Yesterday afternoon, hubby and I went to the local deplorabar, which is an obnoxious dump, but the trip there looks like this:
Time for a quick boat ride? pic.twitter.com/tyuddjiw60
— Betty Cracker ? (@bettycrackerfl) September 28, 2019
So the ride there was fun. We tied up to a rickety-ass dock that is a lawsuit in waiting, and as we walked toward the establishment, I saw a HUGE motherfucking snakeskin in the grass. I stopped and took a picture:
And no sooner had I snapped that photo with my phone, the former wearer of that skin came shooting through the grass in my general direction. I ran like the hounds of hell were on my heels, screaming my head off, as one does when pursued by a giant snake.
My husband thought that was funny. It was not. The snake was a big honking water moccasin, which is not the sort of snake one wants to encounter since they are venomous.
When we got inside the pub, we warned fellow patrons and the barkeep and reported the snake’s last known coordinates. On the way back to the boat, we gave that area a wide berth.
Jesus, I hate snakes. My husband always chides me for my long-standing snake hatred and expounds on the many ways snakes are beneficial. He should save his breath because I don’t want them to go extinct, and I don’t do anything to physically harm them.
I’m not arguing against the idea of snakes; I just want them to stay away from me. I don’t want to see them, even the “harmless” ones, because there’s no such thing: I’ve harmed myself fleeing snakes many times, including running face-first into a glass door when some asshole brought a pet boa constrictor into a convenience store and got in line behind me.
Anyway, that was my excitement for the weekend. How’s your Sunday going?
As I read your first line and glanced at the photo, I hadn’t scrolled the photo all the way down. So all I saw was the sidewalk thing crossing the picture and some huge long black thing in the grass above it.
And I thought wow, that is one m effing long snakeskin!!!
Then I scroll down further…
@balconesfault: I had the same experience!
hells littlest angel
My property is crawling (heh) with garter snakes. They took some getting used to, but they’re small, not fast moving, and they keep the mice under control, so I have come to appreciate them. Still, they can startle.
Oh, and also, they’re creepy. They just are.
BC in Illinois
A friend in North Carolina, when asked why he didn’t like snakes, replied:
“I don’t have anything for a snake to do.”
(Yeah, I know, they eat critters and stuff, but if a snake came to interview for that position, I would look for other applicants.)
Might I add, water moccasins are highly irritable, and that trait is one of the reasons they, along with copperheads are so dangerous—they want you to go away, and will do everything they can to make it so. They do not fall into boats on the water so much as climb into them, which I have watched from a safe distance.
So, good on you for cutting and running!
On the off chance that you’re feeling that the world is too bright and happy this morning, read this. It’s an inside account from the Chinese reeducation camps. I have no idea what we can do about this, but we need to at least bear witness.
I hate snakes too
I’ve always thought snakes are really fascinating and cool, and love to look at the ones I see around our house. The interest is not returned by the snakes, however. If they’re awake, they want to leave. Here in N CA, there are rattlers (poisonous) and gopher snakes (non-poisonous) which look very similar, except the rattlers have rattles (if you can see their tail) and the triangular head of a pit viper. When I first moved to the country, I was concerned about telling them apart. Then I discovered that if I stand there and say to myself “I wonder which kind this snake is”, it’s a gopher snake. If I see a snake and immediately jump, that’s my monkey brain recognizing a rattler. Never fails.
At least the rattlers around here are kind enough to hide most of the time.
How’s about an unexpected musical interlude?
P.S.: No snakes in Hawaii!
I shouldn’t laugh but I am, but also you correctly ran! Water moccasins are one of the few snakes that are not in the slightest afraid of you and somewhat aggressive. Fat lil bastards.
I had a terrible fear of snakes as a wee one – which I managed to (partially) cure myself of by reading about them (“All About Snakes”, kid book written by a herpetologist, was my bible).
