Texas Gardening forum: True snake tale

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Feb 21, 2010 5:16 PM CST

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We moved into this house nearly 30 yrs ago. It was the first occupied home on the hilltop in a little country club community. My MIL, from Illinois, came to visit soon after ...a no nonsense German woman (who celebrated her 100th birthday July 26). We took her to all the local tourist spots on a nice spring day. Returning home, it was time for naps and showers before leaving again for dinner. I ran upstairs... removed my contacts and clothes, and was ready to enter the shower. That's when I saw what I thought was a leather ribbon my daughter must have left on the floor of the bathroom. As I blindly stooped to pick it up, it began to undulate and move along the wall...and I screamed bloody murder! Jumped in the shower, glass door pulled tight, and screamed for my husband. Well, he was "napping" downstairs. It was spring, AC was on, no one downstairs could hear me. Got up the courage to stick my hands out the shower door, opened the little adjacent window and yelled, but windows downstairs were closed and AC drowned me out . I finally figured out I could jump out the back of the shower, stuff a towel under the door, and scream at the top of my lungs from the upstairs landing.

Wrapped in a half-folded robe, I yelled from the top of the stairs..."snake, snake,snake,,," Did I mention the part about the no-nonsense German woman? She hit the bottom of the stairs with her little short arms on her hips and hissed..."Everyone's asleep. What the devil are you yelling for?" And putting my entire marriage in jeopardy, I screamed at her, " I have a %&^$#^^%^& snake in my bathroom! How 'bout that?" Without another word, she woke my husband...her son...who was also a Yankee... and told him I was screaming about a snake. He came a-runnin...not sure if it was because of the snake...or figuring he was going to have to run interference between mom and wife. While the rest of us stayed downstairs, he ran up...and then down ...incredibly, with a paper bag!!!! Past us and outside, he returned and announced it WAS a snake, but he had let it go in the street! What? Well..., excuse me..."I heard they run in pairs! I'm not sleeping up there until you find the other one!!!!!"
It took my daughter's 2nd grade teacher to convince me to sleep upstairs again. She claimed it was a cedar racer that got in because I left my upstairs deck door open while I watered my new petunias. She retired that year, and I still have that niggling feeling that DH paid her off to tell me that so I'd return to sleep upstairs...We don't have cedar racers...
Name: Nadine
Devers, Tx Zn 9b
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Moodene
Feb 21, 2010 7:03 PM CST
LOL.. Rolling on the floor laughing no snake tales here..my guard turkeys keep them away..
Love me like I am.
Name: Lee
Willis, Texas
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Feb 22, 2010 11:06 AM CST
Good story! The ol' Frau (MIL) must've thought you should've caught the snake youself, I guess!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Feb 22, 2010 11:16 AM CST

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You have to tell the story (or copy it) of the copperhead last summer....pleeeeezzzz

And yes, I think she was more upset that I would wake up her son's nap.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Feb 22, 2010 9:39 PM CST
I was in Pasadena, Texas as a little kid, I remember it was very snaky. Especially when it flooded real bad after that hurricane! And in Mauriceville also...I clearly remember my father killing a huge rattler there. I used to have nightmares about snakes. But I pretty much got over the fear once the family got to southcentral Texas.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Lee
Willis, Texas
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Feb 23, 2010 9:40 AM CST
Okeedoke....copied from my original post at DG...this happened in July....

" Well,...after all these years of encountering Copperheads through my lifetime...and always coming out on top (i.e.- copperhead dispatched)...the little scoundrels finally got a shot in,,,in the dark. Friday night at about 11:45pm,...I went outside to roll up my truck windows...yes, I was barefooted...like I usually am...but failed to turn on the outside light...as I was about to enter the backdoor (beneath a covered parking)...I stepped on a baby (@ 6-7" long) on the concrete slab...and it nailed me...on top of my right foot - near my little toe.

Thought I'd ride it out...thinkin' that it wasn't going to be pleasant... but I didn't believe my life would be in danger Hmmmmm...it all boils down to...I'm not as tough as I'd like to think I am...my "bulletproof" days are long gone...such a sad moment of enlightenment. I lasted about an hour & half...and decided to take myself to the Emergency Room for a little morphine...just to get me by,...you understand?
All foolishness aside,... The pain was pretty rough...starting at the joints of where my toes met my foot,...then the ankle,...and then the heel...the swelling was fairly bad...my foot became about 2-3 times bigger around, at one point...skin so sensitive...it very painful just to softly touch the skin. The swelling advanced up my leg to about mid-calf,...mostly on the same lateral side the bite was on...one analogy I've used to describe the pain was ...if you can imagine how it would feel ...for someone to slap the bottom of your foot with a baseball bat (swung as hard as one could) and doing that several times and then having a truck run over the same foot...maybe slightly crushing it...all that together combined to make your entire foot look and feel like a very large painfully sensitive bruise...throbbing unbearably unless keeping the entire foot elevated at least to the same level as yr heart...(relief that way is so precious)...THEN you would be very close to the same level of pain I experienced.

