Sunday, July 31, 2011


This morning I did some trimming on the two wisteria vines that have grown wild and wooly in the heat of summer when most things are just barely surviving.  After that I moved on to deadhead the blooms on the two butterfly bushes and managed to come up with quite a few clippings.  As I made my first trip to the back of the yard to pour out my bag of clippings I was thinking about how hot and dry everything was and fully aware that it seemed like a good time to see a snake. 

On my second trip to the back of the yard, with my husband weed eating nearby, I was still cautious about where I stepped and keeping an eye out for any passing critters.  After emptying my bag of clippings and starting back I suddenly realized that somewhere in my field of vision I had spied a snake.  I stopped immediately and scanned the grass until I saw him again.  He was watching me too, with his head lifted for a better view.  He was directly in front of me in the grass... about four feet from where I stood.  As I stood there frozen in my tracks I realized that standing still with my arms at my side I could feel the pulse in the back of my head, where the base of my skull meets my neck.  I felt chills run down my spine. 

I waved my arms as my husband looked up and pointed at the ground and mouthed the word "SSSSNNNNAAAKKE" slowly and deliberately.  He started walking towards me saying, "What"?  Thinking that I was pointing into the bag where I collect my clippings.  Finally I realized he wasn't getting it and just put both hands up, palms towards him and said, "STOP".  He did... then cut off the weed eater and said, what is it?  I said, A snake right there... it's tail approximately a foot and a half from where he stood. 

I think it was probably a rat snake.  Because it looked a lot like a much larger one we saw a few years back that was correctly identified by a coworker's sister who works at our local zoo. 

Rat Snake - A very old, very happy Rat Snake... so they tell me!

Approximately 6 ft. in length

Baby snake in our pool skimmer - YIKES!

I didn't get a photo of the one today... but to me... a snake, is a snake, is a snake!  Sweet hubby used the weed eater to encourage the snake back toward the woods at the back of our yard.  At one point it became intimidated, coiled and struck back at the weed eater.  Even though I'm sure it wasn't poisonous... it was quite intimidating!  He kept encouraging it to go away and it finally did... until it got to a tree, where it promptly and effortlessly climbed the tree.  How is that even possible?  It seemed as easy as slithering across the ground.  Amazing!  Hubby put down the weed eater, grabbed a long, straight limb that he uses for other purposes in the yard and got it out of the tree and walked it to the woods.

No matter how many snakes I see.  No matter of their lenght or girth.  No matter whether they're poisonous or harmless.  They still freak me out!  As you can imagine... my gardening for the day was done.  It's too darn hot to do much anyway!  Are you buying that excuse? It's good enough for me!

Stay cool and hydrated... and I hope to see you in the garden... unless you're a snake!


  1. I was raised in a country that has only three species of snake, and I would be brave enough to say non of them would be in populated area, always the forest.
    There was a snake albeit a small one at my pond last year, he left, but I still spend time looking for him whenever I'm in the area.
    You got a great picture of your visitors.

  2. I always consider it good luck to see a snake in my yard-and I never see them:( Only once did I see a large rat snake and I turned around and headed away from it. It disappeared on its own and hasn't been back since. Sorry you had such a bad experience.

  3. Wow Tina... I suppose it's all in how you look at the situation. Snake in the yard = good. Snake in the house or car = not good.

    I suppose they do have their good points... like keeping down the small critters... but if it's all the same to you - I'd rather have a cat! :)


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