I've always been entranced by snakes. Been catching them and keeping them since I was 6. I had to stop when I got married but was able to transfer the interest to some herptile population research in cohorts with ENMU.
We got Corals, Copperheads and Rattlers around here but all I've seen in my back yard so far is a Hog-nosed and a green grass snake.
My kids had snakes when they were young, a boa that started really getting big and a smaller snake, think it was a young corn snake. I was terrified of them then. The boa escaped his enclosure and was missing for 2 days. I didn't get much sleep those 2 nights. The other one excaped and slithered under a built in cabinet into a hole that I didn't know was in the wall. We never saw him again.
When I went through animal handling training at the zoo, i had to pass the test on handling all the animals available for the Children's Zoo. With work I got over my fear and actually enjoyed showing them to the kids more than most of the other animals (other than the birds of prey). They usually were calmer and it was fun getting the kids to overcome their fears. But I never felt easy handling the larger boas and pythons. They were just too powerful.
The hedgehogs were cuter and easier. Some of the larger lizards were easy, too. My absolute favorites were the owls. I really miss doing that. Volunteering at Mote Marine here is really fun, but there isn't much animal handling opportunities there with the dolphins and manatees and large sea turtles. But I can spin quite the yarn for the tourists about all of them.
I lost a grass snake in the house sometime around jr high. Mom told me to never tell Dad or we would be taking the house apart board by board.
Sometime a little later I caught a black racer that ran up a tree as I rode my horse by. Problem was the 'tree' was only about 6 feet tall so I was able to reach up and grab him.
Then the fun started. My horse caught a whiff as I remounted and we went home just about as fast as she could run. She jumped the front fence into the yard and I slid off and let her head on to the back. Dad came running out hollering about what I was doing to the horse until he saw the snake. He was back in the house with the door locked faster than a lightning bolt.
They have blue racers up near grandpa's house (which is being sold). I always thought they'd make nice shoes.
Fun story. My mom called her neighbor one day in a panic and the neighbor ran right over. Lounging in the living room blinds and sunning itself was about a five foot snake. Harmless, but disconcerting.
Just saw a copperhead down by a creek the other week. ...I kept my distance.
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