10/21/2005

I don't like spiders and snakes

One of the first things we did as we got chores done that first day was run off to explore. For some reason I got off all by myself. It's too bad because I could have used a witness.

I headed right for the pond. The water drew me like a seagull to french fries. You just cut across the back and side yards to walk right down to the old mill dam. In fact the place used to be called The Mill Pond. Now we called it Two Flag Dam, I have no idea why. I should look into it.

The dam was only about 12 feet from the top to the drop but is seemed taller to me as I was about four feet and a piece now. There was a 12 or 15 inch wide steel beam to walk across on or several 2 inch bars over the back of the dam to tip toe across on very carefully. Of course, the first time I took the narrow steel to prove I could do it.

Once you were across you continued east about 100 feet until you came to the first access road. People could park in that area to fish or further on about 25 feet it forked south or east where you could hunt or train your dogs in the woods and fields further in.

East took you up to where the exit road hung a sharp left and another trail continued east past the swamp, the sand pit, the field and the pines. South took you along the shore of the lake through the woods and pines then became a path that led to a clearing. At the very edge of the clearing on the south there was a perfect for sitting on tree stump where you overlooked the creek feeding the pond from the east. It filtered through a little swamp before becoming open water just as the whole thing turned north and became the pond proper.

And yes, I wandered through most of this in my hour or so but did so quickly. I got to know it all much better later. But this day I ended up at the perfect for sitting stump and sat looking over the swamp with the creek cutting a trail through it to the pond and daydreaming of being Diana the huntress or Maid Marian or a wood sprite or a druid princess.

It was just perfect back there. You could still here the harley's and the big trucks but they were far off and easily ignored. The sun drew a yellow path across the waters for the turtles and fish to sport in. In the woods behind me the jays scolded and the squirrels chattered a challanged back at them. The frogs and crickets sang. The air smelled of lake and hay in the heat as well as the lilies clustered all over the near edge of the swampy area. The stump was comfortable with a root exposed just where your foot would brace naturally. I sat and watched the blue heron poking around for treats across from me.

There were dragon flies dancing and fish rising and frogs leaping and turtles sunning. I loved it from the first moment I found it and it was all mine. But as I gazed out over my new kingdom I noticed what appeared to me to be a beaver or muskrat swimming just to the left of my seat and headed my way. He was out about 10 yards but closing fast. He was in the sun lane. It was a little hard to see.

I had never seen a wild beaver so I got up and moved to the shade of the tree line east of me, slowly so I didn't startle the critter and looked again. Just then 2 huge coils popped up in the water behind it and I realized that the thing with a head the size of a large beaver was a HUGE SNAKE!

I was still a city kid in training for the country I guess because I lit out of there, racing like the devil was coming for me, tore through the field, crashed through the forests, whipped in and out of the pine trees, raced over the parking area, across the fishing area, levitated over the dam, slashed throught the swampy field, staggered across the side yard to the back door and collapsed in a chair safely inside the house. I could not catch my breath! I think I did a 1.5 minute mile that day.

Mom and the kids are all "What happened?!" and I'm stammering and gasping for enough wind to do more than hiss, "SSSssssssnsssnss snssss!" I finally gulp out "SNAKE!!! BIG SNAKE!!" and they start looking out the window and such before I can finally tell them where I saw it. Mom makes me show them but I didn't want to share my clearing very much.

We all went back out to look for it but, of course, it had probably eaten all the frogs it needed and was gone. So was the heron and most of the turtles had run for cover. Even the crickets and squirrels were quiet.


So Mom issued a strict go in pairs rule that we all broke as soon as we were out of sight of the house. We did have whistles and calls for emergencies and were usually where we could hear each other.

After some searching in the Encyclopidia we decided it was probably a black rat snake. But it could have been a water moccasin. When I described it I told them the head was as big as a can of frozen juice. The thing was huge.

Welcome to the wilderness!

Comments: 1 Comments:
At 16/3/06 3:14 PM, Blogger I ROCK!!!!! said...

Snakes are cool and so are spider's nice blog check out mine or i'll pound ya got it.(you}...OK..(me)Good.

 

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