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life's rich pageant

So, yesterday we walk out the back door and down the back-porch steps, only meaning to have a short walk, maybe over to Inman Park. But we were immediately greeted by an unfamiliar orange girl cat, and we stopped in the driveway to pet her and say hi, as she was very friendly and vocal. Then, suddenly, she turned and pounced something in the grass. Moments later, she had a small snake in her mouth. When she dropped it, we shooed her away. It was a young DeKay's brown snake (Storeria dekayi). Worried that the cat had seriously injured it (the snake had flipped over into the "playing dead" position as soon as she dropped it), I scooped it up and brought it inside the house. It seemed fine and very active. DeKay's are the only common snake in our neighborhood; indeed, the only other squamate I've ever seen hereabouts was an Eastern ringnecked snake back in '05. Anyway, we've been talking about keeping one as a pet this year, as they are reported to be extremely low-maintenance herps. So, instead of our walk, we put the snake somewhere safe from Hubero and drove over to Pet Smart on Ponce to get a small tank and a heating pad (where some dork tried to convince us we were in imminent peril, handling a wild snake, and I didn't have the heart to tell him I've worked as a herpetologist; he seemed the sort who lives vicariously through a World of Warcraft character, poor soul). So, for now, we have pet #3, a young Storeria, which shall either be named Edward Drinker Cope (Drinker, for short) or Severus Snake. We haven't yet decided. We're waiting to see if it's going to feed as readily as Dekay's usually eat in captivity (snails, slugs, worms, etc.). If not, we will release it and hope that the cats and crows don't make a meal of the wee beastie. Here are photos, behind the cut (all photos by Spooky):









Because of all the ophidian distraction, it was after 3 p.m. (CaST) before I finally sat down to write, and then there were constant interruptions relating to the busyness of writing. Some very good back and forth with my lit agent, but it didn't help the word count. I did only 893 words on "In View of Nothing," which was the entirety of the section labeled "06. The Train." Also, the bit to be written yesterday required research into guns and maglev and metallurgy, as well as Greek and Turkish geography, all of which slowed me down. I hope to do 1,500 words today. I really need to finish this piece by Monday (the 12th), and I'm losing tomorrow, as we've promised to have a movie day with Byron.

As for last night, Spooky and I set out to have the nerdiest evening possible, playing two games of Scrabble while simultaneously watching four Sherlock Holmes films on TCM: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), The Woman in Green (1945), Terror by Night (1946), and Dressed to Kill (1946). The last of the four is my favourite of the bunch — mostly because Patricia Morison makes such a delightful femme fatale — though none of them are in the same class as Rathbone and Bruce's first two Holmes/Watson outings, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939). It also occurred to me that Basil Rathbone has a certain resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, and I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to see Eccleston play Holmes.

Okay, If I am to get a walk in today, I must sign off. Is that a gorgeous little snake or what?

LJ Postscript (1:41 p.m.) — Robert Thompson of "Fantasy Book Critic" has posted a very positive new review of Daughter of Hounds over at species_of_one. Have a look.

Comments

( 36 comments — Have your say! )
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dyfferent
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
He's very pretty! I love the Loch Ness Monster shadow he's casting in the middle picture. Also, the pin oak leaf makes me homesick.
edwarddain
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
It is a quite attractive beast!

I have to say that Jeremy Brett as Holmes really captured my loyalty despite a warm spot in my heart for dear Basil...
mb2u
Mar. 9th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
I have to say that Jeremy Brett as Holmes really captured my loyalty despite a warm spot in my heart for dear Basil...

I'll second this. I thought he totally captured Holmes....
scarletboi
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Such a cute little guy! He looks very friendly.

Eccleston would make a great Holmes, I agree... Holmes was, I think, my second male crush. (The first being Atreyu in Neverending Story.) I'm rereading a bunch of Doyle's stories right now, thanks to Neil's "A Study in Emerald" being in Fragile Things.

Also, I saw 300 on Monday. If you get a chance, you should go see it. It is beautifully shot, and a very, very strongly written movie. I think it succeeds on a number of levels that Sin City didn't. Not to say that Sin City wasn't well done, it was. But 300 is a bit more effective, I think.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
If you get a chance, you should go see it.