I've been attacked & bitten by about 4-5 dogs (perforations included),...scratched and bitten by numerous cats,...bitten by a squirrel, other snakes(non-venomous), lizards of all types (including a Caiman)...fish of all types (flounder's needle-like teeth were very painful...as well as a gar's)...I've been kicked by a horse and stepped on a couple of times,...cow-kicked a couple of times,...butted and knocked down a few times by goats & sheep...pinched numerous times by Atlantic Blue Crab...as well as various crayfish (crawdads down here) ...stung by Portuguese Man-o-War jellyfish .
Each of which,...in their own way,... caused me varied degrees of discomfort/pain...but I'd take one of each of these,...one by one...in a row...before I'd go through the lil' baby copperhead bite again...(this,...all assuming,...that I had a choice ) (smile)

I gladly medicated my nervous system last night...without guilt,...and am proud to be aware of and declare that... I...will...LIVE.!!!

BTW...I wouldn't recommend tryin' this at YOUR home...or anyone else's home for that matter. It is not for...uhmmm hmmm...sissies

Trust me! Lee"

As a young fella thru into my teens.....herpetology was a hobby of mine....I've caught & handled each type of poisonous snake....not every species but
every type - i.e. Copperhead, Rattlesnake(s), Coral Snake & Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin. I was the "oddball" bookworm of the family that collected and preserved insects, reptiles, amphibians,fish, etc and every year during reunions,family get-togethers,....my relatives (that weren't afraid) would tour my room to veiw my latest additions to my "museum" - Never snake bitten by a poisonous snake.....until 45-50 yrs later,...go figure!


Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Feb 23, 2010 10:10 AM CST

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Thanks Lee! That's a classic!
Name: Charlene Houseman
Lehigh Acres, Fl 33971 (Zone 9b)
Newly transplanted fr Cen TX
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charlenesplants
Feb 23, 2010 2:46 PM CST
I used to own an antique shop. The corner I was on was a great location for getting lots of people to bring in stuff to sell. I had one couple that I'm afraid my dh was not too fond of. They had inherited "her" gm's old estate. ( I had checked that out so as not to be buying stolen goods.)

One morning I was in the shower when they came by with two boxes of "stuff". Well dh knew I'd be mad if he didn't buy it from them. They would usually just want ten bucks a box. I always made out like a bandit with their boxes.

Well, it was winter time and dh stuck the two boxes under the counter. He failed to mention the box purchases to me. I always kept a small electric heater down by my feet (under the counter).

I went in to open the shop and saw what I thought was a pretty silk scarf on the floor. Walking closer to the scarf it started to crawl off. Well those of you who know me, know I am a very large lady. I climbed on top of the counter (tempered glass) and screamed for all I was worth. My dh finally heard my screams and came in. He and my daughter caught the snake. It turned out to be a calico king snake. My daughter took it to Lamar university where it went into a cage with others of it's kind.

The following night I went into the shop to do some work on a chandelier. I turned on the light and there was another snake. Even though I knew it was harmless, it scared the %#* out of me! DH retrieved and removed it and we began to wonder why for Pete's sake in the middle of winter were we having an invasion of snakes.

The next day, I noticed the two boxes under the counter. I asked dh about them and he told me about his purchase. I began to excitedly dig into the boxes. Low and behold there were more snakes. He removed the boxes to the outside and removed the snakes to a better home (the woods).

We finally realized that the snakes had been in hibernation and the warmth of the heater woke them up. I never allowed an unpacked box to come into the shop again.

Charlene
p.s. I have never like snakes, but I have to say those were the prettiest snakes I have ever seen before. Black with neon green polka dots on them.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Feb 23, 2010 2:49 PM CST

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Oh Charlene, I think I would have had to move the shop!
Name: Charlene Houseman
Lehigh Acres, Fl 33971 (Zone 9b)
Newly transplanted fr Cen TX
Birds Roses Seller of Garden Stuff Tropicals Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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charlenesplants
Feb 23, 2010 3:06 PM CST
Sandi,
The snakes were harmless, I just risked my life climbing on top of the glass counter.
It held me, so I lucked out!

So, the snake wouldn't have killed me, but I could've killed myself trying to get away!

Grumbling
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
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Bubbles
Feb 23, 2010 3:27 PM CST

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Funny!
Name: kenboy
Big Sandy TX zone 8
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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kenboy
Feb 23, 2010 6:59 PM CST
I love snakes;



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Name: Tina Allison
Caddo Mills, TX
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Plumerias Orchids Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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Tina_A
Feb 23, 2010 8:36 PM CST
Those stories are funny Hurray! . I'm so glad that everyone is fine. Kenboy, I like snakes too, just not around me. lol I do like other reptiles though.
Tina
Composting and vermicomposting
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 23, 2010 11:25 PM CST

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Ken..there must be a story with that photo.
Name: Lee
Willis, Texas
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Feb 24, 2010 8:56 AM CST
Snakes are very beneficial and necessary....some just need to be treated with healthy respect.......say for example,.....a King Cobra ....or Reticulated Python that is 15-20 ft or more long....best viewed from afar!
Name: Charlene Houseman
Lehigh Acres, Fl 33971 (Zone 9b)
Newly transplanted fr Cen TX
Birds Roses Seller of Garden Stuff Tropicals Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Purslane Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Garden Art
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charlenesplants
Feb 24, 2010 9:40 AM CST
I did learn to appreciate the king snakes. They are really very pretty. I saw a photo on dg of one eating a rattlesnake. That made me appreciate them even more.

