Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This is a rather oddly composed picture of my mother's roses which grow near her pump house. The creek is barely visible in the background. My parents' yard is like a Chuck E Cheese for wildlife. Groundhogs frolic on wood piles in between nibbles of tomatoes and corn from the garden; rabbits bounce effortlessly from clover patches to blackberry bushes; black snakes drop from the apple trees and....Yes. I said the word "snake."

Many people are mortally afraid of spiders and snakes. "I don't like spiders and snakes, but that ain't what it takes to love me." Sorry, the voices in my head are trying to push me off on a tangent. Hold still while I gently elbow my way back on course.

There. That's better.

Anyway, while most people are afraid of snakes, I really never have been. Or rather, I can co-exist peacefully with them as long as they keep their distance. (Note: this same theory does NOT apply to ants, moths, fiddler crabs, ants, moths, fiddler crabs, and also ants.) The only exception would be water moccasins, and that's another story for another day. My point is the other yard snakes --black snakes, green snakes--don't really cause me much concern. They keep the rodent population from exceeding the ant population and pretty much stick to themselves.

Pretty much.

Here lately, the Chesapeake Bay Family has had three brushes with death close encounters of the snake kind in about a two-week period. First, CB Daughter was retrieving something from under a pine tree, and a black snake almost landed on her head. Right out of the tree! My version of the story actually has the snake dropping out of the tree, landing around her neck and turning into a boa constrictor, but that's because I'm overly stressed and tend to be paranoid worry too much.

Next, I was cutting grass because that's all I do from March to November besides wage war on ants, laundry and dirty dishes and as I was grazing a cedar tree, a black snake coiled up and started hissing and spitting. He must have been six feet long if he was an inch. Later that day I saw another snake right next to the swing set.This one was black but with silver or white on its rather large belly.

Therefore, I feel compelled to declare a snake infestation.

Today at my paying job, I was blinking back tears at the tedium pondering this topic, and in about three minutes I scribbled down inane nonsense an ode to the snake, a brief poem about my feelings and these experiences.

To keep today's post mercifully brief, I will share that little ditty with you tomorrow. Heavens, please don't get your hopes up, it's awful. Bring a pillow so you can take a five minute cat nap.

Snakes. Like 'em, tolerate 'em or love 'em? Do you have a snake story? Do you know how to contact Jack Hannah so he can come tame these wild beasts living in our midst?

p.s. Dear Blog Fest Guests: Do not be afraid. We will keep you safe from snakes, fiddler crabs, ground hogs and osprey. I cannot make any promises about Gustav the Killer Goose or psychological damage caused by exposure to high concentrations of dysfunction and ants during your stay. We'll do the best we can and look forward to your arrival. Love, CBW


Grandma J said...

Snakes...the only ones I'm familiar with are rattlers and king snakes. When I lived out in a rural area, backed up to a national forest in So CA, an old-timer told me to put plain black hosing around the perimeter of my property. He said it would keep the rattlers out, but not king snakes. Rattlers are afraid of king snakes, and think the hose is a king snake. Anyways, I took this oldtimer at his word and never saw a rattler in my back yard. I would see them at night on my driveway, soaking up the summer heat. I hate all snakes.

Give PJB a kiss night night for me.

mmm said...

"Snakes... I hate snakes."

So far I've learned that there are two kinds of poisonous snakes in the mountains of VA - timber rattlers and copperheads. As they say around here, at least the rattlers will give you a warning.

I'm going out on a limb (yeah, out on a limb) to say that I bet there are water moccasins around here as well. Since we don't have as much water as you do around the Bay, we don't see them as often.

Snakes... they make me a world class sprinter.

Have a god day.

Mental P Mama said...

I had a chicken snake drop on my head once. I can handle your silly infestations....just hoping the rain stops before we get there. By the way, what do you do with ants? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

And I bet this is the last year you FORGET to celebrate St.Patrick's Day!


Annie said...

Well, have had several encounters with snakes. Ugh. The funny one was when we put a little snake in a bottle, for identification, after we thought we had killed it (it was in my son's bedroom under the door between him and me) slithered out of the bottle when someone opened it in the morning!!

Caution Flag said...

Oh. Wow. Well. That post is enough to officially keep me from ever visiting you. Maybe that was your intent...

Lynne M. said...

Growing up in Ware Neck on the water, I am not afraid of snakes at all. Spiders, well.... I have plenty of funny spider stories, such as Mom driving to Gloucester from Deltaville to kill one for me. But snakes, I'm the only one in my family NOT afraid of them. And I'm the only girl!!!

mom x 2 said...

Ummm, don't do snakes, ever. BHE would say it's because I am high maintenance, but really, I just don't like snakes. I will bring a rope with me to blog fest and just stand inside a rope circle at all times, that way I won't have to worry about the snakes, just tripping over the rope :)

Kaffy said...

Thanks for the rose picture. It is wonderful! Snakes alive, I love roses.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ-That's good to know. I don't think I could co-exist peacefully with rattlers.

MMM-You were already a sprinter before your fear of snakes, I suspect.

MPM-Short of calling an exterminator, I have tossed poison granules around the perimeter of the house - does not work. I've sprayed Raid inside every nook and cranny of the house - does not work. I have purchased heavy duty spray from Home Depot and sprayed all their little trails around the house - does not work. If i figure it out, I"ll let you know. I'm considering nuclear options at this point.

SMBS-I forget everything except the things I wish I could forget, either because they are unresolved, they are terribly painful, they will not go away or some combination of the above. If you can figure that statement out, you're doing better than I am because I don't even fully understand it. (Post-work exhaustion plus a very bad day and some troubling news.)

Annie - I'll bet there were some choice words and screams uttered when that happened.

CF-No, you are absolutely welcome to come visit. The snakes only rarely make appearances, and based on seeing 3 in a short time span, we've probably seen all we're going to see this year. Come on over for a visit.

Lynne M. - Good for you on your fearless attitude towards snakes. For the most part I am too, except as noted. Spiders don't bother me unless they're crawling on me at night in the bed, and then there's a problem. THe image of your mother having to drive all that distance to kill a spider for you is quite amusing.

MOMx2 - You'll be fine, I promise. How do you feel about geese named Gustav?

Kaffy - Thank you. This is TRULY one of my bottom of the barrel photos. I haven't had time to take or upload pics in weeks. Hope all is well with you, would love to see you sometime.

Living on the Spit said...

Thank God you wrote a PS, otherwise I was going to start getting really, really scared. I don't "snakes" at all. The ants and the goose are fine, but snakes, no.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Snakes? I might have nightmares now.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Sitting on the Mood Swing - You win first prize for the funniest name, and thanks for stopping by. Please don't have nightmares because of the snakes; however if you have nightmares due to the writing on this blog, well then that's understandable.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

LIVING ON THE SPIT!! my gosh your comment must've come in as I was typing the response to Mood Swing.

Can't wait to see you at Blog Fest. I promise no snakes.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Why yes, in fact I do have two snake stories:


Can't. Stand. 'Em.