|A surprise visitor on my compost pile - 2004|
There are few things that really put a fright into me.
Actually, there are MANY things that put a fright into me (come to think of it). But most things I can anticipate and avoid.
However, there is one notable exception that on occasion I have not been able to avoid. And that exception as you may have guessed is a snake.
Now I'm not one of those people who as soon as they see a snake will get out some blunt instrument and kill it. That is not me. In fact I hate to kill any living creature or insect. Some notable exceptions are flies, mosquitoes and Japanese beetles. Most other insects I cup up and put outside but I digress. Back to our subject of SNAKES.
See that photo of that "sweetheart" at the top of this blog. Yep, I took that photo in the spring of 2004 at our former residence in Pennsylvania.
One fine spring day in 2004 I approached my grass compost pile and lo and behold, there on the top of the pile reposed a snake, sunning itself. Oh yes, a SNAKE.
Now I don't know what kind of snake it was. I'm sure somebody reading this blog will tell me, but I suspect it was a harmless king snake. Harmless to me anyway because they are not poisonous. But hey, they can still bit though can't they? And that is one thing I have never experienced, nor do I want to experience, is a snake bite. I can just imagine a snake with its fangs embedded in my arm and me, long body dangling from my outstretched arm as I run, screaming like a little girl for help.
This was the third time I encountered one of our slithering friends by chance.
The first time was back in 1976 when Bill and I first bought out wooded acreage in Pennsylvania where we built our future house. Bill pulled up his car in an open field area of our 6.875 acres. As I lifted my leg to step out of the car, and as my right foot was descending earthbound, I saw a snake just like the one pictured in this blog. As gravity was irrevocably pulling my doomed foot to the ground ON TOP OF THAT SNAKE, I let out a scream you wouldn't believe. Hey, I didn't even know I COULD scream. But scream I did.
Well, I must have scared the daylights out of that snake because it took off like a
The second time I had a scary encounter with a legless lizard was when I was on a volunteer roadside litter pickup crew. There I was on that chilly spring morning, picking up trash at the Coatesville interchange when I pick up a hubcap and what did I spy right beneath the hubcap?
These days few things surprise me. But I venture to say I probably have a few more surprise encounters with a snake. Just last week, while I was out in the back yard meandering about, a big black snake slithered down the cement steps to our basement. This time I wasn't frightened at all. In fact, I was glad this big black snake was hanging around our house. I did notice that this past year I didn't have a problem with field mice trying to get into the house.
Snakes are our friends. I just don't want to step on one.