So it takes me a good 20 minutes to get the hose ready, pull out all my tools, weed and feeds and a box for the clippings, and I’m tired before I even get started. The biggest part of this project would be hand-sawing the bottom limbs off the contractor bushes by our front door. I’ve never like them, but they had some aesthetic value and now I’ve let them grow too large.
I’m on my hands and knees, sawing away, and as I back up to stretch I realize there’s a hole right next to me I didn’t see on my way in, and it looks suspiciously round and deep – so deep I can not see the bottom. SNAKES! is the first thing that popped into my mind, and I catapulted straight up, like my cat does when she’s frightened (is that why they call it catapulted?) and landed on my rear end …on the concrete. Not knowing if I’m hurt, I’m crawling spider-like backwards to put more space between me and that hole. I’m in the house in under five seconds.
Wiki can not identify snake holes, so I packed up my tools and put my front yard on the “no man’s land” list until my husband comes home and does the hero thing that he LOVES to do.
But within a couple of hours I’m anxious to get back out there, so I head to the back yard instead and start weeding and feeding and sure enough, I find another snake hole. Not a full-blown panic attack this time, but I definitely gave up on gardening today.
I’ve seen a few snakes in my yard over the years; big black one(s) that tend to be around 8 feet long. We looked this up once and feel pretty confident that this type is not dangerous, and actually beneficial, though armadillos don’t seem to be bothered by them, and armadillos are our biggest pest.
Now I’m back inside bemoaning the fact that it’s freaking gorgeous outside and I can’t garden, until my thoughts meander from snakes to pests to bugs to termites. TERMITES! OMG! We recently changed termite companies and I watched, but did not register as fact, while the guy from the old termite company removed the bait mechanisms (which are apparently rented, not sold). They are plastic and have a long round neck used to stomp them into the ground, and when they are removed they leave a perfectly round, deep hole.
Now, being the ophidiophobic that I am, I’m not convinced a snake wouldn’t find such holes beckoning, and as you can see by this post I am still inside. Apparently you can buy snake repellent, which is probably the solution my husband will come up with. He really doesn’t like to kill things, anything, so the yardwork will have to wait until I am confident we’ve done all we can to keep me from having a snake sighting.
Florida is famous for a variety of poisonous creatures, especially snakes, and the Pigmy Rattlesnake, a tiny version of the real thing with the greatest difference being that the Pigmies are even more aggressive, is just one of them. Their venom is hemorrhagic, not neuro-toxic, but you still want to seek medical attention if you’re bitten. We’ve had several bites in this neighborhood, and these little buggers are the biggest reason many of our neighbors hire out their gardening work.
Frankly I’m ready to move to the Amazon rain forest. Considering the number of things here that can kill you, not the least of which are our gun laws, I think it would be safer down there.