Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So there I was, playing "zoo" with Harper and Baylor while Josie napped, when I decided to step onto the lower back porch to test the heat. Immediately I could sense that something wasn't right. It was too noisy.  About ten feet from my porch a cluster of tiny birds chirped loudly, darting from twig to tree, while a squirrel perched on the lower part of the tree trunk with it's spine arched, screeching! I cautiously walked to the edge of the concrete and looked out into the leaves. A black slithering serpent, about four feet long, stretched out below the commotion. I froze - mesmerized.  My mind began talking with an Australian accent, "Crikey! Look at 'em!," I thought. I stared at his head...triangular or not?? Truthfully, it really didn't matter if the snake had a unicorn and wings and passed out Skittles...I wanted it dead.  

I sprinted inside and quietly found my phone, listened in on the game of zoo, and made my way back to the porch to find the little devil. "Nick, there's a snake about ten feet from our porch. Come get it or walk me through how to use the gun." 

"I'm on my way," he said.

He didn't get here fast enough. Fast enough for me anyway. That nasty snake began to slither toward the space under the fire pit...the same space my lab uses to stay cool....the same space occupied by my lab at that moment.  About that time my left toe bumped into a box of garage sale stuff, so Memphis joined me on the porch. The snake didn't move. I ushered Memphis into the house, closed the door, and  made my way across the rock bed to retrieve my trusty hoe. When I leaned over to pick up the hoe another serpent scurried out of the big part of our creek down to the lower part. At that point I began to imagine snakes near my feet so I high stepped it back to the porch. Damn snakes. Now the long black one was half way under the fire pit landing. 

Nick arrived, got his shotgun, and positioned himself to shot the snake halfway under the pit. "I can't see his head, but I'm gonna shot anyway." BOOM!

"I got him, but I don't know if it killed him or not." 

On to the next snake who was visible through the water because of the direct sunlight overhead. 

BOOM! "I got that one for sure." 

The girls were oblivious. Nick went back to work and I started a baking project to take my mind off of the snakes. 

So I baked. And the girls baked with me. And halfway through I realized that blueberries would be nice with our treat, so I loaded up the girls and drove to the local gas station that sells fresh produce. Only in a small town, right.  

While I washed the blueberries I looked out of the large windows over my sink. My gaze instinctively was drawn down to the creek bed where Nick shot the snake. "Not another one," I thought. The water moved a bit. Like something was in it. And since I was already paranoid at this point, I made my way down to the creek - ready to call Nick for another killing. 

There was nothing in the water. I sighed with relief.  I quickly scanned the rocks and saw this....

The Australian accent didn't return. If fact, only a strong list of profanities came to mind.  And then, like a good mother, I secured the dogs and the two little ones, grabbed my zoom lens, and drug Harper outside for a lesson about the life cycle.  She was mesmerized, grabbing at my neck to look through the lens for a better look.  She took a few of these pictures.  

I called Nick. He was tied up at work. Thirty minutes.  By that time I had all three children out on the landing to observe. I wanted Harper and Baylor to know what to watch out for. What to stay away from.  By the end of our observation period, and when Nick finally made it home, the nasty beast had slithered into a den, out of range for Nick's gun. He did, however, find the long black snake that he shot earlier. Dead. That snake is at the bottom of the photos. 

Please let me know if you can identify the species of any of the snakes. If the big guy is eating a snake he killed, that would be four snakes in our vicinity in one day. If he is eating the one Nick shot in the water, then it is three. Either way, it's too many for my comfort. I knew that snakes would be part of the territory when buying a house in the woods....with a creek. And it is exceptionally hot and dry. I don't blame nature, but I don't mind shooting it either. If Eden had snakes then I expect my little paradise to have some too. But I learned from Eve, I'll kill those questions asked.  

CAUTION - The photos below will give you the heebie-jeebies!


  1. Oh My Goodness!!! Glad you were able to educate the girls during this little adventure!

  2. Now i know what you meant when you told me yesterday your creek was infested with snakes....yikes!! the one in the water is a water moccasin....hes a big one. they are short and fat. that black one that nick killed almost looks like a king snake and they eat other snakes....some people like to keep those around but my mama says "kill'em all!!! loved that you gave the kiddos a lesson.... great pics too!

  3. I have had a fear of snakes ever since I was four...the ride at Six Flags, that is now the Yosemite Sam ride, that used to be that creepy log ride with the animatronic elves, was infested with water moccasins and had to be closed down. That was a good 25 year ago and it still freaks me out, as do your pictures. EEEWWWWWW!!!!!!

  4. Mandy, If you guys need a small twenty gauge for you to shoot snakes with, a youth model twenty guage that you can shoot. I just don't know if Nick has twelve guage's only or if he has a 410 or twenty....either if the latter two would be easier on you to shoot. Please let me know, we would be more than happy to loan the youth twenty to you to keep them girls safe.

  5. Hey Mandy! I used to work in the baseball office at Tech many years ago! Anyway, when Harper got sick I started following your blog and I've been hooked since! I have no idea what type of snakes those are but they are freaky just the same! My little girl likes to play on the trails behind our house, but the hubby put an end to that because of the possibility of snakes looking for water. Maybe you can find something to put out around the house to keep them away. Good luck!

    1. Hey this is Jessica Bryant(Ougel). I was one of the blonde girls that worked there forever!!! :)


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