Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Simply De-vine (a snake story)

I know some people are terrified of snakes. They don't bother me unless they sneak up on me, but then the fright I feel is about the same as finding a family member standing behind me when I thought I was alone. The fact that there are no poisonous snake in our area does a lot to allay any fear I might have.

A few days ago, I was getting the car loaded with all the stuff for the tag sale. I left the cellar door open since I was in and out. During one of my trips back inside, I saw a garter snake in front of the door lifting his little head up for a peek inside. He was between 2 and 3 feet long and about as thick as a broom stick. That's about maximum size for a garter snake. When he saw me coming, he slithered off into the stone wall next to the door. About ten minutes later he was back... persistent little guy... but this time he slithered into the wood pile on the other side of the door. At this point, I figured I'd better close the door. I didn't want any surprises in my laundry basket come wash day.

On Sunday, I decided to tackle the vines that took over the stone wall next to our cellar door. I don't know what these vines are, but they're as invasive as they come and they have little seed pods that look pea pods. They were no match for me and my ratchet pruners. (I should have taken before and after pictures, so you could be duly impressed with my efforts.) After some of the ferocious foliage was trimmed back, I caught sight of a piece of snake skin near one of the rocks. The skin disappeared behind the rock, which was about a foot long, and continued on the other side. I heaved the rock forward a bit and excavated as much of the skin as I could. It's thinner than paper and it broke up a lot. Some of it adhered to the rock; I think he used the rock as an exfoliant. Based on the intact skin length, I think it belonged to my potential cellar dweller. It was a popular show and tell for Pipsqueak this week.


Apron Thrift Girl said...

Keiran would love to see something like this. We have a few snakes around here but they are pretty rare in the yard. What a fun story.

Kitt said...

Wow, that's a big garter snake! I was afraid you were going to say you accidentally snipped him in half while pruning.

Maybe some schoolkids would like to see that skin, if you have a school nearby.

Anonymous said...


No, that would be the extension cord that was cut in half while pruning some time back. :-) We love her for it - _and_no_one_got_hurt_!

DH, aka Rick in VT

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