That being said, I have backslid quite some way in the fear department since moving to rattlesnake country.
And if my hubby or SO had *ever* laughed at me about being chased by a venomous snake, there would have been…consequences. Grave consequences.
No sneks. So I guess weekend is going good. Lots of rain today, but we needed it.
Roughly reminds me of the work of art about this location (another Florida location, as you will see).
Those with extreme fear of snakes or extreme affection for Disneyworld may want to skip that link.
Meanwhile the snake’s thought balloon says . o O (Mommy? MOMMY!!!)
Yes, and in that the Russians have fucked up this time. Nobody cares what Tulsi Gabbard says, except possibly to turn against what she says because she’s the one who said it. Sanders scooped up new Democrat voters, then turned them against us. Tulsi can’t do that.
Good god, I thought snakes only attacked when cornered.
@NotMax: Well, there is one. The dreaded red-banded Tulsi is mean as a snake.
(I know, snakes aren’t mean. At least the reptile variety.)
What they’re trying to do is to fire up the trolls who stirred the drama last time pretending to be Bernie fans. I’m seeing some of my leftist friends starting to fall for it.
So I’m looking at the big black thing in the upper part of the picture and am all “Yup, that’s big, but I don’t think it’s a snake skin.”
Bwahahaha! I would love to have been there for the convenience store drama! I love snakes, but before I scrolled down to see the bottom half of the picture, I thought the black wall in the background was the shed skin and thought “holy shit!”
Agree, ever since a “non-venomous” northern water snake bit me many years ago while I was minding my own business, breaking up downed branches in the yard.
The thing about “harmless” snakes is: if they’re brown and mottled and big, and that’s all you see of them as they drop back from biting your hand and scoot rapidly off to wherever they hang out when they’re not biting you, YOU DON’T KNOW THEY’RE NON-VENOMOUS.
You still have to call 911, and the EMS vehicle still comes screaming out, with techs and doctors and nurses and so on, and you wait in terror for your arm to swell up into a watermelon, and you still have to have a tetanus shot, and it just generally ruins your day.
Then you get to pick tiny little glass teeth out of your hand for a month or so.
I’m with you on the snake-bros. At least the mottled brown ones.
Garter snakes and blacksnakes are welcome, except in spring when they noodle around in every tree and bush in the garden, looking for birds’ nests.
What creeps me out the most are spiders, but I’ve managed to mostly overcome that by learning all I can about them. They are truly fascinating, highly evolved, (creepy) miracles of creation. I just don’t want them on me.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Open carry laws are weird in Florida.
I intend to keep referring to her as Quisli, the affectionate form of quisling. Quisli Gabbardova, Putin’s Queen Rook Pawn
Betty, for a.person with a snake I think you living in the wrong state. Of course the whole SE U.S.A is lousy with snakes.
Heartfelt sympathy for your panic response. I have a similar avoidance policy with a different creature.
Quiet morning. Finishing up a month-old Harper’s cryptic puzzle, ‘Vicious Circles’. I got the cryptic bug back in grad school, and once in a while it overtakes everything else I might happen to be doing. Still have a couple of letters that may not be right.
Also poking at the new multitasking features of my iPad. A bit buggy, IMO.
There was an “incident” with a snake in our house while my wife was gone out of town. I fixed it but I’ll never tell her.
So my great niece turned 3 today so I went round to my niece’s to say happy birthday and deliver a card and a present. When I got there Rosie tore into the present and the card (both Peppa Pig related so she loved them) and I found it quite strange that Dad Steve appeared to be watching a TV show that consisted entirely of film of a washing machine cycle. “We’ve been watching it for four hours” Steve said. Turns out that Rosie is obsessed with washing machines. But the most bizarre thing is that there appears to be an entire Youtube channel dedicated to videos of washing machine cycles. (Rosie loves it). WHO DOES THAT? Who videos their washing machine going through a cycle and then goes to the effort of posting it on Youtube? WHO DOES THAT? I MEAN WHO? The world is populated by lunatics.
