Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Every Great Story Begins With a Snake

But does it? 


These last few weeks have included a few less-than-desirable drives (check out the strangest one here), but my walks haven't been, well, a walk in the park either.

I found a new-to-me path, one that wove through both grassy and wooded areas but was also close to major roads and at one point circled around behind a few homes. I parked near the trail head, with plans to walk for two miles away from my car, turn around, and walk two miles back to my car. All was going well (other than the heat, but that's a different post for a different day) as I cruised along, chatting with my mom. And when my Fitbit vibrated to notify me that I had reached two miles, I spun around to walk back the way from which I'd come...and right in front of me - probably 10 feet or so feet - was this guy.

The path was fairly wide, so I'd estimate he was
nearly three feet long. Also, I backed WAY up before I
took this photo - sorry I wasn't willing to get any closer. 

I think I yelped and used a few inappropriate words (in my mom's ear - that can't have been fun for her) as I stumbled backwards away from him. I quickly realized just how close he and I had come to meeting one another even more intimately; he hadn't been on the path when I'd walked by that spot, but when I turned around 10 feet later, there he was. He must have slithered out RIGHT after I'd passed by. 

Another realization - that he was blocking my way home - came moments later, so then I just stood there, w...a...i...t...i...n...g as he took his sweet, sweet time crossing the path. When he finally made it to the grass, I - under my breath (and again in my mom's ear) - eked out, "ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh" as I hurriedly started the second two miles of my walk. 

I realize that I came out of this experience unharmed (physically, at least), but for a few moments it felt like the end was near.


A couple of weeks later, I was walking through my neighborhood at 8am - once again on the phone with my mom - when something caught my eye. I glanced up and to my right and saw this guy's beady little eyes staring back at me from probably only eight feet away. 

He's on top of the fence post. Again, my apologies
for being unable/unwilling to get closer for a better pic.

For reference, so you can see how close the sidewalk is to
the fence and therefore how close he and I were to one another.

Again, I think I yelped and used a few inappropriate words as I scurried away from where he was (proudly? Confidently? Intimidatingly?) perched on a fence post. When I pulled out my phone to take a picture for my mom, he stayed put but he glared at me like it was his job and OH are opossum eyes CREEPY. 

I once again came out of this experience (physically) unharmed, but it took quite a while for my heart rate and breathing to return to normal.


When we were trying to decide which job Tom would take and where we would move after Tom finished his PhD, critters (lizards, snakes, and quite a few others that people had warned me about) were one of the cons on the TAMU/Texas list. Ultimately the pros outweighed the cons and TAMU/Texas came out on top, but the critters are still one of the three things I strongly dislike about our current state. 

So Texas, if you please, I've had about enough of your critters for a while. I'd like to return to my regularly scheduled and animal-free walks. (Except for kittens and puppies. Bring me all the kittens and puppies.) 

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