The plan is to see it with Byron tomorrow evening.
ladyeuthanasia
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)

MmmmMMMMbbaaaaaybeee snake! :D Squeeee!

::fiercely resisting expressing full blown Gidget Fit in journal::

Um, seriously, the first pic belongs on CuteOverload.
mellawyrden
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
What a pretty snake.. Best of luck with him/her.

and ~YES~ to your thoughts about Christopher Eccleston!

I vote for Severus.
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The snake has that same look in its eye, commanding: "READ!!"
smu
Mar. 8th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Aw. He's adorable. Like I want to give him a hug.
mlle_rouge
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
What a gorgeous little one! And I vote for Severus Snake, definitely.
stillsostrange
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Aww. He(sheit) is gorgeous.
niamh_sage
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about snakes, but that one is beautiful. I hope it settles in well!
sovay
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
So, for now, we have pet #3, a young Storeria, which shall either be named Edward Drinker Cope (Drinker, for short) or Severus Snake. We haven't yet decided.

That is a gorgeous little snake. He looks like a Severus to me, but I have a soft spot for classical names.

It also occurred to me that Basil Rathbone has a certain resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, and I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to see Eccleston play Holmes.

I'd watch that.
sclerotic_rings
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
I vote for "Drinker": the snake has his look all over it. (I'm presuming that you haven't sexed it yet: I know nothing about DeKay's snakes, so I definitely want regular updates as to its status and habits.) Sadly, I'm not all that surprised by the response from the PetSmart guy: when it comes to reptile supplies, I shun PetSmart, mostly because of the incredible ignorance of the people manning the reptile section. Of course, it's not any better anywhere else: the only Petco employee I knew who honestly enjoyed manning the reptiles section quit to take a job at the Dallas Zoo for better pay and less customer abuse, and I couldn't blame her in the slightest.
humglum
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
This particular idiot is the same one who sold us Chiana. He acted like we were trying to buy a rabid squirrel, or something. "Are you sure?" "They tend to bite."
I saw him a few weeks later, while I was browsing the rodent supplies. He didn't remember me but asked "what kind of critter" I had and I told him we have a winter white dwarf. He wanted to know how it was going, and I said she got tame really fast and only ever gently nipped to taste my fingers if I smelled like food. He acted surprised and said "occasionally" they get a good one because they tend to be mean.

Yeah. Whatever.

As for Drinker. It appears to have eaten a small snail. I got a tiny slug, small earthworm and another snail from outside, all of which are residing on a plastic lid with some moss and dirt so they won't expire. Hopefully Drinker will snack again soon.
(no subject) - sclerotic_rings - Mar. 8th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Mar. 8th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - txtriffidranch - Mar. 8th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Mar. 9th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand
phaedrine
Mar. 8th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's darling! I think Drinker would be a nifty name. He looks like a Drinker.
cause_catyljan
Mar. 8th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
He's very attractive. Love the inquisitive look on his face in the first one. Definitely found the right place to hole up in...
stsisyphus
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, (s)heit's freaking cute. I hate calling things cute. But Drinker is freaking cute. I nearly gushed.

I'm all about some Drinker. There's probably any number of snake names derived from the Potter novels. "Drinker" gives any serpent added distinction and dignity.
broknmirrorgirl
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
i never thought i would use the word cute to describe a snake, but he is indeed just that.

i always feel a little crazy leaving comments here because i have such admiration for you, but i wanted you to know that i received alabaster in the mail yesterday and it was one of the first times i've really smiled since monday - when my house was broken into and my ibook which contains everything i've written or worked on creatively in the last year was stolen. so i guess i wanted to say thank you for being who you are and doing what you do.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 8th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
but i wanted you to know that i received alabaster in the mail yesterday and it was one of the first times i've really smiled since monday - when my house was broken into and my ibook which contains everything i've written or worked on creatively in the last year was stolen. so i guess i wanted to say thank you for being who you are and doing what you do.

You're very welcome, and I am so sorry to hear of the break-in and the iBook theft, having just been through that shit ourselves. May the days ahead be kinder.
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( 36 comments — Have your say! )