Thursday, September 9, 2021

 Autumn slightly edges out Spring as my favorite time of the year. Much of it is due to the milder temperatures. The lawn part of my property is a bit out of control. I've mowed a little of the worst about half way. Tonight, I plan to work a bit more. I could wait a few months and really have an easier time maybe. Next year I plan to purchase another riding mower. The push mower is moving the snake line further back.

Where I live, how much I mow is flexible. Some will not be mown before winter sets in. I love the Autumn wild flower parade. There is a new coyote in residence which makes me want to mow a bit. The dogs will only go out close to the house in the mornings and evenings with a longer walk midday. I'll be able to admire my flowers better. Besides the coyote is quite sneaky. We have to be mindful of him or her all the time.

My favorite snake which I missed a photo opportunity was a nosy black coachwhip? that arched his head up to look at me. Coachwhips will chase you. Upon catching you, they wrap around your leg and beat you badly. My dad told me that story with the additional information that the snake is just nosy. The snake only wants to get a good look at you hence the chase. I've heard stories of being chased. 

I'm a snake respecter. I definitely do not have a hankering to hold one; although, I have held many. My favorite time was rescuing my body builder neighbor in a duplex. He couldn't walk out his door because of a snake which was probably a black rat snake. I gingerly picked up the snake and walked it to a wooded area about 100 yards (meters) from our homes. 

One time my dogs were all barking at a harmless King snake. The yellow lab, Mathilda, I owned at the time kept retrieving the dang snake and dropping it at my feet. Each time I squealed like the body builder. I don't think Mathilda was being all hoity toity with me. Just being a retriever is the vibe I was getting. I swept the rather large snake onto a large shovel and gently tossed it over the fence to the overgrown pasture. It was rather pretty.

About two months ago, I saw how a copperhead got it's name. There was one in the middle of my driveway. I turned immediately. It was coiled, hissing, glittering gold in the sunlight. My dogs did not follow my instruction to turn around and come home quickly. They had to approach the snake. They hadn't ever made an acquaintance with that snake. Fortunately, nothing happened. We do have rattlesnakes which I have seen. I've had two dogs to die of snake bites. 

One time I had the biggest rattlesnake in my garage. I literally swept it out with a push broom. I had called the sheriff department and the young woman officer was going to shoot it with a shotgun but it was too close to the house. When we walked around the car, that dang snake was gone like disappeared. I had a large Confederate Rose plant that she felt the snake disappeared into.

I sort of wondered it it was a spirit in that it disappeared so quickly. I did not want to say that to the officer in that she would have thought I was crazy for sure. Plus, the snake was very solid when I swept it out of the garage. 

According to Native American mythology, the snake is a harbinger of change. Now, I don't know which group of folks share that exact belief so I made a quick google of snake symbolism. The Greeks felt snakes were sacred and used in healing rituals. This is why two snakes encircling a staff is used as a medical symbol called a Caduceus. 

Caduceus on a gravestone, Glasgow Cathedral, Scotland
Wikimedia Commons Link to Photo

Above is a gravestone found at Glasgow Cathedral in Scotland. Below is a caduceus found on the Russell Dixon Building in Washington DC USA.

Russell A. Dixon Building Caduceus (Washington, DC)


Caduceus yellow



For those of us with  Judeo-Christian heritage, we all know the allegory of a serpent being the tempter of Adam and Eve in the story of original sin. 

Moses staff was turned into a serpent before the pharoah and was used to part the Red Sea. The staff was adorned with a snake which protected the Israelites from snake bites as they wandered the Sinai for 40 years. Moses was not allowed into the promise land because out of anger, he hit a rock with the staff to provide water and did not have faith to simply ask the rock.


My favorite insect is a snake doctor. That is probably my cosmic connections to the snake. Truthfully, I admire all creatures. My dad would have us to capture spiders and take them outside. Dad said everything has got a job to do.

18 comments:

  1. ן'm afraid of snakes and keep away from spots where they might appear. I tend to like all creatures, but not those with the potential to harm me.

