April 13th, 2011
It’s springtime in Texas and the highways are awash in the blue and white of our State Flower, peppered with the occasional red of Indian Paintbrush making an early debut.
So after shows for a school in Katy on Friday, it’s a quick trip back North to head East to Wills Point on Saturday for my second annual appearance at the Bluebird Festival, shows at 11 and 1 on the main stage. It’s a fun little festival in a fun little East Texas town, and it’ll give me a chance to refill my 5 gal glass carboys on the way back at the Artesian well West of Canton – with pristine drinking water that predates chlorine, fluoride, pesticides and fertilizers.
While smaller snakes often fall prey to Bluebirds, Texas Rat Snakes would represent the next step up on the food chain. It’s the circle of life, folks. Good news is, here in Texas, if the snake is way up in the trees going after the birds, it’s not venomous. No tree vipers here.
Snakes get the blues when they are nearing shedding time. The outer layer becomes cloudy, which obscures the color and pattern of the snake. Only the otherwise clear scale covering each eye makes the hue easily identifiable, and it’s usually best described as a pale shade of blue. It tends to make many of them irritable at this time, as their already less than impressive eyesight becomes far worse, until just before the actual time to begin climbing out of their skin as if it were a big tube sock. The outer layer goes clear, having separated from the layer below sufficiently to shed, which also happens to make it easier to find appropriate surfaces against and between which to maneuver to complete the process.