Earlier in the day I was outside chatting with Cappy on the phone and pulling weeds in the garden, listening to the birds chirping, and over the tall fence, the quiet hum of Miss Annie, our lovely neighbor could be heard visiting with some guests. As I reached over Pourkey the Pig (our watering can) for something, I spied a large lizard scurry by just as something brushed the underside of my wrist. I shrieked, thinking a snake had got me. I don't have a clue as to why I thought it might be a snake, because right in my line of vision had been the lizard. I became aware of the sudden silence from across the fence, and fearing that I had startled Miss Annie and her guest, I quickly started laughing and explaining loudly to Cappy (he had been startled, too) about why I had yelled and followed it up with, "Silly me".
I guess when it comes to reptiles I get 'creeped out' too easily. I remember when I first moved down here, I had spied an HUGE snake peeking out of a concrete hole near the patio. He just sat there motionless, looking at me...he was HUGE, I tell you, for a snake. I had almost stepped on him...screamed and started flailing my arms..."Snake!!!!" I wasn't used to these great big South Louisiana SNAKES!!! He was slimey, green skinned and warty. It took another day for that to to sink in...warty??? The next day I looked him up and saw that he was a toad or frog who had set up shop under the concrete and was just sitting there with his head out his 'window' waiting for his lunch time 'customers', I suppose. Still, I wasn't used to smart aleck frogs like that, either. Every time I had to go into his territory, I'd step gingerly. If he hadda been a snake he might have bitten me.
I did occasionally see a couple of garter snakes around the patio, but kept one eye on 'em as I did whatever it was I was doing. I didn't bother with them, and hoped they ate mosquitoes.
I've laughed at the Bill Dance youtube video, where this avid fisherman filmed his show, talking all know-it-all like and had a big snake fall into his boat. (The link won't post here, but type in the youtube search screen Bill Dance+snake...you'll find it.)
Other than that, I haven't given snakes much of a thought lately until last year, when what they think was a cotton mouth snake killed the dog right in the neighbor's yard behind our house. That's the dog they kept a no-barking collar on. Poor dog couldn't let anybody know he was in distress. He was a nice big dog, too. Sonia had come across the street to let us know about it, and to tell us to keep an eye out for this kind of snake. Well, that was last year.
About an hour ago, "the boys"...SparkyBear and MarkyBear started barking like crazy outside near the back door....came in and tried "telling me" that 'Timmy had fallen down the well again" or something. They insisted I go out. I ignored them, because I was in here in the computer room looking for an ecard to put on the Blog here, for Mothers' Day tomorrow. The card I was looking at was some kind of interactive dealy, where I had to be looking down in the deep weeds for flowers or things to click so that whatever I found would pop up and bloom or activate...I was concentrating so hard, but the dogs wouldn't let me finish, so I just up and followed them out to see what the ruckus was all about. Apparently they had another cat or a bunny trapped in the flowerbed way down in the weeds. At one point they actually jumped into the flowerbed in hot pursuit...I couldn't see a thing...it was dark out. Then they ran around to the back flowerbed which is connected to the side bed. Sparky insisted he had it near the cedar bush, while Mark was 'yelling' that he had it right by the back door. They were both about frothing at the mouth, they were so frantic. Mark kept nipping at something and jumping back, so I went in and got a flashlight. I shined it into the tall snakeplant, right onto a BIG Gray SNAKE!!!! I started screaming again, yelling for the dogs to get into the house...NOW!! The phone started ringing so I answered it, still shrieking and hollaring for the dogs to GET IN THE HOUSE...NOW!!! It was Cappy, who heard all the commotion and became immediately concerned. "Calm down, Peg...ya gotta calm down and tell me what's going on!!! Breathhhhh...take a deep breath and tell me". Well, by then I was a mess....a total mess. He said it wouldn't bite unless it was cornered and coiled. I wailed, "It IS...BOTH". I managed to get us all into the house, and the door slammed, without us getting bitten. Cappy asked what it looked like so I told him it was about two inches thick and it was gray and scaled, kinda looking like a car tire. He said it could be a cotton mouth, by the sounds of it, so I came in and Googled "South Louisiana cotton mouth". A big picture of the beast I had just seen right by the back door, jumped right out at me on our computer screen....I screamed, "There it IS!!!" Cappy, on the phone, "Didn't you close the door????How did he get in????" I was in full panic mode, thinking that outside there in the dark he might have moved and hidden again, only to come out some other night to 'surprise' us/bite us, or sneak in the dog door at while we were all asleep. I mean, you hear all kinds of things, like snakes coming up outa the toilet....OH GADS!!!!!!!!!!! Cappy couldn't mollify me, so he called Sam. Sam and his son, Stan came right over and after chasing the slithery villain through the flowerbeds, GOT 'im. My heroes. He was about three feet long til they cut him into about three pieces and laid him out on the lawn near the front of the house. Where he still is. The super heroes fled before I could properly thank them...I was shaking and shuddering so badly that I could hardly talk, which made Sam laugh at the silly sight of me. Sighhh. Thank God for friends who will drop what they are doing and run across town to rescue a friend. Pictures Sam and of Louise and their son, Stan...she didn't come out tonight...smart girl!
Now Cappy tells me I'm going to have to put on my big girl panties and go out with a shovel and carry the dead rascal to the garbage can and dump him in.
Actually, tomorrow is Sunday...Sundays are the days that some of the younger neighbor kids love to come and pick at our dogs. Today a group of them rode up on bikes and four wheelers, stopped at our driveway and hollared for them to come out. MarkyBear does NOT like little children and lets them know it, much to their delight, because as much of a show as he puts on, they know he can't get them. I've found candy and "stuff" that they've thrown for the dogs strewn along the yard and driveway. I can hardly wait to see the looks on their faces when they spy the Mothers' Day "treat" we have waiting for them.
Now, the dogs had to potty a few minutes ago. I didn't see any snake, dead or alive, in one long piece or three shorter pieces. Uh oh...hmmmm.
Oh, but Sam said that the snake is not a cotton mouth, but a black water snake. What's a water snake doing in our dry flowerbed?? I hope he doesn't have 'kin' out there lurking in the weeds. If I was up to it right now, I'd 'google' cotton mouth snakes and black water snakes to compare and contrast their appearances, not to make that mistake again. But I just can't...I'm still shuddering thinking about it. Silly me.