Monday, April 24, 2006


I have two snakes who seem to be permanent residents on my property. Although I’ve never seen them, I know both are quite large because of the size of the shed skins I find in the back yard several times a year. It seems that my concrete patio is perfect for scrapping off old skins to reveal new ones. (If only people could do that, I would love to have a new skin each year!)

One is always over 5’ and the other almost 6’ long. The only snakes in this area that reach that size are chicken snakes and king snakes. Nonpoisonous species, but still enough to give you a heart attack when you step barefoot on one of those skins like I did this morning. Nothing like thinking that you’re fixing to get snake bit to wake you up!

Do snakes mate for life? I’ve never heard of it happening but both skins are always near to each other as if the shedding of old skin is some kind of mating ritual or bonding experience. This has been going on for over 5 years now, and I’ve never spied the adults, but I have found some of their babies, once crawling across my kitchen floor!

I stepped on that one too! It was twilight and I hadn’t turned on the inside lights yet. I was walking to the kitchen garbage can when I felt something roll underneath my foot. When I glanced down, there was a small snake, the size of a pencil, reared up hissing at me. I spun on one foot, dashed outside and grabbed a garden hoe. The little sucker was already across the kitchen, in the hall and headed toward my bedroom when I chopped his teeny, tiny head off. If that little serpent had made it to my bedroom I don’t think I could have ever slept in this house again! I found his brother/sister out on the deck a week later. Seems there had been a snaky orgy going on, and the offspring was wandering around the area.

I’m all for living in harmony with nature, but not when it invades my domain! In a rural area like this one, critters are a fact of life, but when they come inside, it’s me or them! The snakes are welcome to all the rodents they can eat as long as they stay outside. I’ll share my land but the inside is MINE.

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