08-26-15 Second snake experience

So on this beautiful August day I had been out working and I come home midday all happy and gleeful to be home! I pull into the driveway, up to the gate and stop. I put the car in park and before I even open my door I notice something odd. I notice right at the middle of the gate on the OTHER side there is a gopher sitting there. I found that odd as every time I pull up (there gophers are ALL over the property) they usually scurry off, afraid of the car. But this guy didn’t and was just sitting there. So I was perplexed and stopped what I was doing. As I watched it about 15 seconds later it started doing this weird lil “dance”! It was on all fours and it would shake all over and move its tail around rapidly, then it would stop, then start again. So since it seemed to be facing something, I decided to back up my car so I could see over the hood. As I backed up a few feet I saw a 4 FOOT LONG SNAKE slowly moving, stretched out, along the bottom of the gate, parallel to it, going to the left. I freaked! Thank God I was in my car but my first thought was “I will not get out of this car, I’ll sit right here”. Because, of course, since I had been working I was wearing a dress and sandals, not properly dressed to deal with critters!!!!

So, of course, I had to take pictures. Right here is where the snake slithered to the left of the gate and in this pic the snake is just below that brush, although you can barely see it. But on the far right just above the bottom of the gate you can see said gopher.

What was happening, or so it seems, is the gopher was doing this odd little dance and ushering the snake AWAY. The snake continued to move away from the gopher, never trying to eat it. Which I found interesting since I’m pretty sure most types of snakes will or would eat this type of small gopher. So in the picture above you can see where the snake continued to move to the left, away from the gate and my driveway, towards that overgrown mesquite tree. The gopher is still right behind it.

Every time the snake would move further away, every foot or so the gopher would move closer to it and do its little dance again and the snake just kept on going. By the time it got here to the side I had already called my neighbor who had said after my FIRST snake encounter (see here: First Snake Experience) that if I ever saw another one to call her asap and she’d send her husband over to either relocate it off the property or kill it, depending on what kind it was. So I called her and he was on his way over. And I did film a quick video as well to try and capture the odd little dance the gopher was doing.

A friend told me they could barely see the snake in this photo without blowing it up but I swear, without exaggeration, that it was at least 4 feet long. Which to me, is a big snake, and no baby!!!

What ended up happening? The neighbor’s husband came over (first time I’d even met him, lol!) and there I was in my car with the window down looking all girly and ridiculous, terrified of this snake and the snake was gone. I had watched it move under that tree and the gopher had stopped moving for a good few minutes so I figured maybe the snake went into a hole. So when my neighbor showed up, his truck scarred off the gopher and it ran away, unlike before. So he comes in, opens my gate, I pull through and he goes over to see where it was. He went all under where that tree over hangs and didn’t find anything. He said hopefully he was gone and I wouldn’t be seeing him again. 

Let’s hope!

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08-07-15 First snake experience!

So I take Riley to school in the morning and come home. All the wind from the storm the night before had blown some items out of the burn pile and I don’t like random trashy things all over so I start walking around to pick stuff up. I walk up by the shop and there is a grocery bag so I pick that up to put stuff in. Then I’m picking up cans between the shop and the gate to the backyard. I got probably 5 or 6 and then I see another can over under this covered awning storage area off the back of the shop. I walk over and bend down and as my  hand is literally…literally 6 inches from the can, I SEE IT! A SNAKE! First I should have started with how terrified I am of snakes, all of them. I don’t know enough to know which ones are poisonous and which aren’t I do, however, know that rattlesnakes are common here as are other numerous poisonous snakes. We are, in fact, in the Sonoran Desert, people! 

So as I reach down I see this BABY snake. But, it is still a snake and the first time in my adult life I have seen one alive, near me, in person. (First time was a tiny garden snake in Arkansas when I was about 12 and even that one freaked me out and it was from a distance of about 15 feet) So it is just stretched out up against the side of the shop, 6 inches from my out stretched hand and maybe 2 feet from my feet, my flip flop feet! I freak out, INTERNALLY and slowly back away keeping my eye on it. Of course, my fear is that it is going to lash out towards me and chase me, right! So once I get about 5 feet away I literally turn, jump and SKIP away to safety! Okay, not a joyful skip, maybe a scamper is a better word because it wasn’t like running, more like quickly taking giant steps at a fast pace! Lol! Freaked out is a gross understatement!!!

Once I’m safely about 15 feet away, curiosity sets in. Fears subsides a bit because it was no more than 12-18 inches long, definitely a baby snake. And since it didn’t react in the least as I fled the scene, I thought…”Maybe it won’t chase me…” So then I decide I want to SEE it, scope it out, see what it’s doing, if it’s still there, etc. So I slowly, SLOWLY walk back towards it. I get about as close as 6 feet, always with the option to flee in mind. I look at it for a bit, of course, I didn’t have my camera or phone with me. But that damn thing blended in perfectly with the color of the ground, so deceptive! I got to thinking if a baby is here a Mama might be near but…I do not claim to know a lot about snakes.

So I leave the area! I go inside and then I remember…it’s laundry day. And said snake is on the other side of the fence, right next to my clotheslines. The snake is so small, of course, it could crawl right through the fence into the backyard, where I needed to put clothes on the line. 

I pondered it, was terrified and I remembered a friend telling me that snakes generally bite when they are scared or threatened and so don’t sneak up on them or happen upon them without notice. 

Note to self #1: Don’t be quiet and do announce myself. 

Then I remembered that some poisonous snakes are more deadly as baby snakes because they haven’t learned how to use it yet. Ehhh! 

Note to self #2: I should fear said baby snake as much as a large one, just in case. 

Then I remember that some snakes can be scarred off by dogs, goats, chickens, etc. Just any animal bigger than it that is aimlessly wandering around can make a snake run off and hide, if it has a chance. 

Note to self #3: Bring guard dogs!

So the laundry was done in the washer and I prepared myself. I put on my boots to protect my feet and calves in case one struck at me (you might laugh, I was hardcore serious) then I loaded up my laundry, put my phone on iHeart radio to blast music, brought my dogs out with me and opened the back door singing along loudly to the music to “announce” myself! Lol! No sneaking up here, I was loud and with every piece of clothing I hung on the line I checked the fence line looking to see if I saw any snakes. I was terrified. Then once I got all the laundry up and, of course, the dogs wandered off because they didn’t know they were supposed to be guarding me, I got curious again. So I decided to slowly sneak over to the fence line and see if I could still see it in the same spot through a hole in the fence. I found a good hole, could see to the area and…IT WAS GONE! Ahhhh!

I swear, for DAYS upon days I thought about that snake every time I went out back and I totally boycotted that covered storage area by the shop, lol! My only solace in the days after was that it was a baby snake and that nothing actually happened. Although, it did make me realize I need to rattlesnake train my dogs with us living out here. They’re both totally “city dogs” and have no “animal avoidance” skills, yet!

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