"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

new house residents

I went out to wheel our trash and recycling to the curb this morning (yay for living somewhere that does not actually charge you to recycle… aside from the higher property and income taxes, of course), and was confronted with these guys, one chilling under each can: 



No idea what either is (aside from “snake”), and by the time I had secured a better camera than my phone, both had slithered off into the wilds.  Neither could have been more than 8-9” long. 

Aside from that, my whole morning was spent installing this: 


Given that my gun safe, unloaded, weighs twice as much as an average refrigerator already, and given that those trusses are spaced at 20” (which is a bit farther than I am used to), I figured that extra pylon would not hurt so much.  Unfortunately that massive concrete block pier is for the stairwell / second story, and the two trusses that support the safe have absolutely no useful interaction with it at all.  Thankfully, neither the footer for the jack nor the jack itself touches either the sewage drain line or the return vent around it… 

Cannot say as though I enjoyed working in a space all of 3.5 feet tall, though. 

8 comments to new house residents

  • Brown Snakes, I think. Storeria Dekayi Dekayi. They used to be called DeKay’s Snake when I was a child. They vary widely in coloration, from drab like the ones you have to checkerboard like Garter Snakes. Non-venomous. In fact, in the Raleigh area probably the only venomous snakes you’ll encounter are the Copperhead and the Cottonmouth, (if you are around water a lot).

  • I had to use a series of jacks under the first house I bought. It was situated on a hill and heavy rains had the foundation shifting. So many 18X18 pavers and solid concrete blocks to give the jacks a base, then jack up the house and build new pillars, so my house would continue to slide down the hill. Not fun, although I had about a 4 foot crawl space, not quite as short as yours :)

  • Always good to have an engineer around.

  • @ Robert Evans: Good to know they were not anything terribly interested. At their size and relative lack of distinguishing “no touchie” marks, I figured they would only be a threat to our massive staff of frogs.

    @ Mark: Hm. It is no small cost, granted, but if you were constantly having to redo and adjust the jacks, I think I might have considered either a different house or a new foundation complete with piers to bedrock…

    @ Fill Yer Hands: Assuming I got the measurements right, of course. If not, that jack might be holding up a toilet.

  • Man, when did Linoge move to NC? Welcome, welcome!

    Those are brown snakes, I think, as Robert said. See here:

  • About a month ago now, and, yup, those look like the guys.

  • MPH

    I can’t add more to the snake IDs, except for this general rule: Here in the USA, ALL venomous snakes except the coral snake have distinctly triangular heads, the nonvenomous ones have rectangular heads (with a slight taper). The coral snake’s venom fangs are in the back of its mouth, making it dangerous only if you’re barefoot (although if it does manage to inject venom, its a neurotoxin, so it’s over for you), so avoid any snake with red, yellow, and black bands (and don’t even try to recall the little ditty that allows you to tell a coral snake from a king snake, which has the same colors in a different order, but is nonvenomous).

    Of course, being bitten by a nonvenomous snake will still hurt, run the risk of infection, etc.

    And whatever you do, don’t mistake an indigo snake for a water moccasin/cotton mouth. Their top colors are similar, although the indigo will have two yellow/orangish patches on the bottom sides of its jaw. The indigo’s head is distinctly rectangular, they eat mice, rats, and other snakes (apparently being immune to all snake venom), are amazingly unafraid of people and unaggressive towards them (a coworker of mine in FL caught one in the parking lot at lunch and brought it in and paraded it around all afternoon without incident), and they’re on the endangered species list. Even if you’re hyper afraid of snakes, an indigo is one you want to hang around.

  • Honestly, I generally shy away from killing things unless I know for certain that it is destructive / dangerous – hence the post here :). The flora and fauna east of the Appalachians is a little different than the stuff west, and we are not entirely familiar with it all yet. That said, I will try to keep all of this in mind, especially with some… “recovered”… wetlands not too far from our current house.

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