Yard Snakes

My son came running into the house after dinner when he was supposed to be on cleanup crew.  He wasn’t making any sense, but he sure was excited about it.  All I could gather was something about a Checker with a snake under the tree.  Since we have an extreme dearth of taxis on our dirt road, antique or otherwise, I assumed that ‘snake’ was the operative word.  I grabbed the camera and ran.  I did have the presence of mind to throw on my flip-flops.  Shoes are an important asset around snakes.

He took us right to where he’d seen it, which is not where I expected it to be anymore.  Surprisingly, it was right where he pointed.  Cool!  The children quickly identified it – not sure how accurately – as a “Yellow Striped Checker Snake, nonpoisonous”  Since it does not have rattles and we realized after poking at it a bit that it would much rather escape than strike, I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s no pit viper.  I never got a look at its face to verify that.  It disappeared under a railroad tie and we went back in the house.  This will have to suffice as evidence of the 5th snake species we’ve found in our yard.

At least I have a photo of the day.

Twelve seconds later, Sonny-Boy was back inside, screaming that it was out in the open.  All I wanted to know was: front door or back door?  He was very efficient with that: Front.  Fabulous.  I love when answers are quick and efficient.  Out I went, just in time to see it disappear under some metal that we all agreed was non-liftable.  This poor serpent has had his fill of harassment today.  Only Sonny-Boy got to see him in his full glory, out in the open.  Why is it the kids always get to see the good stuff, and Mom only gets to see the tracks?

Then again, I’m rather glad that nobody caught it and brought it in as a pet.  I love adventure, wild animals and all the rest.  I love to observe wildlife up close.  And while it is convenient that this one appears to have recently eaten, I still don’t want to bring him in for study, like Big Bro and I would’ve done when we were kids.  We learned an awful lot, but the escapee rate is too high in my experience to  warrant that sort of education in my own home.  Besides, my kids are still rolling over the story of my mother refusing to go to bed until the missing 12-foot python was found.  Next spring, she finally got some sleep. 😀

Better her than me, that’s all I can say.

(Day 35/365)

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2 thoughts on “Yard Snakes

  1. While the 12-foot description is a bit exaggerated, the truth is that the time that Burmese python slithered to freedom, Mom cleaned house and scrubbed the kitchen floor all night, protesting all the while that nobody was going to sleep until it was found. The sequel to that story was in the Spring that year, when Little Brother got up in the night to use the bathroom. He finished his purpose, then calmly went in and woke Big Brother, saying, “Get up. Your snake’s in the bathtub.” Thereafter, all snakes were confined to terrariums – or is it terraria? And said python never would have had that adventure if Big Brother hadn’t been trying to impress the babysitter while Mom and Dad were out for the evening. It’s a wonder Mom’s nerves withstood the excitement those two boys provided!

    • Hmmm. It’s been a long time since that incident, and I don’t remember it that way. I remember Asia being about 12′ when she (he?) disappeared from the indoor terrarium and some kid caught sight of her in the drainage pipe across the street in the spring. We had several animal control officers, a patrolcar or two and possibly a fire engine parked out front of Bryan Hefley’s house to walk through the city pipes and lasso the now larger beast. I know that at the end, this snake was in the 20-ish foot range, but that was several years later. And there was an outdoor facility built for her after this incident. (Which is where the rat story entered the scene….)

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