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Very much alive. I'm in a rural area, so it's pretty common. I think snakes actually enter through the walls. There's a big gap around the dryer vent in this house.

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Just one snake, and those rafters are 16" apart. As for why he's there and how he arrived, what I know about snakes wouldn't fill a thimble.

The photo WAS a big hit during the talk-through with the client. The realtor said, "That's not a snake." I told it indeed was. She took a closer look and said, "Oh, my God. That IS a snake."

ahahahaha.

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Cool. I wanna find a snake.

I have to settle for realtors.

Tell me again, what is the difference?[^]

A snake will strike only to feed itself or to protect itself.

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Ah. That reminds me of the day we came home to watch two black snakes, about six feet or so each, literally climb right up the trunk of a huge oak tree to drop onto our lower roof and disappear into our home. We lived in a 100 year old solid stone masonry Quaker farm house. (Two front doors side by side). It was also in a rural area. Our driveway alone was about 3/4 of a mile long. The closest home to us was about two miles away. The only other structure near us was a very old abandoned milking parlor made of cement blocks faced to the inside with ceramic tile.

The stone walls of our home were about 24" thick at the cellar level. Plaster was applied directly to the inside of the stone. It was a masterpiece of a home.

We'd been living with those snakes for a couple years and never knew it. Of course, it suddenly made perfect sense that we had never had a rodent problem.

On a bit of a side note, I've tracked down and photographed a lot of wildlife, and found black snakes to be really interesting characters in the wild - tough hombres. Most snakes will kinda play opossum when you come up on them (just hoping to blend in with their surroundings by not moving), but not a full grown black snake. They won't charge you, but they won't back down either, if you close in on them. I've seen them raise up like a cobra and hiss. Their the true athlete of snakes - very quick and agile. I've heard, but not seen, that they'll even eat venomous snakes, which wouldn't surprise me after seeing them in close action. They'll get the hairs on you standing on end once your locked in on each other.

I've been as close as you one dares to rattlesnakes and cotton mouths, and they never get me as jumpy as a black snake will. You never know what those suckers will do, so you have to be alert. I only know all of this because they're kinda hard to photograph, because they rarely stay put. You have to keep blocking their way in order for them to finally stop and oblige you some snap shot. Of course by then they're moving into offensive mode.

Last season one really surprised me - so much so I had to go home and google what it did to be sure it was a black snake. It rattled it's tail in the leaves just like a rattlesnake. I couldn't believe it.

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Ah. That reminds me of the day we came home to watch two black snakes, about six feet or so each, literlly go right up the trunk of a huge oak tree to drop onto our lower roof and disappear into our home. We lived in a 100 year old solid stone masonry Quaker farm house. (Two front doors side by side). It too was in a rural area and our driveway alone was about 3/4 of a mile long. The closest home to us was about two miles away. The only other structure near us was a very old abandoned milking parlor made of cement blocks faced to the inside with ceramic tile.

The stone walls of our home were about 24" thick at the cellar level. Plaster was applied directlyto the inside of the stone. It was a masterpiece of a home.

We'd been living with those snakes for a couple years and never knew it. Of course, it suddenly made perfec sense that we had never had a rodent problem.

On a bit of a side note, I've tracked down and photographed a lot of wildlife and found black snakes to be really interesting characters in the wild - tough hombres. Most snakes will kinda play opossum when you come up on them but not a full grown black snake. They won't charge you, but they won't back down either. I've seen them raise up like a cobra and hiss. Last season one really surprised me - so much so I had to go home and google what it di to be sure it was a black snake. It rattled it's tail in the leaves just like a rattlesnake. I couldn't believe it.

I had one in the backyard of my previous home, which sat on almost 3 acres. He did the same tail rattling move at times. I would see him often at various times, including almost every time I mowed the yard. When I got near him, he would take off quickly. As I made the big circuit and got back again, I would often find him right back where he was originally. I thought that we had an understanding, and I thought it worked out well. Unfortunately, my neighbor with an irrational fear of snakes dispatched him one day. Prior to that time, he paid a visit to the deck just off the back of my office. To give you an idea of his size, those are 2 x 6 floor boards.

Lastly, I have never seen a live snake in an attic, but I have seen more shed skins than I can count.

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Our gopher snakes do the tail rattle thing too. They're really good at getting their tails into dry leaves and vibrating them back & forth to make a fair approximation of a rattlesnake noise.

I carry a pillowcase in my car at all times so that I can adopt the snakes that I see by the side of the road all summer. I bring them home & release them in my garden or under my front porch. (We have serious rodent issues out here.) So my snakes get to know me pretty well.

When I prepped my garden beds this spring, I found 2 gopher snakes, 4 mole snakes, 6 garters, & one that I couldn't identify. Snakes are always welcome at my house.

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I respect the part in the ecosystem snakes play but I'm not a fan. I'd rather run one over than worry about crossing paths again. Sort of the way I feel about cats without the respect thing.

Having said that, the wife is good with reptiles of all sorts.................

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A client brought this little guy over and offered to give it to us. He was parring down on the pets to attempt to gain custody of his daughter.

I'd bartered services with him as he worked his way through the report. His wife is a groomer and would groom my poodles. Anyone ever seen a standard poodle that looked like she was wearing a set of overalls. Naw...that one was on her poodle. I kept mine to a basic cut but I did let the little poodle (I call him stupid dog) sport a red Mohawk for thanksgiving.

