A Snake in the Grass, and Other Places

8 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites


The air conditioning installers had a hard day from 2:30 in the afternoon until 9:30 p. m. when they finished getting all the equipment in place. We have a small air-conditioner in our studio/garage so we spent all afternoon and evening in there out of the way. I painted, Bill wrote on his computer. At suppertime we ate leftovers on a tray and watched Spencer Tracy in, “Stanly and Livingston.” Every time Bill came back from delivering ice water to the working men he had a bit of news for me: they put down the new slab, the head installer had to go to the store for parts, they don’t’ know when they’ll be done. One of the news flashes was that when one of the installers pulled the old tray out through the big pipe that held all the cables and wires, a six-foot black snake rode out with it. Bill was astonished. He had empathy for the installer’s startlement. Bill was bitten by a cotton mouth moccasin in a swamp down in Texas when he was a child. When he told me about the black snake, he shivered and said, “I had just put my hand in that hole up to the elbow.” Narrow escape indeed.


Covered Over Snake Hole

I would have been startled too, even though there’s nothing inherently wrong with black snakes. They keep the rodent population under control and I happen to believe this particular snake had made himself part of the family. I’m pretty sure he’s the same one I wrote about in one of my first blogs. All I need to know is whether it could grow to six foot in four years or not. Back then it was a tiny black snake about as big around as a pencil and not much longer. That time we found it inside the hallway near the air conditioning closet. I’ve seen it under the azalea bush, slithering behind the model-airplane hangar and sunning itself on the slant bar of the chain link fence. I came to believe we could live in harmony, and now I imagine that the black snake is the one who has kept the invasive Cuban Tree Frog population down. I didn’t begrudge him his shelter under the house, but I was grateful that he didn’t come back into the house.



Our neighbor had a big black snake come down through the vent in her roof and out into the bathroom through the toilet. When they discovered him he was moving over the big wall mirror leaving a trail of sewer smut behind. Our snake at least didn’t do anything as impolite as that.

At dinner the other day we discussed where the snake might live now that his home is closed off. Bill favored some nice-sized PVC pipes he has on the other side of the hangar. We also thought he might like the pile of rocks holding back soil erosion over the drainage ditch out back. We’re sure he’ll find a place. The next time the installers came, they spotted him hanging around in the grass close to the AC inlet. So far we love living close to nature. It’s been fifty years and we have a nature area behind us and a well-field on the other side of our neighbor, so hopefully it will go on for the next several decades before we travel on to our next home.

4 Responses to “A Snake in the Grass, and Other Places”

  1. Dana Griffin August 8, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    Had a snake sunning himself on our deck last summer that startled me. Sadly, he is no longer with us. They can go anywhere on our yard and I won’t bother them. Come close to getting in our house, and I have a problem with them.


  2. itsrebekahlyn August 8, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    I get freaked out every time I hear stories of snakes coming out of the toilet. I am cautious each time I open the toilet lid.


  3. bobnailor August 8, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    We have garter snakes around our house, some itty-bitty ones early in the season and a couple of big ones. I don’t mind them but my wife and daughters-in-law don’t cozy up to them as well. Of course, I don’t like getting startled, like stepping on one barefooted as it slides through the yard. Yup, caught it with the arch of my foot – I probably jumped at least 20 feet igh since I’m sure I could see the backyard over the top of my ranch house for a split second. Now the rest of Mother Nature don’t seem to scare us as bad – the deer, raccoon, possum, woodchucks, rabbits, birds, etc. Of course, there is that cougar I’ve seen once in my backyard… uh, I was inside, it was outside. Mostly, we co-exist with our wildland neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Diane Rapp August 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    I don’t mind snakes if they stay away from the house. Our Standard Poodle was bitten my a copperhead two years agao and that was very scary. He get innoculations that help if he ever gets bitten again but the shots don’t work for Cotton Mouths. He’s very careful where he steps now, so that might help more than a shot. It’s the price we pay for living near nature.

    Liked by 1 person

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