Texas Gardening forum: True snake tale

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Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 1, 2010 3:10 PM CST
Nothin' I despise more than egg-suckin', sky-divin' snakes!

Charlene - Yes Ma'am, a good story! Bein' startled like that......the adrenaline rush can make one easily hurt themself just tryin' to get away! You were on your toes that day! (smile)
....I understand the need for varmint control....especially when it comes to one robbin' me of my eggs and chickens....with us havin' 4 furry kids,....the same consideration is given to poisonous snakes on the property. that's how it is in the country, ...I'm surprised that you would be so skeert.....I would've never guessed that Hilarious!

Sandi - Another good one!
On more than one occasion,....I've seen a rat snake climb a tree ( large ones) getting away from the mower as it approached...amazin'!
Sounds like to me......that if your DH tells you a mosquito can pull a plow.....you better put a harness on it! Rolling my eyes.
:
God Bless America!
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 1, 2010 4:05 PM CST
When I told y'all about my recent snake bite,.....I said that I'd never been bitten by a poisonous snake prior to that.......but I did not tell you that that was the 2nd time I'd stepped on a Copperhead while bare-footed.
A little over 50 years ago....back when the McKay Bridge over Lake Houston was still a riveted steel plate & beam structure.....when bullfrogs,...(some dark emerald....some pale lime)...grew big....up to over 2ft long....and were plentiful along the shorelines of the numerous islands on the lake;...there on the northwest corner where FM1960 crossed Lake Houston,.....was the entrance to the Atascosito Country Club,...they had a fine golf course, boat launching ramp/area and some wonderful miles sandy dirt roads that wound along cleared shoreline with many inlets and sloughs....though somewhat rugged/primitive (no amenities)....it was a virtual campers paradise......(at least those who were prepared to be self sufficient).

Along with that "ruggedness" came the realization that we were in Nature's territory...the intruders......so encounters with numerous, various animals was commonplace.....from the tiny seed ticks to 80 + pounds of alligator gar....with many a different kind of snake in between.
We were camping one weekend Mid Spring on an extended point.....maybe 30 yds back from the shoreline...just within the trees (needed shade during the day).....we had one of those deluxe canvas tents (with a floor, mosquito net zippered door & windows) set up and airing out with the windows open and the door unzipped/open. I remember it was starting to get dusk and the smell of white gas being burned mixed in with the fresh woodsy smell of sweetgums,hickorys, oaks, magnolias. as coleman stoves were goin' and supper bein' prepared. Everyone was settlin; in after spending the afternoon
swimmin', fishin'. explorin'...you name it..........we had just fired up the coleman lanterns so cookin' wouldn't be interrupted by darkness. I went to our tent
to retrieve somethin' and as I stepped into the tent .....(barefooted)........and the sensation of my bare skin coming in contact with the dry scales of the snake
and feeling the springy compression of the snakes ribs as the weight of my foot pushed down......is still a vivid memory. Everyone from Karate Kid to Bruce Lee would've been impressed with my lightnin' fast reflexes....because I remember I quickly lept up & out of the tent entrance....simultaneously yellin' "Snake!".....apparently fast enough to evade perforation....all of this without having actually seen the snake....just feelin' it. A fellow camper (co-worker of my father)...quickly came with a cast iron skillet and flashlight and dispatched an adult Copperhead that was about 1/2" shy of 24"...a large one.

the following weekend,....we moved to a different camping location......where later that evening,...our cocker spaniel was bitten by a Copperhead....lots of magnolias in that neck of the woods......the dead leaves were ideal cover/shelter for the copperheads.

My childhood memories are laden with episodes and encounters with the natural world that was back then.

