The King Snake’s (Really) Bad Day…


California king snakes—a good thing. These non-venomous constrictors are found throughout California and the west. They play an important role in the eco-system by controlling rodent and frog populations and killing rattlesnakes. They are popular pet reptiles because they are attractive, easy to care for and can be tamed.

Pump motors—also a good thing. They keep wells working, fountains flowing, irrigation systems sprinkling, and spa and pool water circulating.

Snake crawling into a pump motor—not a good thing. For either one.

IMG_00000035Cause of this motor malfunction was obvious. Unfortunately, this 3-foot-long mountain king snake met its doom inside. We were able to fix the motor, but not the snake.

(Apologies to ophiophilists for the sad pics…)

Intact king snake photo by Mark Kenderdine.

IMG_00000034Motor Haiku 19

curious king snake
pumps and reptiles do not mix
wish we could fix you

Of Mice and Merlot

The Crusher

The Crusher

This was one of the fun jobs that came in last fall—a wooden grape crusher from a local winery. Was working fine when it went into storage after last year’s harvest, but now the motor wasn’t working at all. But we had a clue: “When I went to move it from storage, a mouse ran out.”


The Culprit

Sure enough, the mouse had chewed through some of the wiring. Rewired the motor, and this neat old machine lived to crush another day.

In keeping with the harvest theme, that same week we repaired a cider press for Mountain Feed and Farm—one of finest farm, garden and homesteading stores you’ll find anywhere—just in time for their Preserve the Harvest Festival.

grapecrusher2Motor Haiku 23

pick the ripe red orbs
wine making waits for no mouse
grape crusher restored