Also, when I was in grad school, a dealer in what was then merely a gray market in large reptiles would sometimes wander into the residence, with a huge snake draped over his shoulders. Quickly separated the reptile-friendly from the reptile-averse.
Nancy Pelosi’s brother has died. I swear to God that fat fuck had better not tweet one goddamn thing. Not. One. Goddamn. Thing.
Damn, Betty. I like snakes very much, but even I would run like hell from a water moccasin coming straight at me. How far from the river did you say your house was??
Not much happening here on a sleepy Sunday morning. I slept in ’till 10:30, which is really unusual. Have some glass cooling in the kiln as I come closer to the 10-minimum-pieces needed to open a shop on Etsy. There’s football later, and laundry.
Anyone hear from Ruemara (spelling?) Does she still comment here?
Never understood how we escaped! At end of 2 week morning day camp experience in late 40s, director discovered that our group’s ‘spot’ was 10 to 15 feet from water moccasin nest on creek side.
None of us had seen a one!
@HeleninEire: No problem, Trump’s still trying to figure out who his SecDef is.
@germy: She commented yesterday.
ETA: Maybe the day before, she’s on the road.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@MattF: I like cryptics too. I try the one on the Guardian every day and am frequently humbled.
Nick Tosches has died.
So Jerry Lee Lewis outlived him. Didn’t expect that.
@MattF: A neighbor lady who everyone thought was a bit odd showed up at our bus stop when I was about 6, with a big boa constrictor draped across her shoulders and twined around her arms. She offered to let us pet it but not even the bravest kid was willing to do that.
@Elizabelle: Hey you, since you’re here …
During your time in Barcelona, did you ever hear Andrea Motis? I just stumbled on her as I was doing some rainy-day poking around Youtube, and holy shit! For a non-native English speaker and just a kid, frankly, she does a mean Summertime. Also just about anything else you click on from there.
@CaseyL: We get to go do glass stuff on Thursday! YAY!
Also, GO SEAHAWKS!
Have overcome that a bit following PZ Meyers’ blog pharyngula. Hi new research subject is spiders, and he had summer students gathering and raising them for a study of spiders in MN.
His reports and pics have been ‘interedting’!
That’s terrible. And she is in Jordan. Where did you see that news? Was he sick?
@balconesfault: Same here!
Gene Belcher weighs in:
@Dorothy A. Winsor: Hex (Cox & Rathvon) is more my speed.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Dorothy A. Winsor: I do cryptics here and there when I find them and at first I got all confident at my ability to solve them. But that’s because I was doing American puzzles. I bought a couple books of English ones during a layover at Heathrow years ago, and I don’t think I’ve finished more than half a dozen of them. And by “finished” I mean “reached the point where less than 50% of the puzzle was still blank so I felt like I could surrender with some honor”.
Love her. “Luckily…”
@CaseyL: Three summers ago my youngest got married in our garden. My niece was helping, setting out solar lights next to the driveway, when we heard a shriek that continued far. longer than you’d expect anyone would have the lung-power for. I was in the party tent next to the driveway and got there in time to see a small garter snake slithering away. I had trouble calming her down. She said she didn’t know what it was other than a SNAKE!!! I explained that garter snakes aren’t poisonous.
We saw the snake again two years later and it had grown considerably. Black with a yellow stripes. It was a lot longer than the usual 24″ described in Wikipedia for this variety. I’m convinced that it or one of its brethren got the eggs that the chickadees laid in a tall planter on our deck.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Sounds like my experience with “diabolicals” from sudoku.uk.org vs top levels from various other collections. Keeps me humble, definitely. I must try these cryptics.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Some years back, Bill Geist, a reporter for Sunday Morning, did a story about men who collect vintage washing machines. I am not making this up. There was footage of a group of them standing around staring at a machine’s spin cycle.
