We have a sneaky snake. No, it’s not Dolce, who is usually our first choice to blame as she likes to double-back on the trail to sneak a bite at a road apple. Nor is it Amore, a likely culprit however, who likes to quietly slip into the kitchen undetected to counter-surf for any and all crumbs left behind. Both girls have well-deserved and well-earned reputations of being sly, cunning, evasive, clever, crafty… and, well, just down-right sneaky when it comes to some delicious little tidbit of food that they desire. They are pros when it comes to measuring the distance between master (us), the goal (food), and the trials and tribulations to obtain said goal. They can recognize the challenge and process the steps necessary to achieve victory without being scared or turning back. And, usually they are spot-on thieves, quick as a wink and unafraid of retribution from Malcolm or myself.
No, this sneaky snake is just that, a snake. A real one. Four to five feet long, I can only pray it is either a Bull Snake, Whip Snake, or a Red Racer. Of course, by the time I finish this tale, the snake will be at least 6 to 7 feet long with a girth wider than Malcolm’s chest and has fangs to rival a vampire. Unfortunately, the only evidence we have gathered is the skin. A long, scaly, ugly snake-skin. Uck! Double uck! Triple, quadruple, uck! Let me say it in plain English – UCK! I. HATE. SNAKES. Big, small, skinny, fat, friendly or deadly, doesn’t matter, I hate’em all and it doesn’t help matters that I live in an area that is populated with such creatures. Give me a spider or a mouse any day (more on the mice at a later date). I know, without a doubt, if Dolce or Amore ever saw a snake they would think it’s play time, something to chase after, play with and perhaps bring into the house to show off to the folks.
With the frequent monsoon rains we have the past couple of weeks, the flash floods and the wash out roads, many rodents and reptiles have moved to higher ground. We’ve seen more snakes in the last two weeks than we have in all the years we’ve lived in Santa Fe – bar none. To year-to-date, the total count is: 4 Rattlesnakes, 4 Bull Snakes, 1 Whip Snake and 2 Red Racers – a zillion Kangaroo Rats, a couple dozen Pack Rats (imagine a mouse on steroids) and at least 6 gophers. Mice aren’t part of the totals, as they are beyond counting.
Even though, every spring we give Dolce and Amore a Rattlesnake booster shot, even though we are vigilant when we hike the trails and the green belt, miles from anywhere and no cell service, even though it’s often said, “they are more afraid of you” – I still fret and worry about snakes. Especially when the below picture was taken 10 feet from our garage door.
Now that I’m examining the photo a little more closely, it’s evident this is probably a twelve footer with wings, can squeeze you in half, has a tail like a scorpion and can spew fire from it’s mouth.