Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This gorgeous old house is located on a bluff overlooking the Piankatank River. If you're on Route 3 heading towards Middlesex, it's on the left just before you go over the bridge. These are the houses that beckon me to enter, but the thought of being internet-less while sitting in Saluda jail keeps me firmly in check.

Today for a change of pace we're going to read a story that jumped out at me as I was perusing the book, "Gwynn's Island Times," which contains news bits from the Mathews Journal, 1905-1937, and the Gloucester Gazette, 1937-1950. The book was compiled by Elsa Cooke Verbyla.
October 10, 1930:

From Gwynn's Island comes the prize snake story. Mrs. Frank A. saw the monster reptile near an old well on the untenanted place of Mrs. Luther J. "Sixteen feet long and as big around as a half-gallon fruit jar," is her description. The snake was lying near the well when Mrs. A. first saw it. It was stretched straight out and Mrs. A. watched it for some time until it moved--then she went away from there.

The next day Mr. A. went to the old well and drew some water with which he filled a fish keg. Leaving the keg by the well he went elsewhere to attend to other duties and when he returned some time later the huge snake was drinking water from the keg, had almost emptied it in fact. While Mr. A. was looking for something with which to kill the reptile, it slipped away.

It is reported that a posse will be organized to beat the bushes in an effort to locate the snake and kill it. Residents in the neighborhood say they believe the snake has been in the vicinity for several years. Last summer a little boy is said to have told of being chased by a snake of unbelievable proportions."


Many people have a crazy fear of snakes, but I'm not one of them.


Unless you want to count the time I was down on the shoreline sending bottle notes and nearly stepped on a poisonous water moccasin, but that's a story for another day. By the way, that story requires earplugs and includes the shrillest scream ever to be heard in Mathews County as well as the fastest 200 yard dash ever clocked in human history. Seriously.

But while snakes and I are generally simpatico, happening upon a sixteen foot viper whose girth exceeded that of a Shetland pony just might be enough to send me high-stepping, or as stated in the story above "...and then she went away from there."



Grandma J said...

You have snakes? Water moccasins? In the water? The water we will be frolicking in at the blogfest? Unlike Mrs. A., I won't wait to see if it moves. I was hoping it was just a gardening hose.

Please dreams tonight..Amen.

Anonymous said...

I might have gone away from there as well.

And like Grandma J, I'm wondering about the proximaty of snakes to our blog frolic come this summer. Can you sent them on a cruise for that weekend?

Mental P Mama said...

That sounds like a chicken snake. And I would go away from there, too. I will not be camping out come July 16.

mmm said...

"...a story that jumped out at me..." - seems fitting for a snake story.

"Snakes! I hate snakes."

Have a good day.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - The water moccasins prefer creeks to more open water, and we'll be frolicking in more open water. (I just made that up. But it might be true, actually. Hey, there's a 50/50 chance.)

Asthmagirl - We'll be fine for blog fest. I haven't seen a poisonous snake around here in decades, although I have seen a small black snake. They're good snakes, you know. However, I do like the idea of rounding them up and sending them away. Perhaps I can book an entire ship and send the fiddler crabs, the ants and the snakes away for a week or fifty two.

MPM - You weren't camping out anyway, but duly noted. Let me know if you need help with the B&B search.

MMM - You always catch stuff like that and I swear I never do it on purpose. Remember: black snakes are good. They keep the small rodents in check.

I wish they ate fiddler crabs.

Keeper Of All Things said...

Now I'm creeped out!!!!

Grandma J said...

Not that I feel much better, but is there a chance we will be frolicking in Saltwater? I do not want to be mistaken for a rodent...a very large rodent.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - It's salt water. You'll be fine, I promise.

foolery said...

Yes, I have been obsessing about east coast snakes ever since the Blogfest was announced. It's just my style to ferret out the critters no one has seen in a hen's age. And I don't look for 'em, either -- they find ME.

At the Blogfest I will be sleeping on a mattress suspended by a complicated system of ropes and pulleys. No snakes should be able to figure it out.

right . . . ?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

OMG Foolery, you make me laugh, which ordinarily is a good thing, but these days sets off a series of hacking coughs that wake the dead.

I will work on your complicated series of ropes and pulleys, and you should be just fine. But don't ask me about the ticks and mosquitoes.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Keeper - No, don't be. They're few and far between, really.

Caution Flag said...

I think they left out the real last line: "Never to return."

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Wait a dadburn minute!

I just FINALLY decided to have a go at adult socialization again, and now I find out I'm headed to a place, come July, with water moccasins? That was satire, right? Maybe a little artistic license for dramatic effect?

Mrs. A was right. She "went away" from there. So what the hell am I doing going "towards" there? *lol*

I guess I better make sure my will is up to date before I leave. Oh and I reckon I might get myself a snake bite kit too.