Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Retraction. And a Rattlesnake.

But first, a comment.

I hate when I'm wrong. It happens often enough that you'd think I'd be used to it. But I'm not. And I even happen to have fairly strong convictions regarding just about everything. I think the best lesson to learn from me, in general, is that if you're wrong a LOT, you should probably just start being pretty wishy-washy about everything.

That said, I was wrong about our builder. We were not dumped. We were not being ignored. We simply were waiting for news from someone who was dealing with some personal issues that could not be avoided. I will now, as they say, open mouth and insert foot. My apologies.

Along with my many other deeply rooted and shallowly supported beliefs, I was certain we didn't really have rattlesnakes on our particular slice of 15 acre heaven. Even when Seamus turned up bitten by something toxic, I had real trouble acknowledging that it was probably more than just a scorpion. So this afternoon, as we walked along the back fence and Jer quietly said "snake" and pointed towards some cactus, I eagerly walked two steps forward, hoping to catch a glimpse of the first spring snake of 2010. Eager, that is, until its fat, thick body slid over a rock, the diamond markings distinct from any other I had seen. I felt my throat close up slightly as the diamond marked body, in no hurry at all, glided sloooowwwlly under the fence, a 2 inch rattle disappearing in the brush.

Gulp. No rattlers out here, huh, Jenna?!? Wrong.


I quietly climbed on the tractor and refused to step down until it was time to leave. Such behavior is counter-productive to the whole purpose of being out there. And my response was totally opposite from Jeremy's, which was calm, cool and collected WHICH happens to be totally opposite from his normal snake response (shrieking, pointing, dizziness). I guess the difference is that he accepted long ago that the countryside is both good and evil while I must first now embrace that it's more than just good.


And now for an arbitrary pastoral scene, ruined only slightly by the hundreds of snakes I imagine are squirming in the background.


WeldrBrat said...

First hint of rattlesnake habitation - cactus - period! Now - second lesson - leave nothing piled up that provides space or shade - for cottonmouth snakes. They'll even curl up in a mound of thick tall grass if it's under a table, etc. If you have no choice with stacked articles - avoid them during the heat of the day. Bang on them with something before ever dealing with them. And snakes love water-well pump houses.

jennakl said...

Yes - our entire property is an excellent habitat for all snakes - but western diamondback particularly because of the cactus/brush on the back 10 acres, and all of the dropped cedar needles under trees. Unfortunately, we do have to have many piles of dirt/cactus sit for a while as we clear and then wait for an opportunity to burn (we often have burn bans). So, we learn as we go. And we'll be carrying a shotgun and garden hoe with us often!