Night fishing was always an adventure back then on Lake Houston
God Bless America!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Mar 1, 2010 4:41 PM CST

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Shudder, shudder.....I could actually visualize your experience....right down to unconsciously picking up my feet, just in case. I'm gonna have nightmares! Good story....
Is a rat snake the same as a chicken snake? When we first moved up here, the doctor that lived across the street used to have to go in to the hospital in the middle of the night. He claimed that early one morning when it was still dark, he almost hit a huge snake that stretched all the way across the street. We all teased him for a long time about it! Then we were at a neighborhood party a few years later and someone told the story of finding a chicken snake under their storeroom that was at least 10 ft long and looked like a python, but he could never catch it. I wouldn't even go out to get the paper until the sun came up after that!
Never mind, just don't tell me they may be the same thing.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Mar 1, 2010 6:57 PM CST

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Okay, I fogot to address the "mosquito/harness/plow" comment, Lee. If it has anything to do with minding him, ...or even listening to him, we're way past that fork in the road! Even he acknowledges that.....after 40 yrs...!
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 1, 2010 9:44 PM CST
Ha, Ha! Haaaaa!I was wondering if you were gonna respond to that one! Whistling

What's normally known as a rat snake is not the same as what's normally called a chicken snake....although either one will likely eat the same things
the other will if the circumstances are right. The chicken snake will swallow eggs whole and then constrict itself around somethin' to crush the egg shells within,,,,I don't remember reading about other constrictors in our area doin' that as a matter of habit.....but that doesn't mean much (that I can't remember)
I've forgotten more than I remember these days!
God Bless America!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 8:07 AM CST

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Oh great...a constrictor...might be living in my storage shed...now I can sleep well.
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 2, 2010 9:01 AM CST
LOL rest assured.....the only things that needs to worry about bein' constricted are critters the size of say a squirrel ...give or take,...depending on the size of the snake....will not hurt you!
God Bless America!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 2, 2010 10:00 AM CST

Moderator

Oh, squirrels...well now that's something to think about. DH, affectionately now known by me as Col. Nutty, has "relocated'' 23 of those rats with furry tails to the farm....a great place with rolling green hills and men dressed in funny pants striking a tiny white ball with a metal stick.
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Mar 2, 2010 2:12 PM CST
More than once,...the thought has occurred to me that perhaps one way to get rid of pocket gophers....would be to send a rat snake or somethin' similar
down into their hole(s) and let nature work its magic! Tree rats are another matter...especially when they dig up my Bur Oak seedlings to get what remains of the acorns.....grrrr
God Bless America!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 3, 2010 8:52 AM CST

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Squirrels dug up some of my caladiums and replanted them in different places....some behind our fence in the compost pile last spring.
Name: Jujube
San Marcos, TX
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texoticfruits
Apr 6, 2010 8:22 AM CST
My wife went out to the chicken coop a few years back and found a five foot rat snake that had eaten a chicken egg and got stuck going back out the fence because the egg was too big. It was just hanging on the fence very dead looking. In a moment of foolishness, she decided to poke its face with her finger. Of course, it wasnt really dead and started hissing and biting at her. I told her that God create sticks just for poking dead snakes.
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Apr 6, 2010 9:01 AM CST
Ha, haa! sly little critter was messin' with her!
God Bless America!
Name: Charlene Houseman
Lehigh Acres, Fl 33971 (Zone 9b)
Newly transplanted fr Cen TX
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charlenesplants
Apr 6, 2010 2:20 PM CST
Alright, you asked for my "other" true snake tale. Here it is and believe me it is true.

My chickens were a clucking and I knew they were hungry. So, my dh not being home (feeding chickens was his job), I went out to get some chicken feed. Now you must bear in mind that even though I am still a very large lady, back then I was as wide as I was long!

I opened up the box and reached down to pick up a feed bucket and then opened up the bag and started to fill the bucket. All of a sudden, from the corner of my eye, I saw something move. I was foolish enough to take a second look to see what it was and yup! it was a huge and I mean really huge chicken snake.

I slammed the lid on the box shut and jumped backwards. Being rather round as I was when I jumped, I fell. I was so scared and I wanted to get away from the box quickly and at that point in my life, doing so would be difficult because I was too fat to get up on my own. So, (didn't know my daughter was standing on the porch watching) I started to roll as fast as I could to get as far away as quickly as I could.