I just really didn't like being surprised by a snake! A moving scarf scared the $%# out of me. LOL

I had a snake on a plant. It was a ribbon snake. That one did not bother me at all. I left it alone to eat bugs.

Charlene

Thumb of 2010-02-24/charlenesplants/e19f96
Name: Lee
Willis, Texas
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Feb 28, 2010 10:59 PM CST
Not exactly an exciting story - a couple of years ago,...I was workin' around my tool shed/barn and smelled somethin' dead.....so I started lookin' around and found the source - it was a blue racer that had slithered into a stack of folded monofilament bird netting that I cover my peach trees with.
The mesh in this netting is about 3/4" square - maybe 1"....but it was large enough for this snake's head to be able to go through...and it had tried to get in between the folds ( there were several nets stacked together).....and started thru one of the mesh.....making it about a foot in length when its body diameter was too big to go thru.....at that time the mesh filament worked like a gill net....trapping the snake because its scales hung on the filaments of the net as it tried to back out of the mesh. I felt so bad for it...because I don't know how long ot took for it to eventually die.....but I'm sure it was trapped for a while before it died....which was so unfortunate. I removed the dead snake and put the netting in a different location so it couldn't happen again
I've seen many different types of snakes on our property.....1st blue racer and we lost him. I don't bother any of the non- venomous snakes since I know they are beneficial
Name: Charlene Houseman
Lehigh Acres, Fl 33971 (Zone 9b)
Newly transplanted fr Cen TX
Birds Roses Seller of Garden Stuff Tropicals Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Purslane Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Garden Art
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charlenesplants
Mar 1, 2010 9:42 AM CST
Well, if we are allow two true tales here's my second one!

My dh and I lived in our travel trailer for the first two years when we bought this property. I had him install a regular sized hot water heater and build a closet to house it against the outside of the trailer.

He had not sealed it well (obviously or I wouldn't have this tale to tell).

I was sitting at my computer. I had taken out a set of bunk beds and made that little area into my space for working online. There was a rail running around the wall where the top bunk had been.

I sat there one day working away. I had the sense that I was being watched. I kind of had a shiver up my spine, but thought there was no reason for that, so I kept on working.

All of a sudden out of my peripheral vision, I saw (what at the time seemed huge) something on the top shelf that I had placed above my computer. I looked up and there was a chicken snake laying partly on the rail and partly on the shelf. It was staring at me I think! It was about three feet long. The shelf was just above my monitor, so you can imagine how close it was to me.

I almost had a heart attack! I went out of the house screaming at the top of my lungs. I ran so darned fast that I must have set a record for a fat old lady.

My daughter went back inside and my husband came and searched. They couldn't find him. My dh went outside to have a look around and my daughter spotted him under the sink halfway outside. I couldn't believe it, but she caught it by the tail and held it until my dh opened up the hotwater closet and then killed the buger. We had chickens, so even though he was harmless to people, the snake needed to be gone.

Don't worry! I have a third tale to come later!!

I wish I could say no snakes were harmed in this tale, but that would be a lie. He was fat from eating eggs, and that was my eggs he was eating!
Name: Lee
Willis, Texas
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 1, 2010 1:17 PM CST
I've got a glass egg made just for the bugger!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 1, 2010 2:13 PM CST

Moderator

Good story Charlene!
We have those huge rat snakes in the trees. The birds go crazy when they're around. One day DD came by and we were sitting at the table in the breakfast room chatting. I was facing the windows and she had her back to them. All of a sudden I saw a very fat, long snake fall past the window! There's no ledge out there, no tree, just a 2 story wall. I jumped up and said, "I just saw a snake fall out of the sky!" My DD frowned at me and told me to stop trying to scare her. DH was home and I went running to tell him. He rolled his eyes and said it wasn't possible. After I insisted he go and look, while DD and I stayed in the house by the windows, he finally got to the side, leaned over the flower bed with his hands on the wall, and said, "There's nothing here, no snake..." and then he jumped back...because he saw this huge black snake in the flower bed hiding! Forgive me PETA, but told him to get rid of it, and also to tell me how he fell out of the sky. We finally figured out that the snake had slithered along the top of the fence, then tried to continue along up the side of the house on the TV cable wire. He was too big for it to support him, and he "fell out of the sky." DH hit snake with shovel a few times and pronounced him dead... I went out about 4 hours later and...no he wasn't dead...and he was bigger than I thought . I went tearing around the side of the house screaming about the snake. So DH gives me his "eye roll" again and I run inside while he goes to re-kill snake. When he finally came in, I asked him if he killed it, and what did he do with it. He said it was dead and he threw it over the fence into the greenbelt. That wasn't what I wanted to hear, so I said, "You just threw him over the fence? How do you know he won't come back?" And with his droll sense of humor he said, "Because I threw both pieces of him over the fence."

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