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No Fooling! April 1, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature.

Snakes and other reptiles (like alligators) can be a real problem for homeowners in several areas of the country.

As my April Fool’s Day gift to you, here’s a quick primer on snakes that you can cut out and post on your fridge (with other important papers).

There are two types of snakes.  

No ~ not poisonous and non-poisonous (or, more accurately, venomous and non-venomous).

While that distinction is a useful classification tool for herpetologists;  it’s too cumbersome for the rest of us.

Instead, snakes should be classified as either dead or alive.

If you find a dead snake in your yard, leave it alone . . . as long as the more squeamish members of your family are not going to trip over it.

You don’t want to be woken from a nap by a shrill shriek, “EEEKKKK”  (translation: “there’s a snake in the yard and I almost stepped on it!”) or, even worse, “EEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!” (translation, “I stepped on a snake!”).

What if you go out to the yard and you come face to face with an Anaconda?

It is alive.

Who are you going to call?  No, not Indiana Jones . . . Animal Control.

Why not tackle the beast yourself?  Two reasons: (1) it is illegal to kill snakes (and other reptiles) in many states; and (2) if you toss it over the fence for your neighbor to deal with, he’s just going to toss it back.

Do NOT play “Monkey in the Middle” with unwanted reptiles.  Call Animal Control.

If Indiana Jones can’t handle snakes, neither can you.

In Florida, a guy found an eighteen foot long snake in his back yard recycling pond.  It took two Animal Control officers about 20 minutes to catch the snake which weighed over 100 pounds.  One of the officers barely escaped a serious bite from the enormous fangs.

True story!  No fooling!

The snake is now used to teach children about Wild America at an area wildlife rehabilitation center.

Okay, chances are good that the reptile in your yard is neither poisonous nor an Anaconda.

If it’s a small, non-poisonous snake that is still alive:

(1) go back into the house until it wanders off the property on its own, or

(2) flag down the kid who mows your yard and ask him if he wants a new pet.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Are you squeamish about snakes . . . or do you fancy yourself as a snake charmer?

Related posts: Got Snakes??? * Indiana Jones Wouldn’t.  Would You? * A Quick Quiz ~ Florida Fatalities * April Fool’s Day Contest * I’ve Come To A Decision (IGW) * The April Fools (PTC) * WordPress is Mean (Tilly Bud) * Marla and Me (Write Up My Life) * Good Employees Gone Foolish (Janna) * April Fool’s Day Pranks (Clar)


1. phrogmom - April 1, 2011

teeheeee, i am actually ok about snakes, and my mom, she is probably a snake lover, unless it is a rattlesnake. mr p though, he would certainly be shrieking up a storm if there was a snake in our backyard!!

nrhatch - April 1, 2011

I’m getting better about them, but I used to be like Cindy (next comment) . . . I would throw magazines across the room if a photo of a snake startled me!

2. Cindy - April 1, 2011

I’m so scared of them I had to avert my eyes from your pictures. Eeeeeek!

nrhatch - April 1, 2011

That was me. I’m getting a bit less frightened of them, but I prefer to keep a safe distance.

3. Lisa - April 1, 2011

Flashback to a young me coming across a garden snake eating a frog in the back yard. I went back later to see the lump moving down the snakes body, and the thing went after me. I ran!

nrhatch - April 1, 2011

EEEKKK! I’ve never been chased by a snake. I hope it stays that way.

4. Debra - April 1, 2011

Snakes are amazing creatures. I do not mind looking at them.

But I give a snake some time to mosey on down the road or yard. I happen to be on of those people who happens upon them always. Maybe it is nature saying…they live here too. Not sure. But a respectful distance is well good!

Horses are the scary one for me. Long story. So I am very lucky for rarely do I find horses in my yard!:)
Thanks Nancy …may you have a snake free day:)

nrhatch - April 1, 2011

That’s the way I’m getting with them. Amazing.

And LOL! I’m glad that horses don’t make gratuitous appearance in your yard.

