Sunday, May 12, 2013

Breakfast With a Snake

When the early morning temperatures reach the upper forties, I grab a cup of coffee and head to my front porch to welcome in the day. Until the cooler, damp weather of October, my porch allows me to commune with nature and feel the sense of peace one can only find as the sun rises in the early morning. This time of year, there is a riot of chatter from numerous birds, rabbits bound around the yard as if they are late for a very important date and a garter snake slithers around in my front beds. Yesterday morning, as I sat enjoying the sun popping through the clouds, I noticed the movement of said garter snake. He, too, was enjoying the sun as it warmed him on the sidewalk below me. It is a rather colorful creature with bright green striping and orange dashes reminiscent of a garden hose.

I don’t know for sure, but I figure it must be the same snake that has shown up in this area the past few years. There have been times when I could swear it follows me around⎯seriously. When on my hands and knees in my garden beds, I shake the plants I am working near to let this snake know I am in the vicinity. While not venomous, if stepped on or grabbed, it may just strike out and bite me. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame it if it did. If someone stepped on or grabbed me I would react too, and I have, but that’s a story for another day.

As I drank my coffee and enjoyed my breakfast, the snake decided it was curious about me and placed its little head on the edge of the stair. I couldn't help but smile, but kept a wary eye on that forked tongue bugger. While I enjoy communing with nature, I really didn’t want this scaly reptile getting too friendly. By the time I finished my last sips of coffee, it was time for me to get on with my day. The snake seemed to feel the same way and slipped into my garden.

I love anything that can put a smile on my face, particularly first thing in the morning, because that smile is likely to follow me throughout my day⎯even if it comes from a limbless reptile with no eyelids. Just don’t step on or grab me! I guarantee there won't be a smile on my face then.
Garter Snake photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Creative Commons