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    1. Caution is a good thing. I will kill or relocate a rattlesnake. Their poison is so deadly. I had a small rattlesnake in my front yard and it survived because all my dogs were with me as usual. Most people bitten are in the process of killing the animal. Some are bitten after they kill the animal not knowing it's reflexes are still active.

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  2. I can see the beauty of snakes but treat them with a very healthy respect. Many of ours are venomous (some very much so). At one of our homes a red-bellied black snake lived under the front steps and frequently sunned on them. For a lot of the year I only used the back door.
    I share your love of autumn too. Milder temperatures and aboreal fireworks. What's not to love?

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    1. I had to look up the red=bellied snake and came across ten venomous snakes in Australia. I would be using the back steps too! Here, it is not unusual for a snake to take residence in the walls of a house. If a mouse chances by, snake can stay a bit longer. I need to get my house treated for termites. I delay in that I worry about snakes living in my homes crawl space and the person who treats the house for termites.

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  3. Thankfully we have no snakes in Northern Ireland, and no other life-threatening species. But I remember when I was on a bushwalk with a friend near Melbourne, she was warning us to be on the lookout for snakes, which we were oblivious to.

    Sorry to hear you've had two dogs die of snake bites.

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    1. Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland is the legend I grew up with. I'm surprised there are no snakes in Ireland. It is warm enough for them.

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  4. I've seen snakes in the wild here when Ken and I used to hike in the mountains and at Red Rock. I don't mind them but like it better when I don't spot them near me.

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    1. As accustomed as I am to a snake, I don't like to have them close to me. I still squeal on the inside.

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  5. I don't think I've ever seen a snake in the wild. I know I never saw one in Illinois and we don't have snakes in Hawaii although they catch them occasionally hitching a ride in an airplane wheel well. That's spooky that you see so many poisonous snakes in your area.

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    1. It is what you are used to. The two poisonous snakes I have encountered are not aggressive. They do try to get away from you.

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  6. For the first time ever this year I saw a snake on our lawn as I was cutting the grass. I'm not in a rush to see one again, but they don't really scare me. I'd rather see a snake than a massive spider.

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    1. I'm cleaning my house outside and I make huge circles around the spider egg sacs outside my back door. I love a large garden spider. But we all have our likes. I once had a spider that spun it's web just right to be illuminated by the moon one night.

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  7. I've seen a number of small snakes on walking trails we frequent in the summer (one of these is in a well used county park) and there was one in front of my house the other day. I'm a little surprised I never heard of the coachwhip during my two years of living in Florida but I do remember hearing of a teacher where I lived being bitten by a venemous snake while walking on his lawn. I don't think he survived. I have touched snakes, but that was in controlled encounters. I didn't know the history of snakes and the caduceus. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. The coachwhip will eat a rattlesnake. I don't think people know their animals much any more. We live in urban areas and less animals make their homes close to people. And people work hard to keep them out of their areas.

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  8. Here via Nick's blog, where I noticed your comment about being from the southeastern US, as I am. I actually really like snakes. They startle me when I come across them in the wild, but I am happy they are there doing their job. For a time, I had a pet ball python named Mike, who was a beauty.

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  9. Enjoyed your snake commentary. Remember when I was young going to an area with my friend and her grandfather to search for arrowheads. He cautioned us to be wary of copperheads, that they gave no warning. We never encountered any. My mother said my older brother had a garter snake that got out of his container in my brother’s room. She met the snake crawling down the stairway, she was none to welcoming though it was harmless she learned later.

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  10. I can understand snakes being a symbol of change. For me it would be an immediate change of location! We don't have a lot of snakes where I live, instead we have foxes. It always makes my day when I see one.

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  11. Like C R Ward, I, too, would make a change of scenery! Nor do I have a hankering for a snake to grab my leg ... even if only to be friendly!!

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 Autumn slightly edges out Spring as my favorite time of the year. Much of it is due to the milder temperatures. The lawn part of my propert...