5. Maggie - April 1, 2011

Snakes are OK, as long as they don’t slither into the house.

nrhatch - April 1, 2011

YES! Not in the house! 😀

6. kenny2dogs - April 1, 2011

Owing to ignorance of the rope the rope appears to be a snake; owing to ignorance of the Self the transient state arises of the individualized, limited, phenomenal aspect of the Self.
Guru Nanak

BTW. hello from England… I like your blog. Mmmmm interesting.

7. nrhatch - April 1, 2011

Thanks, K2D!

8. CMSmith - April 1, 2011

My son found a snake in his bed when he lived on the bottom floor of an apartment building. Evidently the guy upstairs had lost his pet. Yikes.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

That. would. freak. me. out. 🙂

9. kateshrewsday - April 1, 2011

We have only one poisonous snake here and that’s not too vitriolic: the adder. I once came face to face with an adder as it basked on a stream bank and it hissed grumpily at me. I ran a mile.

We are not accustomed to coming face to face with snakes here 🙂

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

I would have done the same. 😀

10. SuziCate - April 1, 2011

Two types of snakes…dead or alive…EXACTLY!!!! Just found out my three year old goddaughter wants a pet snake…have I not hugged this child enough or what?!!!!!!!

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

You’re so funny. Furry pets seem more pet-able to me. Perhaps there’s still time. Give her a hug!

11. Rosa - April 1, 2011

I love snakes! Now, I’m not saying I’m not scared of the poisonous or deadly ones… but I think they are beautiful and amazing! As a child, I lept barefoot over a diamondback rattlesnake crossing my path. I went back to grab what I thought was a beautiful stick and it was coiled. Next thing I knew, I was about 50 feet away screaming bloody murder!!

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

Wow! When walking in the woods, I play it safe and assume that stray branches are snakes . . . and steer clear of them.

I have yet to assume that a snake was just a stick.

12. tsuchigari - April 1, 2011

Back in college I was an animal educator for a life science museum, one of the fun parts was giving the live reptile show. We had snakes, iguanas, turtles, bearded dragons, and a fiesty water monitor. One of my favorite jobs to date! Nothing says loving like a 40 pound rainbow boa wrapped around your waist and flicking his tongue in your ear.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

Several of our AmeriCorps members served at the Salisbury Zoo in a similar capacity. They handled the snakes. I applauded from a safe distance.

13. souldipper - April 1, 2011

*Note to self: If Cin and Nancy come for a visit, tell Duc le Chat not to bring any snakes home. Live or dead.*

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

Thank you, Amy. I appreciate that forethought on your part. 😀

14. Carol Ann Hoel - April 1, 2011

I don’t care for snakes. If I know one’s not poisonous, I won’t scream, but I still don’t like the snake. If I think it’s poisonous, I’ll leave quietly. I’ve seen lots of them in Florida, but mostly the harmless kind. Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

I prefer to see the snake BEFORE the snake sees me. 🙂

Mostly, we’ve seen black racers here in FL ~ and I’m becoming “OK” with them.

15. carldagostino - April 1, 2011


nrhatch - April 2, 2011


16. oldancestor - April 1, 2011

Escaped Cobras notwithstanding, we don’t have much of a snake problem up here in the mid atlantic states.

I’m fond of reptiles and have no problems holding snakes. Growing up, my brother and I shared a room with his 3-foot-long Iguana for several years. He only used his cage for potty time and, otherwise, he liked to hang out on the windowsill or bookshelves. Just one of the gang.

My son and I want a snake, but Mrs OA is not so keen on the idea.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

The lizards down here don’t bother me at all. Just snakes. I understand Mrs. OA’s lack of enthusiasm.

Maybe you could build a snake pit in the backyard?

oldancestor - April 2, 2011

I would, but my “back yard” is someone else’s apartment!

They seem like nice people. Maybe they wouldn’t mind…

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

Don’t hold your breath. 😀

Judging from the comments on this post, snake lovers are out numbered 4 to 1 by non-enthusiasts.

