You Dropped Something

Router-snake used to live on my T-1 router in the basement; it was nice and warm. Now I believe it lives under the freezer chest, so it’s no longer router-snake; it’s just generic “basement snake.”

Yesterday morning, this was lying in the yard right by the front door steps. The snake was a typical black rat snake.

About 5 feet long – a fine fellow indeed.

One of my favorite things about snake-molts is the eye covers: they have these built-in beautiful portholes, which are also discarded along with the rest of the skin.

I have mushrooms. Where’s the badger?


  1. sonofrojblake says

    Sadly snake-molts are not robust enough to be used in that way. Eddie, my rescue Mexican milk snake, has left me enough to weave perhaps a small tablecloth over the years… but it would have crisped and turned to dust like (SPOILERS) half the characters at the end of Infinity War. You want to make something from snakeskin, you have to take it from the snake while they’re still using it, unfortunately.

  2. says

    I did not save it. I used to keep a box full of router-snake’s molts and offered them to various teachers and people with kids, most of whom said “eeeew!”

    So I decided that I had enough and tossed them.

    If anyone here wants a molt let me know and I’ll set one aside if I get a good one.

    Unrelated: the baby deer have mostly been hatched, so there were 2 in my yard enjoying the fresh-mown grass (with chunks of snake molt for protein!) they are super adorbs. No good pictures – they are really hard to spot until they bolt, and then you just get a wobbly baby deer butt.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t understand your “basement”.
    Mine is accessible to megafauna by the stairway beside the kitchen.
    There are plenty of breaches in the below-ground perimeter but not for anything larger than a spider.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    wait …
    we always have a few mice in the Autumn.
    I don’t know how they get in.

  5. says

    My basement is a hand dug stone-walled basement that originally had a dirt floor that was “finished” by being soaked with used motor oil. The house was built in 1810 and “renovated” in 1905, then 1970, and again in 2004. When I got it, I had a layer of dirt hauled out and 6” of concrete floated. It’s not bad now compared to what it used to be…

    Like most farmhouses of the period, it’s dug into a slope on one side, so there is less stone needed; the leeward side of the house is big hemlock beams on the foundation. The walls are wood, with lath and plaster, with tar paper outside, and wood siding over that dating to (?? 1900) in the 1920s someone insulated the walls with newspaper. In the 1950s someone put asphalt/abestos/who knows what shingles over the wood siding. And in 2004 I put vinyl siding and steel roof over THAT. So, the archaelogy of my basement is interesting. There are many generations of mice and snakes that have lived there.

    The septic tank turns out to be an old Ford car that someone buried (about 30 feet from the well) around about 1910. Need I mention that it’s not up to code? So if I have anything done to it, I’ll have to have the whole thing dug up and hauled away.

    Quaint, I got lots of it.

    There are 2 doors in the basement and a couple windows but one piece under the porch is the 1900s wood siding wall. Snakes appear to follow the mice in through whatever microscopic holes they use.

    Mice do spontaneous generation. If you leave a pile of old socks in your basement it will turn into mice. And the mice invite snakes.
    Also, ball point pens turn into coathangers and mate with the extra socks, which is why there are always one or two orphan socks that haven’t turned into coathangers, yet. In my house it appears as though the coathangers coalesce into napoleonic hussar’s uniforms, so I don’t mind.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    What weapons do you carry when you venture into your “basement”?
    What armour?

  7. says

    I carry my +5 Katana Of Insouciance and wear my +2 (with the Spell of Blithering, which gives +200 health) Shield Of Privilege.

    Seriously, though, my attitude appears to be “it’s MINE so why worry?”

    I did “eek” the time router-snake was napping on top of the dryer and I didn’t notice it until I went to load the thing and it did a big threat-display to let me know it was there. My rational brain knows that a Black Rat snake is harmless to a human, but my instinctive response to a snake’s threat display involves jumping back fast and hitting my head on a beam.

  8. lorn says

    I keep snakes. Rat snakes as a matter of fact. Lovely creatures. Gentle, quiet, very tamable if you handle them regularly. I had a wild-caught 5′ yellow, estimated at 5 years old when caught, that was perfectly content to be picked up and handled after only a day or two. It would let you know it was annoyed by vibrating its tail and, when really miffed, musking. Gentleness, patience, and regular feeding lets them know you’re not going to hurt them. A large mouse about every week or ten days, a dish of fresh water, a variety of hides, and a warm place in winter is a vacation compared to their normal lives of irregular feedings and dodging snake-eating predators. I take them on walks. Well cared for they can live to 17 years in captivity.

    Mine are house-broken. I put them down on a lawn and they poop in the grass. Saves wear and tear on enclosures.

    I gave a friend a molted skin and she used it in her art as a stamp with ink and paint. The scale pattern makes a striking effect. I was thinking that the molt might be reproduced in a more durable substance, perhaps silicone rubber. That could be used to print acid, or resist, onto steel. A snake skin effect would certainly make for a distinctive blade. Perhaps a pattern for a non-slip handle.

    Just a thought.

  9. jazzlet says

    Chigau mice can get through a gap the size of the end of a pencil, it’s quite difficult to make places they can’t get into.

  10. says

    Chigau mice can get through a gap the size of the end of a pencil, it’s quite difficult to make places they can’t get into.

    In some version of the universe, that is controlled by the Coen brothers, you can picture me buying a thousand pencil erasers and running around my basement hammering them into holes.