@AliceBlue: I remember that episode! Those early models were nice looking, too. Like old cars.
I’m phobic about bats in that same way, Betty. This has become known so people tell me horror stories about bat encounters.
The story I still think about is a friend who rented a house at a lake and when she went to open and hook back the shutters over the windows they were lined with sleeping bats.
@Litlebritdifrnt: OK, you are cracking me up, first with the Peppa Pig references (I discovered her on my last trip to the UK, some four-five years ago, and one of my travelling companions was a four-year-old, so yeah…LOTS of Peppa Pig for us that journey!), then with the washing machine thing. I too have no idea why anyone would film it and put it on YouTube, but there are whole TV channels devoted to Yule Logs Burning! And Fish Swimming Around in a Tank! So…maybe some small but significant portion of the population finds a spin cycle to be soothing/mesmerizing?
Coming next to a channel near you: Paint Drying!
Funny thing.. I wrote a book when I was in the 3rd grade I think. “A Mouse in Hawaii” about a mouse in Hawaii that was picked up by a family. The best line in the whole thing was “What was a mouse doing in hawaii?” – I didn’t have much of a concept about rodents back then :D
There is a great story about snakes in the Mahabharata. That’s how the entire narrative of the epic begins.
@germy: I always loved Bill Geist’s stories. He’s got a book out now called “Lake of the Ozarks” about his summers working at his uncle’s resort hotel and it’s hilarious..
@pat: @pat: Got an alert from CNN.
@Miss Bianca: And there are youtube channels featuring close ups of birds and squirrels. The youtuber sprinkles some seeds etc. on the ground and then leaves a camera there to catch the action.
Meant for cats to watch.
I tried it with our cat, and she was fascinated. She would have stared at the laptop for hours, but I restrict her screen time.
@prostratedragon: Satire is dead. Who is going to break the news to The Onion?
@AliceBlue: Apparently he has Parkinson’s. Now retired.
His son is on TV.
@prostratedragon: Looking down the index page I see there’s also 10 hours of watching grass grow available.
@prostratedragon: Probably an ad every two minutes on those ten hour videos.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
Back in the 1980s and 1990s I could usually solve the London Times cryptics in day or two. I bought a book of them a few years ago and couldn’t even get a single word.
@zzyzx: My God.
She commented yesterday.
@opiejeanne: GO RAVENS! :^p
My mother has a strong fear of snakes. Even a photo of them makes her feel queasy.
@Ladyraxterinok: Thanks for the tip–I’ll check it out!
@NotMax: I got a musical interlude for ya!
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
In happier reptile news, our tortoise showed himself today for the first time in two weeks – of course, 20 minutes after we’d sent out an all-points bulletin to our neighbors because we thought he’d escaped again. The little bastard has a sense of humor.
I hate snakes.
@HeleninEire: Complications from a stroke, apparently.
“Young Tommy” only served one term as Mayor of Baltimore, from 1967 to 1971. Just in time to have to deal with the riots after MLK’s assassination, with a Rethuglican Governor who was no help at all – one Spiro Agnew. He never ran for office again. At the time it was widely presumed that the experience broke his heart – although Wiki says “Years later, D’Alesandro insisted that the riots were not the reason that he walked away from politics. He said that the reason was simply that he had five children and his mayoral salary was not sufficient for him to support his family.”
Ninety is a solid run. RIP, Young Tommy.
@Ladyraxterinok: They’re well adapted to being almost invisible! I was somewhat notorious in a biology field study group for constantly almost stepping on/sitting on pygmy rattlers. Almost stepped on a moccasin when laying out a transect…but always always boots and long canvas pants, my mom didn’t raise any fools. I’ll take Florida July in long pants over a snake bite any ol’ day =D.
@Kay: Katie Porter is one of my heroes. We all lucked out when she got elected.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Well someone doesn’t appreciate a good spin cycle.