17. adeeyoyo - April 1, 2011

Hahaha, Nancy, I love this post! I have had quite a bit of experience with snakes and have found, generally, they will leave you alone unless you pose a threat. I once had a whole family of Natal Blacks living in the bottom of a cupboard in the spare room. They ignored my dogs and the dogs ignored them. I always wondered what happened after I moved house.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

My word. You are braver than me. I will not habitate with snakes under the same roof. They must sleep out of doors. 🙂

18. barb19 - April 1, 2011

I hate snakes – and I live in a country where we have some of the most poisonous snakes in the world. Sheesh!
I was once confronted by the deadly brown snake when walking my dogs one day; one of my dogs was curious and got a bit too close and the snake reared up, ready to pounce. I swear I would have died for my dog that day! I got her out of the way and we ran home, in spite of my legs feeling like jelly! Had that snake bitten my dog, she would have most certainly died. Yup, I hate snakes!

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

I’m glad that you and the dog got home safely. I think that Adee is right. Most time snakes want to stay out of our way but if we poke around too close to them . . . RUN!

19. Tilly Bud - April 1, 2011

I love snakes. If I didn’t think it was cruel to keep them in a cage, I’d have one as a pet.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

You rock, Tilly Bud. But if you have a pet snake, I shall not stop by for tea. 😀

20. Chad - April 1, 2011

They don’t bother me. Spiders used to freak me out, never snakes.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

If I had a choice to go into a room filled with venomous snakes or a room filled with black widows or tarantulas, I would definitely pick door #3. 🙂

21. jannatwrites - April 2, 2011

I chuckled at the classifications of snakes (dead or alive). I don’t hate snakes – I’m fascinated by them, but I’m also terrified of them. (I’m not afraid of the dead kind, though.)

Living in the desert for 20+ years (and going on tons of hiking trails) I know I must have been near a snake at some point, but I’ve never seen one. I think that’s nature’s way of preventing a heart attack 😉 Either that, or I only see what I want to.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

I think that snakes hear/sense our vibrations and move away when we hike near them. We’ve seen snakes when hiking in NJ and in MD, but usually only when they were sunning themselves.

22. Mirrors and Us....recent article in Tricycle | The Blue Lotus Cafe - April 2, 2011

[…] am posted this because it has touched on something Nancy (Spirit Lights The Way) & I have commented on recently…maybe it will help you too? It is from Tricycle, so […]

23. Jeanne - April 2, 2011

Not a fan of snakes. Our old dog Sven used to make great sport of chasing the snakes in our yard. Since he has passed we no longer have them. I wonder if they just came to play and left when no one would play any longer.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

That could be. There’s a squirrel that comes to visit Tigger when he’s on the back deck. It definitely seems like he wants to play. 😀

Not sure that snakes are quite as playful, but maybe.

24. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 2, 2011

I am beyond scared of those nasty evil things. Once when babysitting my grandson I went out the front door and there was snake laying on top of a bush. When I say I am scared of these things thats an understatement. My grandson was at the glass door and couldn’t figure out what in the world grandma was doing dancing around the front yard like a lunatic! I called my son at work as if he would come home! My grandson was saying just walk up the steps and come in grammie. It’s a miracle I didn’t faint running in the door.

The other night I dreamed there was an anaconda in a house that I was in! It kept creeping up on me. The people in the house weren’t bothered by it at all. I finally woke up because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

There is just nothing worse if you ask me. And forget calling Animal Control here. That would be a joke.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

Animal Control is called frequently in FL for alligator removal . . . and also LARGE snakes. Not sure that they would respond to small snakes hanging out on top of bushes.

The fact that some snakes are great climbers does NOT appeal to me. I do NOT want one dropping out of a tree onto my shoulders.

25. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 2, 2011

Summer will mean snakes at my sons house. They live backed up to a Greenway! 😦 If you hear screaming from this directon it will be me.

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

You scream . . . I’ll run. 😀

26. Penny - April 2, 2011

I am very squeamish when it comes to creepy crawlers !! snakes and spiders are at the top of my list. They freak me out !!!! 🙂

nrhatch - April 2, 2011

They tend to give me the “heebie jeebies” too!


27. eof737 - April 3, 2011

EEKKKKK 18 foot long? Th last time I saw a snake in my yard, it skinny and green and not more than 1 foot long. That picture is harrowing and the guy who found the snake is a lucky man. Yikes! 🙂

nrhatch - April 3, 2011

The largest snake I’ve ever “run into” outside of a zoo might have been 6 feet long . . . not big enough to eat me. 😎

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