Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


my hands and forearms feel muscle bound from all the gardening I've been doing.  i'm a wimp, but seriously - i think i did alot - on sunday especially.  i cleared a small hilly area of most of its iceplant.  i stopped short of finishing because my hands had no strength left.  the roots were large and strong - and boy, was it wet and slippery!  and heavy. 

beneath the iceplant i found LOTS of bugs, insects - and baby snakes.  at first i thought they were worms, except they were black rather than gray, a little slimmer than earthworms and upon closer look (with glasses) - they had heads.  i watched one 3 inch long shiny black thing slither away and knew by its movement that it was not an earthworm.  all the others looked dead.  they did not move.  Boyd told me that if it was too cold they would not move - and yeah, it was in the 60's, so i guess they were sleeping.  i tossed them out of harm's way and they were under a rosebush when i left them on sunday.  boyd said they were probably king snakes.

i have to be honest with you - the only reason i handled them is because i had on gloves.  i hate snakes.  they give me the creeps.  when i was a little girl - about 4 or 5 i think - a little boy put a snake down the back of my shirt and smashed it.  yeah.  it is one of the major gross outs in my memory bank.  i have a few snake stories there, but the smashed snake is the creepiest.

when i was in the 11th grade my friend Tracy and I would play hookey sometimes.  Once we went hiking in the hills behind her house.  It was a fairly isolated area with lots of tall dried grasses and weeds and an occasional oak tree.  Tracy was the trail blazer as we walked along talking and singing.  I looked at my feet most of the time, to be sure of my footing...Tracy just looked out at the world with confidence and gusto...and then she stepped over a mound of gray and brown and gold swirl of reptile about 1 foot across.  I stopped two feet in front of it.  I could not move.  The rattlesnake was about three inches wide in much of its body, which was coiled around itself with its head lying on top - looking at me.  I screamed and cried and could not get my legs to move.  My arms were moving plenty - flailing hysterically while I bawled like a baby in fear.  It is the only time I've ever experienced that.  eventually i got myself to slowly move in a wide circle around the snake and no harm was done.   we were across the valley from tracy's house and her mom was watching us.  she thought we were dancing and having fun.  we were being punished for skipping school.

Tracy fell in love with a guy who kept snakes.  Yeah.  Big pythons and boa constrictors.   Tony was a weight lifter, so to him the weight of the 20 foot python and a 12 foot were not a big deal.  But when those snakes got loose in the house, and Tony was not there - it was a problem.  One time Tracy and I were house sitting and snake sitting.  Her parents house - and the snakes were brought over because Tony was gone for some reason.  One night when Tracy was gone and I was in bed trying to go to sleep the snakes got loose.  I did not know it at the time, but I heard a strange sound in the night that in retrospect I believe was the snakes moving along the carpet.  I did not get up and I don't know what they did that night, but we could not find them the next day.  We went out during the day and returned that evening to find Tracy's room a mess.  The things on the bookshelves had been knocked off.  Some heavy stuff fell on some delicate stuff.  We assumed the snakes were exploring and knocked things over.  We still could not find them.  We thought maybe they'd gone down the plumbing and called the water company to see what they thought we should do.  There was nothing to do about it.  When Tracy's parent returned from their vacation and they were putting away their clothes - Tracy's Mom found Samantha, 20 foot python, curled up on her closet shelf.  the boa was in a corner behind the clothes.  Yeah.  Mrs. Weston was cool screaming.

My last personal experience was with a rattlesnake in a house we were moving into.  Everyone was moving things out of the trailer and into the house.  The house was in Big Creek - which bordered ton the National Forest - full of wildlife.  Well, in my usual way, I impatiently found a quicker way around the line of slower moving folks and jumped down a gully type area to bypass the crowd.  I wanted to move faster than the crowd did.  I jumped down and I heard a hissing sound - like a tire was losing air fast.  I was carrying a piece of plexiglass in my right hand and it was in front of my leg.  Thank God.  Boyd told me to be still and look around.  there was a rattlesnake near my right foot - between the plexiglass and the corner of the house.  it was hissing at me - rattling it tail and sticking out its tongue, ready to strike.  I immediately began trying to get out of the little ditch and I could not quite get out.  I began jumping and Boyd said I looked like a cartoon character.  Eventually I got out and Boyd killed the snake.  He put the snake head in a sealed can in the garbage.  Apparently they are still poisonous even when they are dead.  Its body wriggled until sometime after dark.  That was about 14 years ago.  Still gives me the creeps.

So, anyway - had the snakes I found been larger and awake, and I did not have leather gloves on - I'm sure I would have run screaming for protection in Boyd's arms.  I'm kind of a baby about it, but I think I have good reason to be.

1 comment:

  1. One more thing...the rattlesnake that Tracy and I encountered must have been either sleeping (it was February) or it was dead. It never moved.