My plan this month was to write about the month of August. How it is the month with an identity crisis. There doesn’t seem to be a real “holiday” or really any thing to celebrate. Since the “back-to-school” theme takes precedence, summer is in a sense over, and yet the official calendar says it’s not until September. I was going to write about how we snub our noses at August because we begin to get the “bug” for upcoming events like hunting season and beloved football, but I just can’t, not yet! Call this a preface or perhaps “teaser” is a better word choice for next month’s blog. You’ll have to check back in September to find out more. Poor August.
Now, let me tell you what is really on my mind, and in my dreams, or should I say nightmares. Driving home after a birthday outing this summer my daughter told my wife and I, “watch out for snakes they like this weather, they’ll be out tonight.” Sure, I thought, but seriously, before we had made it to our front porch we heard the dreaded, “SNAKE” and all the hoops and hollers that accompany hearing that word. It was then followed by “get the hoe”. I managed to find the hoe (in the dark) and somehow, amongst the screams of terror from my wife and the light of a cell phone, slay the venomous, coral-colored, diamond patterned, copperhead. After calming my Grandsons fears, and unraveling my daughter from the fetal position, I began to think about the weather and about how many snakes I have seen and heard stories about this summer. Someone once told me that “if the people are out, the snakes are out too”. That in a way makes sense if you think about it. Here are just a few examples of the snakes that have been encountered this summer and I’m sure many of you have encountered some too. My son-in-law killed a huge snake eating eggs in his chicken coop. My grandson had a classmate bitten by a copperhead this summer, which was very serious. I was witness to a school principal swerve on purpose to run over a snake. (I know this because we had just swerved to run over the same snake and were going back to make sure we got it!) There are other instances of running over snakes on the road and my wife did pull two small snakes from the pool filter. But the snake encounter that put me over the edge and made me change my mind to write this blog happened just days ago. The problem with this snake was not that it was venomous or was endangering livestock. The problem with this snake was that it was in my HOUSE!! I kid you not! My grand-cat (who lives with us) had cornered it behind our curtains. Not knowing at the time, what type of snake it was we took all precautions! We called the snake police aka son-in-law. After he arrived with his entourage, and all the furniture had been moved and the onlookers had perched themselves upon that furniture the capture took place. It actually went pretty uneventfully, we felt almost professional, with our long handled “picker-uppers” and five gallon bucket. The snake waved the white flag and slithered into the bucket. The snake ended up being what we think is a coach whip and pretty much harmless. For those who have a fondness for snakes and can’t bear to hear of the demise of yet another, we actually took this fellow deep in the woods and let him go. I guess we felt a connection since he had been a guest in our home.
I really don’t know what all this snake business means. Some say a sign of a bad winter, but really it may just mean a sign of a nice summer.