Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spring of the Snakes

So, spring of 2006 will forever be known as the spring of the snakes around here. For the love of all that's holy, why are there so many snakes in our yard?!?

A few weeks ago, Kaitybean came in and said, "Mom, you've got to come outside. It's like a snake party out there."

Well, since a party of snakes sounded like the most inviting thing in the world, I pulled on my steel-toed hiking boots and wandered outside. Sure enough, we counted between ten and twelve snakes in our yard. A few looked like little babies. A few looked older. But, the most disgusting thing was the mass of wet, slippery and writhing snake bodies by the door to JDub's woodshed. I don't know whether they were mating or giving birth or what. But I do know that i DIDN'T WANT THEM DOING IT IN MY BACKYARD! This picture was actually taken after the fact. If you count four slimy snake heads, you've got it right. That's less than half the number that were there to begin with. Can I just say, EWWWW!

So, since that lovely party, we haven't see many snakes. One at a time, perhaps once a week, which is pretty normal for our house.

Then, two days ago Mashuga found a dead snake at the bottom of our deck stairs. He and Rusty had a grand time playing with it and jumping three feet into the air every time it moved (because they had touched it). Scud finally picked it up and after waving it around mindlessly, almost landing it on top of my head once, threw it in the garbage.

Okay, end of story I thought.


Yesterday we came home to see something curled up in our driveway. It was another snake, lying upside down as if it were dead. Scud poked it with a stick and it raised it's head somewhat menacingly, it's black tongue flcking out. We both jumped out of our skin. Scud started screaming and shaking his hands and nearly flew back into the van. At this point, Mashuga got out and decided it would be great fun to torment the poor dying snake. He poked and prodded it, laughing and screaming each time it would open its mouth or lift its head. And then it was over. After about five minutes, it just stopped moving.

We poked it a couple of times to be sure it was really completely dead. At this point, Kaitybean came home from school and two of the neighbor kids (we'll call them Isla and Spabblish) ran to check out the excitement. All the kids (mine as well as Isla and Spabblish) took turns poking the poor, creepy, freshly dead thing with sticks. Then they all had to prove how brave they were by touching the snake WITH THEIR FINGERS and then running around screaming for a full minute.

At this point, Spabblish decides that she should pick it up and swing it around. This was a great delight and horror to all onlookers. Spabblish the brave! Master tamer of creepy, dead snakes!

The drama didn't last much longer before Isla and Scud took the snake and put it in the garbage can. One problem. They put it in the BLUE garbage can. The recycling can. And I don't think snakes are recyclable. Can you imagine the look on the face of the poor person who finds a DEAD SNAKE as they are sorting through recyclables. Ahhh, the terror!

So, I had to dig said snake out of the blue can and bury him with his friend in the black can before the snake drama really ended.

So, I'm tired of snakes and I'm not sure why they've chosen to grace our home with their presence. And I wonder if it's just our yard, or if it's a neighborhood epidemic.

But my main question is this. What could be causing these snakes to die? We just fertilized. Can fertilizer kill snakes? And do you think that whatever is killing my snakes might harm my kiddos? If not, I might just like to do more of it.

Any snake experts out there?


Emily said...

ew, NO~! i can't believe how many snakes you guys have!! ugh.

Perri said...

No expert, but I know enough to know I don't want to go barefoot in your yard.

Kelly said...

I HATE snakes. Hate.Them.

It probably is the fertilizer killing them... that stuff is pretty potent.
But sheesh. I would die and I would have called some snake expert because... I HATE snakes. Now I'm probably going to have some freaky dream about snakes now.

Heather said...

Sorry, Kelly. I HAVE been having freaky dreams about snakes.

Last night during my dream, our house was FULL of snakes. And not just the harmless garter snakes, either. We're talking pythons, boa constrictors, rattlers, coral snakes...

YUCKY! I called animal control about our garter snake problem. They just laughed at me.

Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Oh I am soo glad they're not rattlers! Last summer was a rattlesnake party in our yard! AAAACK! We had a brave cat then who would portect my kids, but he died this winter and I am left with the coward dog to fight them off this summer!