Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Our bodies are amazing. They can heighten our senses and give us great spurts of energy. As I was walking through my yard, my heart leaped. I jumped. I thanked Him up there, I was alive.

A snake was sitting there. Just sitting there. Ready to give me a heart attack. I proceeded to take care of the chickens, and all of a sudden I was much more aware of the tall grass everywhere. Surely snakes are lurking everywhere, just waiting for the perfect time to jump on me, bite me, and drag me into the field. Okay, maybe not. But the fact is, I don't know a harmless snake from a deadly poisonous one.

I was really hoping it would just disappear, and so when I didn't see it on the way back into the house I was relieved. Until I almost stepped on it, had another half heart attach/crazy jump. He was hunkering down this time though, with his head down.

I grabbed a rooster that I don't care about, and plopped him right on top of the snake. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe that the chicken would attack the snake and eat it? Or the other way around? I'm sad to announce that nothing of the sort happened. The rooster just ran off, and the snake stayed hidden.

Ginger likes to play outside a lot, and rarely wears shoes. I was worried that she would go out there and get bitten. So I grabbed what most resembled a stick (a chair leg) and started prodding the snake. Snakes can move! He slithered through the grass and into the pool. Now what?

My first idea was to call my hubby. He's a genius, plus an Eagle scout graduate. I left him a panicked message, but when he didn't call me back within 3 minutes I decided to take action on my own.

Maybe I could poison him! Yes, that would work. So I dumped a few scoops of chlorine in the water over where he was sitting. The granules beautifully drifted down. I was going to succeed. He was coated in white poison. So I went inside.

After a few minutes I wanted to check the status of my hopefully half-dead snake. No such luck. He was sitting happily on the bridge between the pool and the spa. Wagging his little tale. It reminded me of my cats' tails. Maybe poisoning it wasn't going to work after all.

I thought about what expert snake people from the discovery channel do. They use some sort of stick and put the snake in a bag. I just so happen to have a long stick with a bag on the end of it (aka pool cleaner bag). I have caught other flighty animals such as crawdads and frogs with it before, so I grabbed the stick.

At this point the snake was in the bottom of the spa. Perfect. Now he couldn't flee too far. I am happy to say I actually succeeded. The snake was in the bag. I was far away from it, because the pole was long. Where to put it?

I thought that maybe this is some kind of water snake, and we have the perfect spot for such an animal. Our lake. I climbed over the pool fence, stick in hand, always watching that snake. He wasn't able to slither out, and I safely put him into the lake. Aren't I handy and resourceful?

Update After talking to my husband I am now even more freaked out. He asked me whether its head had a "jawbone" looking face, and it did. Apparantly that means there's a good chance it's a poisonous snake. His guess was a water moccasin. I googled it, and this is what I came up with. Scary!

The Water Moccasin is a very venomous snake, one of the most deadly in North America. It is highly dangerous to people and their pets. If you should ever encounter one of these snakes and think that it has bitten someone, seek medical help immediately.

The Cottonmouth Water Moccasin
(Agkistrodon piscivorus)

There is only one North American poisonous water snake - the Cottonmouth Water Moccasin! Not to be confused at all with its many nonpoisonous neighbors, this snake is a pit viper in the same general family as the Copperhead and the Rattler.

This dangerous semi-aquatic snake is truly an aggressive reptile that will stand its ground or even approach an intruder.

If only he would have been home. We could have killed it, with a shovel, gun, or other "fun" method (according to him). Instead, I dropped it off a few feet from the house, just so he can come back and bite my baby. And the hospital is 30 minutes away!


Nancy Sabina said...

Super freaky! I was gonna say (before I saw your update) that I'm pretty sure I would have taken a hammer to the bag and then just gone out and bought a new pool thingy. But that's probably all talk. To whack it with a hammer I would have had to get a lot closer to it than I'd be comfy with. So in the end, I probably would have just gone inside and not let the kids go outside all day.
You're brave.

Bea said...

Eek ..... Simon, who spent most of his youth in scary places in Australia and Dutch New Guinea always told me you have to break the snake's backbone, using a broomstick or something. But I can relate to anyone who doesn't dare go near such a creepy critter.

auntie B.

Amber said...

Oh I would have certainly freaked out! Or actually if I were you I would still be freaking out. I think it is so funny that you tried to poison it. I always spray any non-welcomed animal/bug/spider with the nearest bathroom cleaner I can find. It usually works, but perhaps that nasty snake is immune to chlorine poison! Yikes!

Lesley said...

I'll confess to being a snake lover. I think they are so cool. I'm not sure what is wrong with me, that's just the way I am. Last summer we had a rattler in the front yard and I wouldn't let my husband kill it. I made him put it in a bucket and take it across the street to the woods and set it free (after taking some photos of it to send to my sister, another snake lover)!

Jill said...

I hate snakes!! That story just freaked me out!! I cannot believe how brave you were with that snake. You are a true nature woman!!!

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