I had to find something to hold onto to get myself up again. I rolled way down the drive to a lawn chair that was standing. I pulled myself up and then heard the most terrible moan I have ever heard. It was my daughter laughing and moaning so loud and so much that she wet her pants.

If there had been a camera on me, I am sure without a doubt that I would have won the biggest prize ever on America's Funniest videos.

Thank God above no one was filming!

That my friends at the moment is my last true snake tale.

Charlene
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Apr 7, 2010 4:16 PM CST

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That's pretty funny Charlene! I could just imagine you distancing yourself from that snake! I sure hope you don't have another encounter......but if you should....please don't forget to come back and tell us about it, okay? You tell a good story!
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Apr 8, 2010 10:22 AM CST
Good one Charlene....if there is another....let's hope it's from AFAR Smiling
God Bless America!
Name: Connie
Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9a)
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Petalpants
Apr 11, 2010 3:24 PM CST
Ha! Been reading all these Snake Stories, and some made me cringe, others made me laugh so hard, but unless you lived around them you wouldn't Really understand, right? I lived in Starr County as a young kid, an hour from the nearest town, so if you got bit by a Rattler you had a long wait to get to the closest hospital. One of my friends in elementary school was bit by one, when she went to get her bike out of their garage, & they packed her leg in ice for the trip to town; she was ok, & I visited her soon after she came home. Sometimes people would come home from town at night & find a big Rattler coiled up on their warm concrete front porch---- what a Welcome Home, huh?!
I used to listen to my Mom tell us stories about 'battlin' snakes' when I was older; she said one time a rattler came into the yard, my Dad was at work; so she put all 3 of us kids in the house, got a nearby hoe & went to kill it; but she said the hoe had become Dull (probably from killing all those snakes, Ha!), and she said it took a loooong time, because it wouldn't Cut, & she was having to kinda Saw it back & forth with the hoe, making the snake madder most likely! She finally killed it...
Later on, we moved to McAllen, Hidalgo County, when I was in 8th grade, & new friends would ask, Why are you always watching the ground when we walk? I said I was used to looking out for snakes! They said they never saw snakes there in town; It took me Years to get used to Not Looking Down!! =) Sometime I'll tell y'all about the huge snake that crawled into a hole in the bathroom of my inlaws' farmhouse--- when someone was ...well, busy!
Connie
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Apr 11, 2010 3:46 PM CST

Moderator

Okaaaay...Petalpants, we're waiting for that story now!!!!!
Name: Lee
Latexo, Texas (Zone 8a)
Tweedle_Lee_Dee
Apr 14, 2010 12:13 PM CST
Now would be a good time, Connie.....we're anxiously anticipating your adventure!! Pleeeeeease?
God Bless America!
Name: Jujube
San Marcos, TX
Make your plants work for you since
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texoticfruits
Apr 16, 2010 6:44 PM CST
I was at the orchard tonight checking the trees and the rain gauge. I decided to check the Black Walnut and Pecans I planted at the back of the property. I was wading thru the grass when I looked down and found my foot right next to a 5 foot rattlesnake! I jumped into the air (while screaming like a little girl) and ran to the dirt road. I went back with a stick to make sure and it was definitely a rattlesnake.

I want to know why the little f***er didnt rattle. Dont we have some sort of agreement about that. He didnt even rattle when I poked him with the stick. Anyway, no more flip flops at the land. Boots only. I was wearing big rubber boots today, thank god. I am very proud I didnt soil myself. HA!
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
Apr 17, 2010 9:33 PM CST
If that had happened a few weeks from now, you would have likely been bitten.
The snakes are cold blooded creatures and are just now coming out of hibernation. Their blood is still like jelly and they can't respond as they will be able to when it is a little bit warmer.

Lucky you!! Rattlesnakes can spring a very long distance and it would have rattled it's little head off just before biting as you jumped back. Very lucky you!

Be careful!!

Charlene

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