Oh, Snakes and Moles

Domicile Un-roofed
Domicile Un-roofed
We think a man’s (or person’s) home as his (or her’s) castle.

“The home to everyone is to him his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose.” ~Edward Coke (1552-1634)

What happens when something larger comes along and wipes out your castle? Your fortress? Your defense against injury or violence? Your place of rest?

Well, that’s what I did while mowing this morning!

Slowly but surely the yard is taking better shape since I bought my Kubota tractor. This morning I moved some debris away from an area I wanted to mow. What do you think I found?

I found where the snakes or moles had been living. I suspect both lived here.

Snake Skin
Snake Skin

For one reason, there were several snake skin remnants around (pictured right), and moles were running across the yard as I disturbed their domicile! Fortunately, neither are dangerous creatures. Our snakes are simply grass snakes even though they may get up to 18 inches. Our moles are like field mice that tunnel under the ground and leave hills above the surface. As one gardener states, at least they are stirring up the soil!

Every so often I will deal with ant beds, and wasps that live under the ground – both of these are more bothersome than our snakes or moles.

When I was young we enjoyed hunting snakes around the ponds and waterways where we lived. Of course, their demise was our focus. I have so many snake stories!

For example, after a hurricane my sister-in-law had a water moccasin come into her bathtub through the sewer system that had been awash with flooded waters.

One time, while camping at Lake Rayburn (East Texas) while the reservoir was filling up, my granddad took me and my mom fishing. We went to the farm of relatives that was being flooded, and finagled our way through tree tops to get to where the creek would have been. There were water moccasin’s in the tree tops and granddad knocked them out with a cane pole so they would not drop in our boat. Of course, he made one of them really mad. As it tried repeatedly to get in the boat my granddad would beat at it with the paddle while my mom was struggling to get the boat motor started!

In about the first grade we had a birthday party at Peter’s house. Of course, he had several snakes in his bedroom, including a poisonous one! Though we were supposed to stay out of the room, we all went in to see him handle his snakes!

We had a snake corner our puppy at the front door. My wife works well with the sharp end of a shovel!

When preparing to relocate to Alaska in 1994, I was emptying out my old backpack. It was full of debris where squirrels and who knows what had made it their home. I had left the backpack on the dining table overnight and early the next morning I begin scooping out the debris into the garbage can. As I reached in, my hand brushed against a cold and slimy body! It was a Coral snake! It was sort of dormant because of the A/C, but I dumped him outside in the rain and used a fireplace poker to kill him!

Let me give you a hint about snakes… They can be pretty terrifying! Especially the poisonous ones!

Regardless of how you consider them, snakes still have homes! I think I destroyed a major one today! And I’m okay with that!

When it comes to snakes I have never felt remorse at dispatching them appropriately! Nor moles…