So one day last week, when it was particularly warm, I picked up Carter after work at 3:30. He was still napping. He'd had VBS and then Tiff took the kids swimming, so he'd had a long day! He fell back asleep in the car on the way home and ended up sleeping until close to 6:30. I tell you this because it was a blessing in disguise.
I was cleaning on the aforementioned day of Carter's endless nap when our dog, Titan, started barking. Titan is normally a pretty quiet dog, unless someone arrives at our house. So, I'm thinking, "Someone's here." I look out the front door, no one. I go to look in the back yard, pull open the sliding glass door. I hear a hisssssssssssing. I see our cat standing at the corner of the back deck in the grass looking intently toward the house. I am still hearing the hisssssssssssssing. Without leaving the carpet of the house, I strain to peek through the slats in the deck and see a snake coiled up. Well, I'm assuming it was coiled because first of all I couldn't see it that well through the tiny opening between the deck boards and second, I slammed and locked the door tight!! I called my husband and our conversation went something like this:
Me: Um, Jer, there's a snake outside underneath the deck.
Him: Then don't go outside...
Me: Um, I think it's a rattle snake it's hissing and it doesn't look like a black snake but I couldn't really see it because I of course am not going outside I don't know what to do because I really don't want it to go underneath the house and I really don't want it to come up on the deck I'm really glad Carter is still sleeping and not wanting to play outside... (You get the idea. I was hardly breathing)
Him: I guess I'll come home.
So. There is a snake under the deck. Just hanging out. I hate snakes. I would say the only good snake is a dead snake, but I found I don't much care for them either. I have no idea what my brave husband is doing at the time he offered to come home and slay the beast for me, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to get here soon enough. He works 20 minutes away, and if was in the field or in the middle of a project, you could very well add another 30-45 minutes to his arrival time. In the meantime, I am Fa-Reakin' Out!! I crack the sliding door open and peek through the deck every couple of minutes, not because I want to, but because I'm afraid he'll get away. Even though my husband was "on his way" I called our wonderful neighbor, Jon.
Me: Jon? Are you at home?
Him: I'm fixin' to leave, what do you need?
Me: How good are you with snakes?
Him: Pretty good, you got one?
Me: Yes he's under the deck and I really think it's a rattle snake, etc., etc., etc. I've called Jeremy and he says he's coming home, but I don't want it to go under the house or come up on the deck, etc., etc., etc.
Him: I'll be right over.
So my neighbor shows up. With a hoe and a knife.
Me: You're going after that thing with a hoe and a knife?
Him: Normally I would just catch them, but if he's under something, I have to have a way to get him out of where ever he is.
Me: Okay. I'm not going back there with you, but I'll stand at the sliding glass door and watch you. He's on the west side underneath the deck.
Jon said this snake was very angry and he'd never seen one this aggressive before. Turns out, I was right and wrong all at the same time. I was right that it was not a black snake. I was wrong - it was NOT a rattle snake. I looked it up on the internet and found that it is a Gopher Snake. These snakes imitate the sounds and actions of rattle snakes to prevent becoming something else's dinner. Jon estimated that this snake was about 3 1/2 to 4 feet long. The picture below were taken the next day. I was really hoping that my husband would remove him from the yard, but he said no. Repeatedly. I had to put my brave gloves on and do it myself. I will also tell you that these pictures do not include the head. Jon used his knife for that. Please note that these are not close up pictures. I stood as far away as I could to take these pictures...
I will also tell you that I felt like I had disrespected my husband by asking him to come rescue me from this creature, and then I called Jon to do it quicker - but I really wanted this thing dead as fast as possible. I did apologize to Jeremy. At least when he go home, he lost most of his "I think you're completely crazy" attitude toward me. I tend to make things out to be bigger than they are, but this time, it was a big deal!!