ETA – Oh, and has Peppa Pig made your grand niece start talking with an American accent? hehe
Surfing Jaws, naturally.
@mrmoshpotato: Apparently the Peppa Pig character I bought her was George and he speaks when you press his tummy. I never noticed if his accent was American.
Had relatives who lived in a nearby county that was thinly populated by humans but apparently heavily populated by rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Remember a time from the mid 50’s, while riding with an Aunt and my Mom and all of us kids in the back of Aunt’s pick up, we came upon a big snake of the poisonous variety in the middle of the road and must have run over it. She stopped the truck and everybody popped out to go check it out, except for me. I got out of the open back, got in the cab, and rolled all the windows up. Never wanted to be anywhere near the critter of my nightmares. I think my aversion and fear was inborn.
Then there was the Uncle in another nearby rural county who had a general store with gas pumps out front.. Guys from around the neighborhood used to sit on the benches out front and tell stories. But once, when my sister and I were visiting during the summer, they spent an entire day watching a rattlesnake and a king snake fight it out for dominance. Everyone, as was usually the case, was pulling for the King to win the fight, and as I remember being told, he did. Growing up in the SE US, snake stories are a childhood mainstay. Many of them true, but not all. Like the stories of the “coach” whip snake who, if one encountered one, could roll himself into a circle and give you the chase. However, we kids tended to believe those sorts of stories too.
@opiejeanne: I’ve seen those! Oh, they’re gorgeous. The larger garter snakes I’ve seen weren’t unusually long so much as unusually thick. On Whidbey last summer, when I was visiting with Ellen, we took a walk around the golf course, and surprised a snake. We watched respectfully as it slithered off. I assume it was a garter (basic black color), because what else could it be, but it must have been at least an inch around.
And yes! Glass workshop this week! Looking forward to it very happily! I may bring some of what I’ve been working on since the last one.
J R in WV
My Grandma was phobic about snakes. Her farmhouse had a big cut stone basement, and the laundry was all down there — if it rained, she had lines down there to hang her clean laundry.
One day she found, in her plastic laundry basket with the clean clothes, a snake twinned in and out of the basket… she chopped that whole load of laundry and basket and snake and all into tiny bits with her garden hoe. Harmless little black snake. I could never convince her that the black snakes would keep the copperheads away.
I actually bring the occasional black snake home when I have a chance — they’re easy to catch and both out-compete copperheads and predate on them, will kill and eat a copperhead.
We have timber rattlers here in WV, but we’ve only ever seen one, years ago down in New River Gorge. We drove down to the river along an old narrow gauge RR grade, and fished and hiked around one of the many ghost towns while the Toyota sat by the C&O main line RR tracks. Met some guys reclaiming slate and fire brick from one of the many collapsed buildings, they had a big batch of home made biscuits with ham slices — yum! Long before it became a national park.
When we walked back to the Toyota (1971 FJ-40, this was probably in ’74 or so) wife walked around the back of the truck and stopped suddenly after going around the back corner — there was a really big snake coiled up in the sunshine. Rattling his warning. She was frozen, and I said “Just slide back really slowly!” and she did. Got in on the driver’s side, slid over and we drove away leaving that big snake in his home turf.
For many years we had a large black snake resident inside the house, this newer one. I never saw it, but we still have a shed skin, local biologist IDed the species from a close exam of the shed skin with a glass. We had no rodents, ever, none. I think it departed, either moving back to the wild some spring or old age.
One evening we were in bed reading, and the big white and red cat was on the floor by the bed, and I noticed he was very intent on the space under the chair by my side of the bed — when I looked, there was a small brown and green grass snake, which I scooped up immediately, to drop off the back deck into the forest floor.
