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Snakes and Such

May 19, 2009

My cat Cleo cornered a snake Sunday.  I already had a post ready to go for your Monday MaidenShade Matters, so didn’t mention it in yesterday’s submission, but I just had to tell you.  It’s supposed to be a “how to Tuesday”, but oh well.

I am not really a girly-girl.  But some things just give me the willies.  Snakes and spiders who are within my personal space safety zone, for example. 

So when David came running in to tell me I had to come and see this snake Cleo found, I had a moment’s hesitation.  I went though and when I saw the snake I said, “that is so brilliant and beautiful, it has to be venomous!”  Now where did my positive thinking go?  Lost to that most primitive fear, that’s where.

I won’t belabor this but instead will just show you the snake:


Shudder – this beauty was about 3+ feet long, very skinny and had a tiny little head.  He was more scared of us than us of him.  As you can see, he wouldn’t cooperate for the camera.  That hind end part you see there?  That was in the garage, that’s the threshold he’s looped over. 

AHHHHHHHHHH!  I was ready to leap on top of the car if it came in any further.

Okay, so we looked it up and here is what it is: A Corn Snake.  Well, it’s either that or a Copperhead, but I think it’s a Corn Snake.  They eat lizards… we have just a few (million) of those.  And rodents.  We have those too, but, well, our rodents are kind of like pets – they live in our bird houses, and eat along side the birds in the feeders.  One ratty friend has a hole under our tropical whats-it plant right outside our lanai.  The cats sit and watch for him, chuffing and having little seizures at the slightest leaf movement.

You’re probably thinking I’m just nuts.  Rats don’t bother me, but snakes do?  Well I wouldn’t want to come upon either unexpectedly, let’s just put it like that.  I have a thing for all animals, but I like them where I can observe them from a safe distance.  Not where they have the opportunity to jump at or on me.  I won’t even kill spiders or let David – I make him put them outside.  But I do NOT want one on me.

Last winter I went out on the lanai to ask David something as he was in the garden that is right next to the screen.  I went towards him and walked face-first into a web with a big alien looking spider on it and screamed, scrambled trying to get it off of me, going backwards right into the unheated pool.  I was in jeans, tennis shoes, socks, as well as a tee shirt and a sweat shirt.  It was very cold, and to see David’s reaction, hysterical…. but I digress.

Spiney-backed Orb Weaver SpiderSpiny Orb-Weaver Spider

For your edification, here are some more photos of our snake-visitor that I found on the web that are better than mine and some facts below the pictures.  This photographer obviously wasn’t shaking, wringing his hands, and prancing about on tippy-toes squealing “Ewwwwe, he is coming in, DAVID!!!  Ahhhhh!” and then running faster than the road-runner out of striking range.  (Click on the link above the photos to view them larger, use your return arrow to come back here):

View Full Album

View Corn Snake


Corn snakes, also known as red rat snakes, are a large, powerful, and non-venomous constrictor… and are known as rat snakes. …that feed on rodents and other small prey… and is sometimes referred to as the “typical snake.”

All snakes, including the corn snake, have been persecuted by man out of justifiable fear but also ignorance. The corn snake is a prime example of this latter case, as they are often killed because they resemble a copperhead (a very venomous species). But the more we learn about snakes the less needless fear we will have, and the more we can appreciate their beauty and usefulness. Corn snakes, other rat snakes, and even copperheads are beneficial predators of rodents, which can spread diseases and damage food crops.

In fact corn snakes got their name both from the pattern on their belly, which looks like Indian corn, and from old southern farmers who stored their harvested corn in wooden buildings called cribs. Rats and mice were attracted to the cribs to feed on the corn, and corn snakes were attracted to the cribs to feed on the rodents, much to the delight and appreciation of the farmers…


Image Source: Jim Simonson / License under Creative Commons 2.0

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2009 7:07 am

    Lord, it makes my hands sweat just re-reading this post!

  2. May 19, 2009 9:02 am

    Oh my godness! Not me, animal control to the rescue and up to him to find it, I’ll be sitting in the car.

  3. May 19, 2009 10:26 am

    I think I’m one of the few, but I think that little slippery fellow is a beauty! I like snakes and spiders too! lol!
    My son came over, took one look at the picture, and said “Ah, that’s just a cornsnake!”.
    I”m also like you in the way that I don’t kill spiders that come inside. I scoop them up and take them back outside :0). I look at them as natural “exterminators”. They eat those “other bugs” I don’t particulary care for :0)
    I hope you have a fantastic day!!!
    Thanks for coming by and saying “Hey!” :0)

  4. May 19, 2009 10:39 am

    Well I could use a kid for things like that ssssssssssssssssssnake; ) I agree with the natural exterminator way of looking at things. Nature has her balance, I do think we need to maintain and respect it. Thanks for posting xJ PS, Dawn, LOL!

  5. May 19, 2009 11:47 am

    Apparently corn snakes make great pets, and you often see them in pet stores. No thanks. Hub almost stepped on a black racer yesterday that was sunning itself in the driveway. It took off under the gardenia bush. It can stay and I do admire them, but I won’t be fertilizing that shrub for some time. The crawlies seem to love to come out after a good rain don’t they?


  6. May 19, 2009 2:11 pm

    I agree about the snakes.They are just disgusting. I don’t know why. It’s not like they have arms and legs and come after us. I haven’t seen a snake in years and then yesterday, while on a bike ride, there was a dead one(small) in the middle of the bike path. Now I am not a heartless creature, I felt bad for the snake, but it still gave me an all over body shiver because it was so ICKY! I avoided that spot my second time around. Spiders don’t bother me as much. I prefer not to have them on me, but I can handle them a lot better than those creepy crawly snakes. My Sister is the opposite, HATES ans FEARS spiders and doesn’t mind snakes, go figure. We think it’s because when she was little, they had a reptile guy come to school and teach them and she got to touch and hold them, EEW!!!

    I hope there are no more snakes in your immediate future and that you have a day full of SUNSHINE!

  7. May 19, 2009 4:17 pm

    Oh no!! I am with you I get the willies when I see a snake. I don’t mind spiders but snakes. That is a huge snake….and I don’t like that he’s IN your garage. Your kitty Cleo is very brave. So what happened to the snake…did you just leave it there?? I don’t know if I’d be able to go into the garage knowing…yikes.

    So do you also have copperheads around you? I guess you probably do because you didn’t know which one it was initially. As long as that snake as lots of rats and other things like that to eat … whew.

    I’m so glad you came by and did some catching up. Thats what I’ve been doing too.

    Can you believe I’m on dial-up??? that ancient thing?? Only because I get it for free from my work. I get awfully frustrated with the speed most often so I will most likely be doing something about it…anyway yesterday there was a problem with the phone line at work so I didn’t have internet access for over 35 hours…that wasn’t nice.

    I hope you have had a nice day today..

  8. May 19, 2009 10:07 pm

    Oh boy, I’m in for some nightmares tonight. I hate both spiders and snakes, they give me the willies. ~ Robyn

  9. May 20, 2009 9:19 pm

    OMG! That’s a huge snake! And I am terrified even of baby ones. Corn snakes are not poisonous though, right? But could it be a copperhead which is poisonous. Don’t trust any of them and I know there are a lot in Florida. A lot here in MS too….Christine

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