12. I love snakes- yours are very cool, literally! I respect snakes a lot, grew up where that is what they demanded or, you, know, drag out the old snake bite kit...Your bones are awesome and what you have done with them!! Very good! I grew up in 45 degrees below zero, winter was mean! I will never go back. Stay cozy!

  13. Laura,that is a fang-tastic idea. I buried my Burmese python 2 years ago in our back yard. at 20 ft long i would love to see the size of the earnings i could make from him. lol
    Lovely photos, the one of the woodpecker is stunning.

    1. ooooh, sorry to hear about your python!

      i have a feeling that the vertebrae from your snake...would not make very good earrings...TOO BIG...maybe more like a pendant necklace!! =) or just some other kind of bone art would be nice!!

      thanks shaun!

  14. Grzyby, ważka i ptak piękne, ale węży się boję i ich nie lubię. Kiedyś w moim ogródku, jak pierwszy raz zobaczyłam węża wskoczyłam na mój ogrodowy stół :). Teraz już tak nie robię, ale omijam je z daleka. Pozdrawiam.
    Mushrooms, dragonfly and bird beautiful, but I fear snakes and do not like them. Once in my garden the first time I saw a snake jumped on my garden table :). Now I do not do that, but I pass them away. Yours.

  15. je moet maar op het idee komen om er oorbellen van te maken,nee mijn favoriete dieren zijn het niet.maar wel weer een mooie log.

  16. Excelentes fotografias....

  17. I don't mind snakes - as long as they are not too near me, lol. Many years ago when I was quite young we went to a snake farm - fascinating!!!
    Your mushrooms are fascinating as usual.

  18. The black racer is so beautiful. Such a shame she is dead :( You are also a very graceful hostess to let the other guy hang around your shed ;-)

  19. HI Laura.. I rolled past the snakes with my eyes closed until I thought I was past them LOL..yea I did it!!
    Those mushrooms look like pancakes, and the Dragonfly is a beauty!!
    It was 25 below zero at my daughters place in far Northern Maine this past couple of night, and 1 above here!! Brrr 40 below yikes!!

  20. I don't mind looking at your pictures of snakes, Laura, because you take such great shots, and you obviously respect and care for them. I looked up the Black Racer - can see why he wouldn't normally hang around! They don't creep me out as much as spiders....

    I would dearly love to have the painted snake wall hanging that you have on your Etsy shop - it is just fabulous!

    Love the dragonfly, the fungi, and especially the Woodpecker!!!

  21. You sure impress living in such an environment. Not much wildlife over here. Please have you all a good Sunday.

  22. That snake in the tree/bush is down right scary and that Black Racer was...happily I say WAS!...huge! And as for your friend in Siberia, her temps make our recent 7 feel like I should have been basking in the sun!...:)JP

  23. Wow! This post really collected the comments! I don't have time to read them all but I want to add my compliments. You certainly know how to see the beauties that fill our world. So many people miss this and it's great how you point them out.

    Tell your friend in Siberia her cold weather is leaking out and sneaking over Canada clear down into Idaho. We've had double digit sub-zero here for several days. It's been a challenge just to start the car and the tires stay frozen flat on one side for quite a distance.

  24. You have the coolest photos on your blog. I love it.

  25. Hi Laura,
    yes you are right ... they are always nice to look at but it's not everybody's thing .. some are afraid, some are disgusted .. here in Germany there is ur slow worm and corn snakes ...
    greetings Frank

    1. Hi Frank! just wanted to say that over here...the CORN snake is just about the same as the RAT snake...the corn snake is more yellow & striped in color and the RAT snake is more patterned red. but they are similar snakes. some people call the rat snake...a corn snake...

      one day when i was digging out back in the dirt...i found something called a WORM like a big earthworm, but more like a snake...they live underground...blind i think. maybe this nis the same as you are talking about?! have a good week!!

  26. THANKS to EVERYBODY who took the time to stop...and leave a note!! i appreciate it!!

    (thanks for the kind words about my snakes...and bone art...u make me blush!)

    YEAH i guess just about everyone is dealing with the cold...freezing temps right now. maybe not as cold as siberia...YIKES! but still...cold enough to make your teeth chatter...and wish to just be at home by the fire!!

    THANKS a BUNCH!! ~laura~

  27. OK snakes and 40BELOW you sure make a girl swoon with all this cool stuff:) I am kidding snakes are pretty from a distance for me but I must admit your jewelry and creations are BEAUTIFUL.
    Love the shots you take they always make me smile.
    It was -20c here two days ago so I went for a snow shoe I am not sure I could do that in -40f but not sure of the difference. Darn metric:)
    Take care my friend happy digging. Hug B

  28. You must be a snake magnet! Beautiful shots and I love the woodpecker!

  29. I've always liked snakes; so pretty, fluid and majestic. Great dancers, too!

    I'm off to your shop to fall in love with earrings ;-)

  30. I love what you do with the bones. It beats what we do with them in my business.
    Those mushrooms look like a stack of pancakes.... I think I'm hungry.

    1. thanks stew!
      seems like a few people stopped by here that morning...hungry...because those mushrooms looked like pancakes to a number of people!! pass the syrup! ha!

  31. Love your snake photos Laura! We rarely have one visit but were watching as a small one slithered quite beautifully through our shade house the other morning. Quite a surprise for us.
    The earrings are quite stunning.
    Lovely fungi too. Am always intrigued by it.
    Cheers! :D)

  32. I see from your commenters that we inhabit part of the same blog neighborhood. anyway, TexWisGirl sent me over here. I think snakes are very cool and have encounters with them all the time out here. I even stupidly got bit by a copperhead last spring (never saw it until after it bit me). three or four weeks later I stirred up an adult rat snake that was easily 5' long. I bury bird heads in fire ant nests to get them cleaned off whenever I find a dead bird. Don't usually see dead snakes except for the copperhead I killed right up by the house two weeks after I got bit. Didn't think to de-flesh it. Now I wish I had instead of throwing it in the field behind us.

    1. hey ellen!!! thanks for wandering my little the world!!
      as you'll notice...i LOVE bones...
      if i see 'road kill''s hard for to not not wish i had something to scrape it off the ground with....bury it and wait for it to decompose. sick?? some say so!! haha
      i have done that with a raccoon and 'possom...and deer...but they were very close to home...'s nice to meet someone else who has similar likes!! =)

      take care!!

  33. Still snakes huh:)
    Hope all is well miss your posts. Hug B

  34. I'm not at all phobic about snakes, but gotta admit that I never thought of making earrings out of any part of them. surprised at how lovely they are.

    LOved the fungi, such amazing colors.

    I can't even imagine 40 below. Really. Here in Ft Myers area we've been the warmest place in the nation most of the last several days.


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