June 4, 2020
While working in my yard this week doing some weeding, planting and watering, I came across five snakes at three different times. Let me say I’ve heard it all before, that most of the snakes around here are harmless, and my farmer husband said that they are good at taking care of mice, rats, and other unwanted creatures, but that doesn’t cut it with me.
The first two I saw were long, large bull snakes crawling down into an old well pit near my water hydrant. I screamed and they slid down into cracks in the boards on top of the well. I’m sure they were just as frightened as I was. The next sighting was while I was down on the ground planting a mum plant. A small grey snake came out of a hole in the ground right next to where I was working. I quickly threw my garden tool at it but it wiggled away behind a bush. I managed to cover up the hole it came out of.
The next day as I was taking my hose across the front sidewalk, a movement in the grass caught my eye. Looking down, I saw a large grey snake making its way towards the driveway. My farmer husband heard my screams. He brought a rake, scooped up the snake and threw it across the road. I fear it will someday return.
Today, as I watered my flowers, a smaller stripped snake and raced under the steps.
I blame my fear of snakes on seeing so many of them as a child when in fear of a storm, my parents would have us all go down into the cellar. Snakes would be crawling here and there in the cellar. Finally I refused to go into the cellar. So my father would carry me down and I would be seated on a chair with my legs up onto a bucket. I know there are people who like snakes, and more power to them, but I don’t!
Maybe my dislike comes from the book of Genesis in the Bible where Satan appeared as a snake in Chapter 3, and talked Eve into eating the fruit from a tree God had told Adam and Eve not to eat from. Then after the deed was done, God told Satan as the serpent that he would crawl on his belly, eat dust, all the days of its life. It appears God didn’t like him and neither do I.
The peonies and irises are currently showing off their beautiful blooms. These two flowers, along with lilacs, are my favorite. They don’t take much care; they just provide wonderful rewards in their colors and perfumes. While traveling the country roads, I noticed at many empty farmsteads these stubborn and hardy flowers blooming in the midst of tall brome grass, over grown trees and even weeds.
A farm wife planted their starts many years ago in hopes of adding beauty to her farm yard. The flowers provided many rewards for the farm wife and her family for years but in time, the farm became deserted. Yet the lilac and peony bushes and iris remained. Through rains and drought the flowers spread over the good years and towards the end of May and first of June, they once again show off their beautiful flowers, noticed or not.