Swamp cat

In the winter, many swamp critters stay down in their dens and out of sight.  But if you are as keen-eyed as Nature Girl, the lack of foliage allows you to see some of the critters that are active.

It had been raining almost all month.  The sun came out on Friday, so I left the office at about 2:30 and went home for a quick walk with Snooks before sunset.

You can see that the lane is on an old levee.   This is flat river bottoms country.  The ground to the right is to the west and is about four feet below the elevation of the lane.  The ground to the left is to the east and is about ten feet below the elevation of the lane.  What looks like the end of the lane is a place where the lane slopes down to meet the elevation of the land to the west.   This is about a quarter mile north of Wolf River.

At about the place where the lane slopes down, Snooks pointed off to our right.  There was a cat about thirty feet away.   I would have never seen it if she had not spotted it.

We have been living here for almost two years.   We knew there was a pair of bobcats nearby, but this was my first sighting.   We were only about 500 feet past our back fence.

We did not linger; it would not do to disturb the cat.  We walked on down to the riverbank.  The sun was nearly down.  Here is a picture of the fading sunlight on the trees.

And this is Snooks walking out of the Conservancy woods towards home.   That is our house to the left.

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30 thoughts on “Swamp cat”

  1. MJBubba:

    Devereaux:
    My personal view is that the only good snake is a dead snake.

    Ms. EThompson would agree with you.

    But wise farmers know that there are snakes and then there are snakes.  Most nonvenomous snakes are really welcome around a farm.  I would welcome more nonvenomous snakes around my part of the swamp.

    Snakes are your friend.  Except the ones with poisonous bites.

    You know, I know that intellectually. But in my heart I hate snakes, and there aren’t a lot of things I can honestly say I hate.

    In RVN we had pit vipers. I had heard there were krates also but thankfully never saw one of those. One of my classmates had his point man bitten by a pit viper. He didn’t know it, but just suddenly felt “funny” and sat down by the trail. John noticed he had two holes in the side of his boot, and when they took it off, there were the fang marks. So he got medevac’d and got anti-venom in Danang – saved his life.

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  2. In Neuchâtel we have two kinds of venomous snakes: the common European viper (Vipera berus) and the European asp (Vipera aspis).  Neither is very dangerous, although bites can be painful.  There has been only one death from snakebite in Switzerland since 1960, and neither snake is particularly aggressive.  A few years ago somebody picking grapes in harvest season was bitten (I don’t recall by which kind) in the canton, and antivenom was flown in from Zürich by helicopter since the local hospitals don’t stock it since it’s so rarely required.  Allergic reactions to snake venom are considered more dangerous than the actual effects of the venom of either of these two snakes.

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  3. Devereaux:

    MJBubba:

    Devereaux:
    My personal view is that the only good snake is a dead snake.

    Ms. EThompson would agree with you.

    But wise farmers know ….

    Snakes are your friend.  Except the ones with poisonous bites.

    You know, I know that intellectually. But in my heart I hate snakes, and there aren’t a lot of things I can honestly say I hate.

    I will pass along some family lore from Snooks’s side of the family.

    A hired cook had taken some scraps out to the barnyard for the pigs.  She spotted a snake, grabbed a hoe from the barn, and chopped it into about thirty pieces.

    The farmer said “Awwww, shucks, that was a good rat snake.  Why’d you have to go and kill it?”

    Replied the cook:  “That there’s a sarpent, and the Bible speaks agin’ it.”

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  4. MJBubba:

    Devereaux:

    MJBubba:

    Devereaux:
    My personal view is that the only good snake is a dead snake.

    Ms. EThompson would agree with you.

    But wise farmers know ….

    Snakes are your friend.  Except the ones with poisonous bites.

    You know, I know that intellectually. But in my heart I hate snakes, and there aren’t a lot of things I can honestly say I hate.

    I will pass along some family lore from Snooks’s side of the family.

    A hired cook had taken some scraps out to the barnyard for the pigs.  She spotted a snake, grabbed a hoe from the barn, and chopped it into about thirty pieces.

    The farmer said “Awwww, shucks, that was a good rat snake.  Why’d you have to go and kill it?”

    Replied the cook:  “That there’s a sarpent, and the Bible speaks agin’ it.”

    I’m with her!

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  5. There was no arguing with the cook.  She and the farmer’s wife (Snooks’s grandmother) were making a large noon dinner meal for ten or twelve farmhands in addition to the family.   Snooks’s grandfather was not about to cross the cook.

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