Friday, July 14, 2006
This baby garter snake popped out of the leaf mulch when I was reburying an irrigation pipe that I had repaired.
What a cutie! The big innocent eyes are especially appealing to humans. It's why we like puppies (or kittens...shudder) so much. In fact, we have taken that to the extreme in some dog varieties by breeding for a "permanent" big-eyed puppy look. Think about chihuahas, pekinese, and other microcanines.
Garter snakes are wonderfully harmless snakes. Having said that, I have to add that a garter snake did send me to the doctor's office when I was about 12.
I had caught a pregnant garter snake, who was beginning to release her wiggling babies. Mom said I really should let this one go since she was trying to give birth, so I started walking across the back yard, past my Aunt's house and to the woods to release it.
Along the way, the garter snake wriggled her head loose and latched on to my hand near the base of the thumb. Normally, I would probably have dropped her at that point, but she was pregnant and it didn't hurt that much...besides, I was almost to the woods. So I walked on with the snake gnawing at my hand.
I remember my Aunt S. seeing me and saying, " Is that snake BITING you?" I know she thought I was crazy when I answered, "Yes, but it's okay."
Across the road and into the woods, I placed my snake attached hand down on the ground and she let go and slithered off.
I had a neat arrangement of tiny bleeding perforations on my hand which Mom cleaned and medicated....remember Tincture of Iodine? Ouch! I'll take the snakebite anytime over that stuff.
The next day my hand was swollen and purple so off we went to the doctor. Mom knew it was just a garter snake since I was always bringing snakes home, so she wasn't worried about the bite being poisonous. Still, something was obviously wrong. It turned out that allowing the snake to gnaw had broken some blood vessels. No big deal. It all cleared up in a day or so.
Surprisingly, my Mom's hair did not turn grey until long after I had left home.
Posted by R.Powers at 7:51 AM