Thursday, April 23, 2009


I’m not an outdoorsy kinda gal. I want to be. I love the idea of carrying a backpack through the mountains. Nature shows the beauty and creativity of God. But I’m allergy ridden, and I hate insects. Crawlers, flyers, scurriers—I hate them all.

I have had my house for 7 years, and for a few of those years my dad mowed the lawn. He hated to see my glands swelling in my face and neck each week. He began reporting snake sightings to me after mowing, and it scared me. One time he was taken back by the size of one and it scurried away before he could nail it. He threatened to begin mowing with a machete, but became ill and couldn’t mow anymore.

I’ve been mowing again for about 3 years now, and snake sightings are typical in my yard. The first time I saw one, I immediately went online to find out the danger I was dealing with. It was a typical garter snake that only leaves an itchy place if bitten (and they usually don’t break the skin). I decided that if they can’t break my skin, it’s doubtful they are getting through the hair of my dogs.

Last year Leroy is the name I bestowed upon the snake living under my shed. He was small, and poked his head out periodically as I pulled out my mower. I haven’t seen him this year, yet. I have learned to not fear them so much—especially the smaller ones—after killing a few with the lawn mower, weed eater, sticks, etc. Now, I give them a chance to slither away. Why?

They eat mice. They eat insects. They eat frogs.

As I was mowing last night, I suddenly saw a snake up ahead. He was the biggest yet. Not in length, but in girth. I had that moment of “what to do? He’s in the path of my lawnmower . . . . “ when he slithered away at amazing speed, through my chain link fence and into the neighbor’s yard (which is rarely mowed). I hope he comes back and feeds on mice and insects. On a side note, it’s really cool to see them suddenly slither away at such speed.

I wonder if my dogs have had meetings with the snakes. Probably so. Sidney is curious enough to try to catch and play with one, but she also has a husky coat to protect her. Sam would run if one raised its head at him.

I’m not saying I’m a snake lover. Not at all. I have a good dose of fear and have no interest in “petting” a snake. But I’m learning to respect their role in the ecosystem.


FHL_Always said...

I am terrified of snakes! I have two snake stories.

1. My dad was mowing at our last house in Darlington South one day and all of a sudden my dad starts staggering backward. My mom thought that he was dizzy or something so she shoved him forward. He was like, whoa what are you doing there's a snake. So my mom goes and gets the shovel and gives it to my dad...he couldn't get it so my mom ended up killing the snake lol. I was about 7 or something.

2. One day we were walking back inside from the backyard at the house we have now and my mom spotted a ugly mud brown yellow-bellied snake with a frog in it's jaws. My mom runs inside with us and calls my dad and asks him to call the animal control to come and get it. So, to make sure she knows where it is, she stood outside watching the snake. I said, mom I'm sure it could outrun you. She said, No, there's no way.

Sure enough the animal control comes. Although he wasn't the snake handler so he was scared haha! He put the tongs over it's head and the snake slithers faster than my mom could run, luckily it was heading away from her. But, she screamed and ran inside and said Kelsy you were right! Well, the guy eventually got the snake but he had to wade in three inches of water with knee high grass to get it!

Kristi said...

This guy at work today told me there are 3 things in this world he is scared to death of:

1. A snake

2. A dead snake

3. A stick that looks like a snake.

I thought that was hilarious. I can see your mom beating a snake to death while you dad looks on in shock!