It’s a low-velocity plastic pellet gun, which she uses to scare Red-Wing Blackbirds and Grackles away from the bird feeders. Whenever she hits one – rarely – the pellet is just fast enough to ruffle the bird’s feathers. They fly away screaming “fowl” epithets in her general direction, only to return later, crap on our picnic table and then empty the bird feeders when she’s not watching. It’s a no-win situation.
Meanwhile, we were eating dinner, a Blue Jay feeding at the edge of the lawn, hopped to the edge of a drop-off behind our trailer, quickly took a startled jump backwards, hopped forward, and jumped backwards again. This happened three or four times before it flew away to the trees in the marsh.
I wandered over to the edge of the lawn to see what startled the bird and as I suspected…
…it was a snake, a little Brown Snake: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-61198–,00.html.