The last word....stirfry. [:-monkeyd

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MGB, they were just going to patrol your attic and gobble up any flying squirrels and/or bats that might have gotten in.

A potter I know says his studio gets a regular ratsnake patrol, as he sees them passing thru now and then thru the open ceiling/rafter structure.

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We see a lot of that down here too. It gave way to off-center doors in the early 19th century. Never had an explanation for it until now.

Marc

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I live in a little cotton town by the railroad track. Some houses adjacent to the line have wings added that have their own exterior door but no interior connection. It was called a railroad room, and was available for rent to railroad workers.

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"...using one door for daily, domestic use while reserving the other for formal functions and receiving guests. One door usually opens into the "keeping room," where cooking and other domestic functions occurred, and the other opens to a more formal parlor."

This was the explanation I got from a woman who was the curator of just such a house turned museum quite a few years ago. Now if I could only recall which one.

I'm not so sure the symmetry thing is plausible. Think about the times. You spent your day from sun up to sun down, tending fields and livestock in every effort to make certain that by the time the growing season was over, you had enough food stored away to make it through the Winter to the next time things would start growing again. Spending time and resources on something as elaborate, for the time..., as a door, just for symmetry, doesn't sound like something someone who lived in such a meager house would do. Think about the resources. Hinges, a doorknob & lockset were pretty elaborate and expensive things. Even a raised panel door, full of hand cut mortise and tenon joints was seriously time consuming, especially compared to another 2.5 - 3 feet of lath & plaster. It just strikes me as being equivalent to me, paving the entire 150' up the side of the mountain to my house, three times wider than normal with 12' retaining walls, just so I could make a u-turn anywhere in my driveway I wanted to.

Another conversation I had with the curator of Paul Revere's Grandson's house, concerning the receiving of guests, supports the "Formal entry" theory also.

But then again, I know the symmetry thing would make me nuts.

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I'm not so sure the symmetry thing is plausible. Think about the times. You spent your day from sun up to sun down, tending fields and livestock in every effort to make certain that by the time the growing season was over, you had enough food stored away to make it through the Winter to the next time things would start growing again. Spending time and resources on something as elaborate, for the time..., as a door, just for symmetry, doesn't sound like something someone who lived in such a meager house would do. Think about the resources. Hinges, a doorknob & lockset were pretty elaborate and expensive things. Even a raised panel door, full of hand cut mortise and tenon joints was seriously time consuming, especially compared to another 2.5 - 3 feet of lath & plaster. It just strikes me as being equivalent to me, paving the entire 150' up the side of the mountain to my house, three times wider than normal with 12' retaining walls, just so I could make a u-turn anywhere in my driveway I wanted to.

If what you claim was true, why did they make every other possible effort to meet all the other details for the Georgian period style?

Old-house, bullshit folklore is mostly kept alive by many of the "expert" interpreters and curators of public historic sites and the tourists that believe them. Ask them to show you primary sources for their claims.

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Regarding the two front doors: At the time I was renting from an very elderly Jehovah's Witness (early 1980's). He was probably pushing late 70's or early 80's. He owned two huge farms and raised beef cattle and feed. The way he told it, which is probably more folklore but who knows, was that Quakers always had their friends meetings in their homes in the earliest times - no church. Apparently the meetings would be hosted at different homes. And, apparently men and women did not study, worship or pray together. Men went through one door to do their thing, and the women went in the other door to do their thing. (Apparently Mennonites did this as well.)

I have no idea whatsoever if what I just laid out is true. It's just how the old man explained it to me.

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If what you claim was true, why did they make every other possible effort to meet all the other details for the Georgian period style?

Well, I wasn't there, so I can't say for certain. But my speculation would be that, they were going to have windows anyway... so not really any extra work to arrange them in the "Georgian Way". I'd say the same could be said for most other aspects, such as the walls & roof.

Besides, the line of symmetry could just as easily bisect a single door as run in between two of them, you don't have to have a second door to have symmetry.

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Old-house, bullshit folklore is mostly kept alive by many of the "expert" interpreters and curators of public historic sites and the tourists that believe them. Ask them to show you primary sources for their claims.

Back in the time frame I'm talking about was a period of several years when I was doing a lot of work with the Smithsonian and the National Park Service on sites like the Lincoln home and Civil War museums. These people are a little anal about their research. I'm not talking about the little old retired woman they hire to sit there in costume for a few hours a day, I'm talking professional Conservators and such.

Can I claim the article you posted the link to as a primary source for the formal entry theory? I was agreeing with that part of it... I just don't see the symmetry explanation as having as much merit. The receiving of guests on the other hand was a pretty serious thing back then. Hell, I remember we weren't even allowed in my living room when I was a kid. That was for company.

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Besides, the line of symmetry could just as easily bisect a single door as run in between two of them, you don't have to have a second door to have symmetry.
I think you missed a big point made in the article. Many Quakers, Menonites, etc, seemed to have an aversion to the wasted space of a center hall, which is needed for a single entrance door. The two doors was the method of having facade symmetry without the center hall.
Back in the time frame I'm talking about was a period of several years when I was doing a lot of work with the Smithsonian and the National Park Service on sites like the Lincoln home and Civil War museums.
I'm talking about how the architectural trend started. You're referencing buildings constructed well over a century later. Plenty of time to make stuff up after the original intent was forgotten.

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