05-19-19 The Unexpected Hazards of Gardening

I’ve mentioned before how happy I am to be putting in a ‘garden’ this year. It isn’t much, a few vegetables in pots and some flowers planted into the flower beds. There were still a few plants to get into pots today, but it was so hot we decided to wait until later in the evening when the sun started setting. Most of it was smooth sailing, and we made a lot of progress.

It was getting late and I wanted to get two more small mint plants into planters before calling it a night. Everyone else had gone inside except me and Big E. We pulled over the pot, the mint, and the large bag of potting soil. As I was filling the pot, I asked Big E to grab the seed starter mix I had been using over the past several weeks. It was closed up and propped against the house. He picked it up and noted how light it was.

At this point, night has started to settle in. The sky was almost dark and we were working by the light of the front porch. Big E and I both knelt down beside the planter as I started to pour the contents of the bag into the pot. All of a sudden I felt something drop into the pot and a sudden movement. It was dark and my eyes took a moment to comprehend what I was seeing. It was like something was trying to jump out of the pot. And that’s when I realized it was a snake recoiling, leaping, recoiling, and leaping itself out of the pot less than a foot from our faces!!! Big E and I both screamed and jumped back as quickly as we could. It was dark, but I was pretty sure it was a black snake. Big E ran towards the front door. Tim must have heard my screaming because he came out to investigate the racket.

Poor Big E was in tears and my adrenaline was pumping hard. We needed to track down the snake to make sure it wasn’t poisonous. After finding flashlights, we determined it was a black rat snake about four feet in length. It was very agitated. Tim found a rake and twisted him up onto it like a large noodle and managed to dump it in the woods behind our house.

Needless to say, I was done gardening at that point. Tim put everything back for me and I have vowed to never garden after dark and never trust an open bag of ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.

Big E and I had a good laugh about it later, but if he has a lifelong fear of snakes, I think we can point with some confidence to the events of this evening!

Also, if you are keeping count, that’s three snake encounters in the last four days!! I think we’ve met our quota.

Our snake encounter completely overshadowed our toad visit earlier in the evening. In fact, the toad was still hanging out nearby when the snake showed up. It didn’t take him long to get out of Dodge.

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