Home » Gate Guarding » Snakes, Mice and Bats in the Belfry

Snakes, Mice and Bats in the Belfry

Aย  snake lies hid in the grass. ~ Virgil

Whew! It’s hot here in Texas (and I think pretty much everywhere) and there are snakes in the grass. We’re back on a gate – almost literally as you can see from this photo.

Snake spotting has begun and several of our gate guard friends have seen rattlesnakes at their site. As soon as Junior got the generator humming, he pulled out his weed-whacker and essentially mowed our entire yard. I’ve only seen a couple of snakes in the grass since we started gate guarding back in 2010. Ironically, they both wore white hats.

I was grateful for the short grass though and thanked Junior by giving him my lunch. The Company Man had just stopped by with true Texas comfort food: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried okra and black-eyed peas (which I thought were beans). ๐Ÿ˜€

While we haven’t seen any snakes yet, Henry and I were a near miss with a skunk last night. Henry, who is sweet but not quite a watch dog, never noticed. We made it inside just fine. But something didn’t fare as well as Pepe’s perfumed wafted in about an hour later.

Then yesterday morning, the CM brought us breakfast burritos and later, grilled steak dinners with all the fixings. I think we’re going to like it here! So does the bat in our belfry and a mouse in the house. I heard him before I saw him last night. I think he was attempting to crawl into Henry’s food bowl. A grey streak shot past me, twice, and disappeared.

I got out my mighty flashlight and searched everywhere. I opened every cupboard. Nada. While we struck out with both cheese and peanut butter during the last mouse invasion, we had great success (13 bit the dust) with ranch flavored Doritos. No Doritos currently so we put little bits of bread on the sticky traps and peppered them with ranch seasoning. I’ll let you know…

Bats are, of course, the erratically flying mammals and ‘belfries’ are bell towers, sometimes found at the top of churches. ‘Bats in the belfry’ refers to someone who acts as though he has bats careening around his topmost part.ย  ~ The Phrase Finder

I can’t remember the last time we had the awning open. It’d been at least a week so I was surprised to see fur when we unfurled it yesterday. Yes, we had a bat in our belfry. Many might jump in here at say that that isn’t exactly something new, which is probably true, but this was a literal bat.

I felt badly, thinking that I’d probably shut him up in the awning for a week (in retrospect, I think he may have slipped in on his own). He did quite a lot of flapping about but didn’t leave his perch. This led me to believe, mistakenly, that his leg was caught, so I kept raising and lowering the awning (part way) to try to free him. I think this mostly just served to terrify him and cause him to hang on tighter.

I finally gave up and got the broom. He liked it just fine. He like it so well that he decided to stay.

Eventually, I put the bat-broom in the tree and waited and waited, at leastย  2 or 3 minutes. He recovered from his wild awning ride and the bright light of day; giving me a beady eyed reproof, off he flew.

And now I think I hear the pitter patter of little toenails on the floor. Of course Heidi and Henry are both sleeping so I’m left to ignore my small grey visitor all by myself.

The last round of mice were pretty sharp. They drank all of the yellow and most of the green food coloring but completely avoided the red dye. I’m hoping this one is less discriminating.

^Photo from Wikipedia - my copy is in a mouse proof box under the RV.

When I was little, I loved to look for the mouse in the room, with every reading of GOODNIGHT MOON.

Now, not so much.

Goodnight little house and Goodnight mouse

Goodnight comb and Goodnight brush

Goodnight nobody Goodnight mush

And Goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush”

Goodnight stars Goodnight air

Goodnight noises everywhere

~ Margaret Wise Brown

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14 thoughts on “Snakes, Mice and Bats in the Belfry

  1. Hey from Ottumwa!

    I keep you both in my thoughts and prayers, as I hate mice, but am terrified of bats! When the girls and I lived in an apartment by ourselves, we had 17 in 2 weeks!! YIKES! One time I even had to fight the cat for the bat that was caught in the broom!
    As always, I love your stories!
    Hugs!
    Sandy

    • Hey Sandy!!!
      17 in 2 weeks – that’s awful.
      OK, fighting the cat for the bat in the broom is really funny!
      It’s so fun to hear from you! My stories were better when I used to tell them for you in seminars. I’m not much of a writer, still really just a talker. But thanks for staying with us!
      Bullies, Braggarts, Backstabbers and Banshees seems like a life time ago, doesn’t it?
      Hi from Heidi, too!
      Debbie

  2. Glad to hear you’re back on-site…where abouts are you? We’re at home in Moulton now but are hoping to go back out in this area soon. (we leave for Michigan the end of May) They really do feed you well out on the sites-don’t they. Next time I’m not going to stock the frig when we go out so there will be room for all the leftovers!

    • Hello Nancy! We’re between Gonzales and Cuero.
      Yes, they are really generous with the food. The Company Man came by and said he’d snag us some steaks one of these days. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Michigan in May sound wonderful!
      Safe travels!
      Debbie

    • Hello Penny!
      Right now there’s a wild something – a dog, I hope – (who clearly has baby pups somewhere) pacing frenetically outside the RV. Henry is sleeping so I’m hoping she finds another home.
      Take care,
      Debbie

  3. Actually, the Blackeyed pea is a bean. Strange, huh? One of the best mosquito control measures is a bat house. True, a bat house.

    • Ken,
      Really, so they were beans after all! Can you tell I’m not quite a southern yet? I had to ask Junior what the okra was. I thought it was okra, but I wasn’t quite sure. ๐Ÿ˜€
      I used to live on the edge of a woods and I would sit on the patio and watch the bats eat the mosquitoes at night.
      I would have been happy to have the little guy stay here, but HE was afraid of ME! No wonder! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Debbie

    • Bob –
      If there’s a way to complicate the simple, we find stumble into it. ๐Ÿ˜€
      It seems like a really good gate. We’ve been bombarded with gravel trucks going the other direction (but inside our gate) at a rate of about 1 a minute for the past two days. Had to take the hose off the road before it got crushed. I think they’re about done. I don’t know if that means we’ll have two active pads or not? At least things should be quieter tomorrow.
      Monday may be a whole new story! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Debbie

  4. Where are you Debbie and Heidi. We are still at the same gate. The guys on the pipeline have caught 21 snakes so far. I have not seen one alive yet. The guys have bought us a dead one so we can take the rattler for the Gran
    children.
    We went and bought out own weed whacker just to keep the grass down around our site. The rig moves out on Tuesday but something is going on at the other 3 sights.

    • Hello Linely –
      21! Yikes! The grandkids will be impresses with the rattle I would think. Maybe you and John can concoct a story of your brave capture! ๐Ÿ˜€
      At least you get dead ones.
      The guys used to bring me live ones! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Hmm…
      We’re near Gonzales right now. No snakes yet…
      I would never have thought of buying a weed whacker since everything was dead on every site last year because of the drought.
      Now I can see the need!
      Gosh, you guys have been there a long time! Do you know if you’re moving with the rig or staying on with the rest of the activity?
      Stay safe!
      Debbie

  5. I’m so redundant, but I LOVE this stuff!! I’m especially partial to the bat-broom…I so need a very small miniature one for my personal belfry. And the food sounds SOOO Good. God bless y’all!

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