Don’t Tread on Me!

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I was greeted yesterday morning, over a delicious cup of coffee NOT made by me (since I’m clever enough to sleep an hour later than my darling) by the news that our neighborhood newsletter was warning more about snakes needing to be removed from people’s homes.

Do you remember the scene from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones is hanging over a pit full of writhing serpents and says, “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

That’s exactly how I feel about them, and to hear about this before I’d even finished my coffee.  Arrrggghhh!!  

So what’s a gal to do?  Since we live in a city, (we’re out in the country, but it’s still within a city) a shotgun is out of the question. Not that I’d ever kill one, no matter how afraid I was.  Education (as with most things in life) is the answer!

Having been horrified when I moved here, upon learning that there are poisonous snakes everywhere in Texas, I took advantage of an avid herpetologist friend’s knowledge  to learn everything I could about snakes.  I wanted to be able to recognize the ones I needed to worry about…  instead of worrying about them all.

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As it turns out, any snake will try to bite us to defend itself, even a little green garden snake.  The State of Texas is home to 15 potentially dangerous snake species or subspecies. 

Despite this, each year, there have been more deaths in Texas attributed to lightning strikes than to venomous snakebites. The four poisonous snakes species here: rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes.

By not hanging around the banks of rivers, streams, and brooks, I can avoid water moccasins. Copperheads? Rattlesnakes? Out here, in the woods… and I’m not a hiker through uncharted trails. Nope, thanks.

Coral snakes are small with little-bitty mouths, usually only biting fingers when we stick our hands somewhere without looking first. I don’t garden without gloves, don’t reach into trees or bushes or woodpiles without looking first. 

 Snakes tend to be accidental house crashers. You might find one curled in a corner on your patio looking for coolness in the heat of the summer. Or in your garage… seeking the same. 

The good news? Rattlesnakes will usually signal if you’ve startled them by rattling or buzzing their tails,  giving you an opportunity to pee in your pants then run in the opposite direction! 

I’ve lived here for 41 years, and have never seen a dangerous snake anywhere besides my herpetologist friend’s house! More good news – they are as afraid of us as we are of them! 

The newsletter shared common-sense tips for living where there are poisonous snakes: turn on a light and have a look around before stepping out on your patio at night, or into your garage. And even look around first before stepping out on your patio during the day. Mindfulness, that’s all.

If you encounter a poisonous snake in your garage, on your patio, or in your garden… run away, and call wildlife management. Or, if you live out here, you can call the group of “snake wranglers” who will come fetch them. 

XO Donna

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10 thoughts on “Don’t Tread on Me!

  1. https://marygatling.wordpress.com/

    I feel the same way about snakes and no thank you to all those invites for hikes on these trails…these sidewalks work just fine for my exercise.

  2. Or you come to Norway, only one species of snakes with a bit of poison, but not more dangerous than a bee sting. I am not sure if those shoes are the best to wear, though, wouldn’t the snakes get a little aggravated by a brother or sister turned into shoes?

  3. I have always wanted to visit Norway, Otto, now, knowing about your only snake, I have one more reason!
    I’ll bet those fancy, snake-skin shoes would piss-off a snake, wouldn’t they? But, those are “city shoes,” so I won’t tell ‘me if you won’t!
    Great hearing from you!
    XO

  4. Sheila-Merle Johnson

    I live in Novato, California and we have occasional rattlers in our hills so I pay attention on hikes climbing over logs or rocks. My story happened years ago in the country outside of Napa one night on a campout at a friend’s house. A rattle snake appeared in a room and the men gathered around it at a distance. My husband killed it with a broom handle and they buried it outside the living room window. 15 minutes later someone saw it wiggling up out of the grave. Much screaming ensued. They went out and it was dead but snake’s nervous systems send out signals a while after death. In the morning, the owner skinned it and hung the skin. With what I feel now, I wish we had just herded it back outside, but it’s quite a story to tell. Thanks for your info on the Park Place site. @sheilamerle1

    • Oh. My. Goodness. What a story! I am so glad you shared that with me after all. I can just picture all the shrieking – I’d have been up on the fridge!
      You’re welcome for the info, please share it with all of your friends, and thank you for leaving me a comment, I appreciate it!!
      XODONNA

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