Thursday, June 17, 2010

A snake in the grass...

As the Surgeon General requires warnings for lots of things, I want to warn those of you who suffer from Ophidiophobia that there is a picture ahead that you might not like…

Yesterday, I took a long lunch and after eating, walked a path in the hills and meadows behind a construction project that lately has been too much on my mind and in my dreams. Its bad enough to have to deal with it many waking hours, but when it invades my sleep, it’s living rent free in my head and that ain’t good. But anyway, a little fresh air is always nice and so I took a walk and took my camera with me.

Back in the spring of 2009, as we were getting ready to begin this project, we burned several sections of the “green space” and then reseeded the ground with wildflowers and native grasses. We also put in trails with blue bird and bat houses and duck boxes. Today, along the trail, you can see the evidence of the flowers. I am proud that the project perserves green space as well as converted an old gravel mine into the building area.

As I walked along, I heard a high pitch sound coming from the grass in the trail up ahead. I stopped and saw a large black snake, which obviously didn’t make the sound. I slowly moved closer, camera in hand, hoping to get a good picture, when the snake reared its head, letting loose a mouse. The moose tried to get away, but the snake quickly struck it in the back leg, knocking the mouse on its back. (see photo below). I was trying to get a better photo when the snake decided he didn’t want to tangle with me, so he took off. The mouse, stunned by the snake, rolled himself up and wiped his fur, gave me a curious look, and then headed off in the opposite direction. Today, I’m assuming I’m being heralded as some kind of god in the field mouse world, and maybe a demon in the snake world unless serpents are still aligned with the devil as they were in the Garden, then maybe I’m a god for them too. Or maybe I’m just the rude dude who ruined lunch.

By the way, in case you don’t know the word Ophidiophobia, it means a fear of snakes. I promise, there are no more snake photos (nor any of very scared mice), so enjoy the rest of the photos.


  1. We've gotten some pretty good pics of snakes here. Last year we had a bunch of little copperheads. That kind of freaked me out.

  2. Beautiful photos, Sage, all but that snake. EW. Actually, black snakes don't bother me.

    I ran over a small snake on my driveway yesterday - a worm snake - smushed him flat!

  3. Our similar but recently finished construction project is still surrounded by acres of black mud. It would have been nice to have wild flowers though I could have skipped any snakes.

  4. Blue racer? Those snakes can really move fast!

  5. I can't believe I lost my whole response..


    I can't re-type it, Great preserve awesome Snake.

    I've never seen one kill..that's what I'm waiting on!

    Ily is awesome and I
    'd LOVE to meet her and her Father.

    What is the blue flower at the very top..I have them all over the yard...I figured it was a weed.....hmmmmmmmm roll and....


  6. Too cool... I was about to post a black snake photo as well. Not nearly as wildly exciting. You saved a mouse! Beautiful glade or meadow too...

  7. Love the fields and flowers, but the snake...not so much! I can't believe you took these photos on a short nature walk after lunch. Your area is beautiful!

  8. I love snakes. They keep a lot of critters away from my house. The biggest fights I've had with my wife have been about whether to kill black and king snakes in my yard. To her, they're all cobras.


  9. Beautifully written Sage. One of your best post ever, word wise. And wonderful pictures
    Having your dreams invaded becomes you :)Or your blog posts!

  10. Charles, when I was a kid in eastern NC, we had a family of Pigmy Rattlers under our house

    Kenju, are you gloating over that smashed snake?

    Ed, hopefully before fall, we'll have landscape complete. Of course, the natural areas will be left wild

    Buffalo, I think it's a Black Rat Snake

    John, I once saw a larger snake (I don't remember the type) eat a green snake--that little green snake fought hard but no match

    Beau, I'll be looking forward to your snake photo

    Ily, sorry about the snake, but seeing it was a treat!

    Randall, I understand! My mom was that way.

    Pia, thanks, I didn't think of this as a literary post. I've thought about expanding the bit I work about the encounter with the snake and mouse--if you look at the photo blown up, you see the mouse's tail hairs sticking up.

  11. Crisis situations I can handle. Snakes, I avoid! ;)

  12. Ugh, I would have been gone LONG before the mouse. I'm sure the mice are erecting a monument in your honor as I type.

    I HATE dreaming about work. It's like working around the clock.

    The lush greenery is gorgeous.

  13. THANK YOU for the heads-up. I zipped past that photo lightening fast.

    Now THAT would have given me nightmares.

    Gorgeous photos, though....(the rest, anyway...)