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Snake Stories

Today, as I was taking a break in the shade while working on my garden, I saw the garter snake that lives in that area of my yard.  He/She is getting really big and I’ve seen it enough times now to feel like it’s a pet.  I really wanted to pick it up, but there was no good reason to, so I left it be.  In the past, I have picked it up to relocate when I’m hoeing weeds so as not to injure it.  Although you can’t tell by the pictures, the brown area on it looks like soft brown velvet.


Here is a little clip of it flicking it’s tongue, trying to determine if a cell phone is dangerous or delicious.  Sorry about my hands shaking the recording!

Snake Story 2

When we lived in the old house in downtown, there was a railroad beltline track behind our house.  My little tabby, Mandy, would go up the hill into the rocks and bring home little snakes to me.  She is the only cat I’ve ever had that went after snakes.


Snake Story # 3

This one is the one that still makes me laugh when I think about it.

Back in the early 2000’s, I would visit my parents for 2 weeks every summer and we would go to the Sierra Nevada mountains, by Downieville, CA, to dredge the Lavezzola Creek for gold.  I had a diving mask and snorkel on and I was using a powered high banker to suck the sand and muck out from under a huge boulder overhanging the water.  I flipped over a huge rock and a water snake came swirling out.  I screamed (in my snorkel), flew up out of the water, smashed the top of my head into the boulder- I then fell back down into the water, waving my arms all over the place and came up laughing and choking!  I knew I was supposed to watch out for rattlers, bears and mountain lions, but Dad never said there would be anything in the water to fear.  I was embarrassed but I can laugh at myself.

water snake in Placer County     There is a video at the bottom of the pictures on this page- watch it, and you will understand the screaming!  You have to save it to your computer first, the page won’t let me link the video.

Snake Story # 4  (featuring TWO snakes!)

When I was a wee girl, the parents took us kids to West Virginia on vacation.  We went to stay at a trailer for a week out in the middle of nowhere, it seemed.  I guess it was a “hunting property” and there was nothing but nature all around.  There was a wood pile for bonfires and of course, a snake lived there.  It was a really big black snake and we kids were dancing around, screeching about it excitedly.  Then Dad took out a shotgun and killed it as it tried to climb up a nearby tree.  I remember we were all silent, in shock, from the loud sound, and the bloody motionless snake.  It then became an oft-told tale years after, the time when Daddy killed the black snake.  I even painted a picture of the event and my parents had to explain the bloody-black-snake-in-the-tree tale to my grade school teacher.  It was one of those “What did you do on summer vacation” assignments.

On that same vacation, my brother and I were playing in a nearby creek, catching crawdads.  We figured out little ones hid beneath little rocks and bigger ones beneath bigger rocks.  So he and I decided we would flip over this really big rock together and catch the big crawdad that just had to be under there.  (kids, you know?)  We stood side by side and counted to three, and flipped that sucker over.  Water SNAKE !! We screamed and jumped up onto the bank and ran for the trailer.  Dad was trying to get a description out of us so he could determine if it was a poisonous water moccasin or just a regular, mostly safe, water snake.  It was gone in a flash so we couldn’t describe that one.  We were afraid to go into the creek after that.  I don’t remember if we were even allowed.

Not snake related, but a funny note about that trip:  We heard a spooky-weird sound while sitting at the campfire one night, and Dad convinced us it was BigFoot!  I know now that he was teasing us, but I went around telling people for years after, that I heard BigFoot one time.

This is probably what we were hearing!

The scary sound in West Virginia!