I’ve never been bitten, don’t think it would make a big difference. I’ve always liked snakes… Several neighbors have been bitten by copperheads while working in their gardens, some had anti-venom (those with insurance) others just got pain killers and antibiotics. Anti-venon shots run $65,000 ~!!~
Just got back from a very cold (30)and very windy hike (NWS says to 75 mph today), hot beverage now in hand. I guess I need to admit that tomato season is over and pick everything before tonight, plus drag my now huge miniature pomegranate inside for the winter too. I’v e been doing the drag the pots in and out of the garage dance for two weeks, time to call it done.
I’m my prior life as a hydrogeologist I did some field work in N MS in July; moccasins are seriously aggressive! If I had to live in that climate I’d probably bite too.
@J R in WV:
Betty, I share your hated and irrational fear of snakes. I don’t even live in an snake infested area but I still fear the slippery thing.
I thought that basically all mammals have a fear of snakes? Or is it all primates? I forget. Well, in any case, I read once that the only way to teach humans to not be afraid of snakes, is to do what the snake charmers do in India: tie a small cobra’s mouth shut, and let it try to attack a baby. The baby starts off scared, and eventually it loses that fear, b/c the snake can’t hurt it.
Or so I have read.
P.S. So you’re not alone, BC. Not at all.
@Kay: me too. She’s the best. I love her no nonsense, straight to the point, arm with facts style of questioning. I don’t know why OAC and Omar get all the attention and not Potter.
Ayanna Pressley is so talented. I hope she goes far. I am so impressed with her.
@Frankensteinbeck: It’s working because Hillary is involved. I now think she made a terrible mistake by bringing it up because every Twitter leftist who hates Hillary Clinton and the evil Democratic Establishment is now coming to Tulsi’s defense. She’s gonna be a superstar.
Best snake story – The Passion of Miss Eulalah Singleterry by Gamble Rogers. I miss him so much.
Better at social media, probably
Ohmar wears a hijab, so she’s also a “scary” Muslim “terrorist”.
@Ladyraxterinok: One of the things I hate most about Halloween at the office is the number of fake spiders on people’s desks, walls, etc. I won’t even touch one and I avoid looking at them. in 9th grade biology class I suddenly noticed a tarantula in a jar one day and they heard me screaming on the other side of the school building.
@Anya: Au contraire there is nothing irrational about fear of snakes. Actually nature in general pretty much scares me. When the #MoscowMitch and Trump finally unleash our dystopian Zombie Apocalypse and I can’t flush or plug shit in I’m screwed. Not to mention the creepy crawly slithering scurrying creatures that will become our new overlords.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@Matt McIrvin: Best to pass that shit now, in 2019, then let it build up until 2020. Let it get old.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: Agreed. Besides, in spite of her denials and Beto’s defense, she copped to the Russian influence without being name called. I’m liking HRC’s defense of our democracy.
@Kathleen: A couple of years ago, I was distributing flyers for a local candidate and placing it behind the mailbox flag. Long story short, one damp chilly morning there was a copperhead basking on top of the box. That was when the fear of snakes hit me. Last year I had an orange worm snake on my patio. Yes there is such a thing.
I’ve had occasion to “bunny-hop” snakes on the 8-ft wide American River bike trail, a few of which have extended from edge-to-edge. I told myself they were all gopher snakes, knowing it’s unlikely.
She was already making too much noise. That won’t die out on it’s own. It’ time we stopped shrinking away from pointing out that some people on the left are interlopers, here only to make a name for themselves and to throw dissent in the works. They should be called out for it. Just like Beto, calling out Hillary for dissing TG, whom she never named. TG named herself, played the injured child. Nothing the right does will ever stop, until it hasn’t worked for a complete cycle. People are mad and partially they are mad that democrats take the abuse. That should stop and that is what Hillary did.
@J R in WV: My mom and her extended family lived in the Ozarks when she was little, before they moved up to Independence, by way of Montana. Her grandma’s house where she was born is still standing, still in the family. Her aunt and uncle and all of their kids lived with Grandma and one time when they went for a visit in the summer, the straw mattresses had been aired by dragging them out onto the lawn for a few hours before the beds were all made up for the guests.
