Showing posts with label Snakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snakes. Show all posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is That Fear I Feel Rising?

Fear when used with rational consideration of all the data can be a useful tool that is designed to protect us from possible danger. Fear when used with a lack of control and based only on emotion can be a disaster.  When fear becomes panic and we stop relying on the gray cells, then we are in for punishment.  I think the stories coming out of Japan show tremendous courage but also lots of rational thought.  Bold actions facing the fear were taken by individuals that saved many lives even though just running away would have resulted in the person insuring the safety of his/her own life alone.

Two months ago when I was staying at a friends home in central Florida, I had lots of time on my hands.  They live on several acres in lovely tropical woods and on a large freshwater spring.  I could take early morning or late evening or even mid-day walks and totally disappear from the site of the house for long periods of time.  The weather was comfortable, and except for the few rains, I was having fun with my camera capturing all the exotic stuff.

Florida is filled with beauty and this is mixed in with exotic alligators, poisonous snakes, and an odd plant danger or two.   I had the privilege of seeing a wild bobcat saunter across the front lawn one morning.  My walks were usually by myself, and being conscious of this, I was careful although not fearful.  During one morning I came across this snake skin beside the path.  This was a REALLY long snake, and so I became somewhat concerned.  There had been a 10-foot (non-indigenous) python seen crawling across the nearby road two winters ago on this property...but it was also found frozen to death in a nearby drainage pipe two days later.  AND what I had heard about pythons was that they NOT did sneak up on you and attack you as you were walking.  They look for much smaller prey.

Unless animals see us as dinner or cannot see a way out, I think in 99% of the other cases they try to avoid us.  I decided that a snake skin is not a snake and moved in slowly for a closer look.

Who knows what scratched ankles, broken limbs or painfully stubbed toes (not to mention damaged camera) I might have incurred had I followed my first instinct to run screaming down the path back to the house?  Fear is a guidance counselor...not a drill Sargent.  If you are having trouble understanding this on the photo above.

(As a post script for all who are afraid of mother nature, afraid of there not being enough (of whatever) to go around, afraid of the news, afraid of people who look, act and think differently than are in for a very long scary ride.  I am so sorry.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Moving in and Out.

Cleaning out the garage the other day I decided to wash out all those buckets and containers full of gardening stuff.  Resealed or re-wrapped all the bags of fertilizer and growth enhancers.  I re-wound my balls of string and collected some plant identifiers for my files.  After a thorough cleaning, I painted the handles of the brown garden tools a fluorescent green primarily to use up some leftover paint on the shelves.  Then I took those pruning shears and others with moving parts and proceeded to cover them with W-D 40 to stave off new rust.  I even spent some time sharpening the edges of the cutting tools!  Well, pat me on the back!

I keep a small green plastic wastebasket full of plastic stakes and small bamboo poles in the corner by the garage door and it was full of stuff so I decided to empty it all out onto the lawn and get things really organized.  The item in the photo below fell out on the lawn as I began my project.  Nice to see I had some temporary spring (winter?) neighbors!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Between the Lines

Here I was, once again, on my way rushing to the dock.  Why I am always rushing is any-one's guess but I know that some day I will be too arthritic to rush anywhere and I will have to settle for a joggle.  Anyway, I was hurrying to help blow out the lines...the hose line that is used at the boat.  Hubby was in the house with an air compressor at the correct (we hoped) plumbing juncture in the basement.  The incorrect junture might blow the expensive 'ornaments' on the inside sinks.  My job was to turn on the hose water at the dock, watch it drain into the river and then let him know when it was empty so that he could turn off the water line from the house. 

As I carried cell phone in hand I skipped ever so dangerously over the slippery leaves that had since covered the path on the hill down to the dock trail (for the 4th time I might add--the leaves covering not me skipping),   As I maintained a tighter grip on the phone I saw with surprise that I was just getting ready to put my foot down on the back of our resident black snake!  There he lay in the path slightly covered by brown leaves and not moving his curving black line.  He was in slow mo due to the colder weather.  My frantic approach did not encourage him to move away and yet I knew he was alive.  I hesitated stepping over and, instead, scuffled some leaves toward him hoping it might encourage him to go on his way.  No such luck.  I finally got the courage to move around the back of him while straddling the tree roots on the side of the path.  I did this pretty rapidly, because, while I am an outdoor gal, I am always leery of snakes, even safe ones like our black resident.

He was still in the same place 15 minutes later when I returned after successfully emptying the hose line but his curving black line was more squiggly which is something they do when nervous.   This time he had formed a U as if wondering if he should return to whence he came, since this path which had not been used much recently due to colder weather seemed to be enduring some crazy rush hour human traffic.  I, once again, only on the other side of the trail away from his head, stepped on some fallen logs and made my way carefully around giving him plenty of room.

That afternoon I finished vacuuming and dusting the upstairs bedrooms to be ready for Thanksgiving company.  Then, as a reward, I went up to my upstairs nook to blog and read some blogs.  I was alone in the house because hubby was greasing the boat lift; boats are an endless source of fun and expensive time consuming maintenance.  The house was quiet except for the clicking of my fingers on the keyboard.  Behind me I heard a light tapping/slicing noise.  I stopped typing and 'opened' my ears and turned my head from side to side.  No noise.  I continued typing and the tut tut noise started again.  It was coming from behind my head.  I turned and the photo below is what I saw.

It was the line of my vacuum proceeding in snakelike fashion to move on down the stairway where the weighted head of the cleaner was pulling it with gravity.  The tapping was the ridges of the hose catching and then releasing against the corner of the file cabinet as it uncurled.  This silver snake like movement was just a little unnerving after my morning experience.