Thursday, May 26, 2011


Eeeeeew!  Snakes!  I've never cared for those reptiles...or many others either, for that matter. My mother has always hated even thinking about them, and I guess I learned that at an early age, which probably gave me some fear of my own. As a chid in grade school, I wouldn't touch the rattle snake shed skin that a classmate brought to show and tell. Unlike my granddaughter, who actually held a live Boa Constrictor (with the help of a snake handler) while she was in grade school! Arrrrg! I can't imagine! and I will admit, that even a photo of one in a magazine gives me chills up my spine, and I can't wait to turn the pages!  So, call me a 'chicken'. Call me a 'whimp'.  Call me anything you'd like. I'm still not going to like snakes.

When we moved to this house, we heard from neighbors that there are black snakes around our neighborhood. The subdivision was new, and the homes had invaded their living space, so I imagine there were some around, but in the four plus years I've been here, I haven't seen one. Well, I take that back. One day in the road I saw a dead King snake (similar to the Black Racer, with a white belly.) Neither the black snake nor the King snake is dangerous, although if you startle them, they will bite you if they have a chance. It's likened to a large garden snake in it's personality.  The good thing about Black (and King) snakes is, aside from being non-poisonous, is that they are territorial. Where there is a Black snake, there will be no poisonous ones, like the local Copperheads. 

Our next door neighbor rang our doorbell on the Fourth of July four years ago. She looked as white as a ghost as she asked for Mike's help. He was not available, and when I asked what the problem was, she told me that she had a huge snake on her patio. I told her that Mike would be no help, even if he was around, as he's scared of snakes. (His only fear that I know of, probably due to spending time in the jungles of Viet Nam) She took off at a dead run for her house, with me following her and telling her to leave the snake alone and he would depart. She ran to the corner of her garage, stood there staring at her garden tools, finally chose a shovel, and ran to the left side of the house, where there was a gate in her fence. Then she ran to the right side of the house, where there was no gate. Then she turned and ran to her front door and through the house and out the back door to the patio. I stood outside the fence, while I heard the chop,chop,chop of the blade of the spade hitting the cement patio. Soon I heard her hollering at her dog, who was tearing across the back yard with the remnants of a 6 foot snake dangling from both sides of his mouth. Meanwhile, Alison brought the head of the snake, with it's mouth still opening and shutting, to me at the fence. I could see the white under the snake, and determined it to be a King snake.

In 2007 we went to East Hampton for 4 months. While we were away, Mom and the neighbors were watering our plants. One day, while Mom was leaving after watering, she saw a 'long,black snake' and she reported that she wasn't going to go in my backyard ever again, as if the snake wouldn't go in any other part of the yard. I had to chuckle, but didn't blame her much!  About two years ago, Mike and my brother were chatting on our front porch when they noticed a big Black snake winding itself up and over our front yard bird-bath. There must have been enough space between Mike and that snake, because he didn't head for the hills, but sat and watched as it slithered away to the rain ditch at the edge of the road. That same week, a neighbor on the road above us saw a 'huge' one on her front porch, where there was a bird's nest. We determined the snake was looking for the bird's eggs. 

Since that one Mike saw, which I named Ebony Squiggle, there's not been a report anywhere in this subdivision of a snake siting.  Whether Black snakes are 'good' snakes or otherwise, let me say this, I'm happy about that! I'll prove my point by adding a quote from my Arkansas friend who says, " Ain't no snike that's a good snike."


  1. Seems such a shame to kill a "good" basically harmless snake. Not that I'm fond of snakes, but in Minnesota where I grew up we had lots of garter snakes (harmless) and we just left them be. They kill a lot of rodents and just mind their own business. Snakes can't help being snakes. ;)

  2. I share your distaste for snakes. I don't fear them but let them be. Don't care to touch one and don't like them invading my space !