That night she and her cousins who were all sleeping in one of the big beds were awakened by Uncle Soud and my grandpa, and told to go into the hall, and not to look back. Of course they all looked back, and they saw a huge bull snake curled around the iron headboard. My grandpa blasted it with a shotgun.
They slept elsewhere the rest of the night, if they slept at all.
@JPL: Had that been me I would not be here to tell the tale! I’m terrified of little furry rodenty things.
When I was in grad school, I spent a summer studying tropical ecology in Costa Rica. For the most part, we were out in the boonies, but before we left for the field stations, we all took a trip to the institute where they milk snakes to make antivenin. I’m sure that visit did nothing the minimize my pre-existing fear of snakes. We then went out to the Osa Peninsula, where one of the things we learned is that everything there is out to get you–insects, snakes, other animals, even the plants. So one day I took a bike to one of the outer observation posts, and on the way back ran over what I thought was a twig–until it struck at the chainguard. I think I set the land record for speed getting back to our dorm.
@Ruckus: I know it’s hours late, but thanks for saying this. We need to be better at this push back thing. I’m disappointed in Beto. Why did he do this?
The first Presidential election I had time to really pay attention to was 2004. I remember being so frustrated with John Kerry and his campaign for not coming out from the very start and pushing back against the smearing. My spouse, a military veteran, and his brother, a career officer, bought into the Swift Boating of Kerry. Neither of them are Democrats, mostly independent. BIL tends to like “moderate” Republicans, like Kasich. Yes, I know Kay and others don’t think he’s a moderate. He just sounds like one and people like BIL buy into that willingly and eagerly. This is also why Democrats really need to win a couple of wave elections and seriously weaken the Republican party, for the good of the country and our democracy.
. Too often we Democrats have assumed that the public and the media would recognize wrongdoing and have taken the so called high road. That has never worked and won’t ever.
@opiejeanne: Great story. Thanks. About 4 years ago spouse and I journeyed to Southeast Florida to visit a close relative of mine. Enroute we pulled off I-75 at a rest stop not far south of Gainesville. It was the middle of the afternoon, and the rest stop was kinda busy. I noticed, though, that there were prominent yellow signs warning visitors to “Beware of Venomous Reptiles”. The rest stop area was atop a small hill, so I was curious and asked one of the rest stop employees, “why the signs” and was told that they’d had several instances of water moccasins coming up and curling up on the walkways outside the restrooms, particularly at night. I looked to the back of the rest area and noted that there was a fenced area around a low, watery, swampy area and concluded that the snakes were journeying up from there.
However, when we resumed our trip it was evident that the rest area was adjacent to a swampy and rather extensive natural protected area . Likely the poisonous snakes were journeying up to the rest area from there for reasons known only to them. Once again, I had an appreciation for those original settlers, as well as the road crews that built the Interstates not that long ago, in places like South Florida. Guess we’ll never know how many died from encounters with poisonous snakes.
Partner recently found two baby scorpions in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. This being Austin, they probably aren’t one of the nasty species more common farther west, but still …
I’m a land surveyor in Florida. Wow, do I ever hate moccasins. If you disturb a rattlesnake they’ll generally leave you alone, unless you are right across the path from where they are now to their hole, and if that happens and the rattler stands his ground instead of retreating, all you have to do is step out of the way, and he and you will part on good terms. But not those fucking moccasins, get them started and they’ll follow you for a hundred feet through the woods. And they move incredibly fast. I’ve swung at moccasins with a machete lots of times, but only infrequently did I actually hit them. They’re just too quick. Your best bet if you want to hit a moccasin is a bush axe, or maybe a shotgun.
The only time snakes scared me was when just before crossing a swamp that I subsequently fell in, two long black snakes climbed up a nearby tree! Yikes!!