Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rescue 911

Snake Rescue, that is.

I went out for my evening blueberry picking session and found a (damn large) garter snake caught in the blueberry netting. Is THIS the pest that has been eating all of my berries? Probably not, but caught he was, and looking pretty mad about it:

As I came nearer, he panicked, making things worse by twisting, turning and further tightening the netting around him:

Thinking this was helping, he then started to roll:

Great, now there are sticks wrapped up with him, too:

I take one look at the sight before me and did what any pansy-assed city girl with a dislike of snakes would do: I call my husband at work. I pull my cellphone out of my back pocket:
(for illustration purposes only - not my cell phone, not my hand)

...and see that (yay!) it has one bar of reception. I dial. No answer. Hmpf. So I leave one of his favorite types of voicemails: "Jiiiiim, there's a snake all caught and twisted up in the blueberry netting and there's NO way I can keep him from biting me while cutting the netting off him...when are you coming HOME? I need help!!"

Why is this his favorite type of voicemail? Well, because with only one bar of reception, it comes through to him like this..."Jiiiiim, snake....caught and twisted.... biting!!"

Meanwhile, back at the blueberries, I pull myself together. I remember that the pansy-assed city girl doesn't live here anymore. I pull up my big girl pants, retrieve my extremely thick canvas gloves and a small pair of scissors, and get to work.

He doesn't like me. He makes this perfectly clear:

Trying to keep my mind on the goal and not the fact that I'm holding a snake in my hands who's biting me repeatedly, I get a firm hold on his head:

...and start snipping away at the netting. It's so tight in places at this point, it's underneath his scales:

It's almost impossible to hang on to a snake's head with one hand, snip netting with the other, and somehow pull away the netting as you go along. I need another hand. I think briefly about using my teeth, but opt against that and decide to use gravity to help me instead:

Yes, that does the trick. After much snipping, the remaining netting slides down his body and gathers at the tip of his tail:

That falls away and I am able to release my vice-like grip on the poor guy's head. Off he slithers into the grapes with not even a hissed note of thanks:

Minutes later, Jim arrives home to assist with the "snake emergency".

"I took care of it," I say, like it was no big deal.


  1. Oh my.

    That snake actually looked much larger until you showed a picture of your gloved hand. Those gloves look ginormous. Not that that takes away at all from the fact that it was in fact a really big snake and that said snake was biting you repeatedly. And that you managed to do all this, plus get great photos. Im thinking that the farm girl was there the whole time..she just wanted to make you sweat it out a minute first!

  2. You are a good woman! Most folks would have introduced him to a hoe point. As far as the message goes, I think that is a wifely duty. My wife leaves me similar all the time!

  3. YIKES!!! Are Garter snakes poisonous? We only have one venemous snake over here in Britain. Pansy-assed you are not! Shame you couldn't keep him to protect your blueberry crop though! (-:

  4. I've been out of the city 18 years and I'm still pansy assed about snakes. I honestly think I'd have cried if I'd had to deal with a snake that big. Forget biting me, I couldn't get that close. You're my hero!

    Steve would sympathize with Jim. He gets phone calls like that too. I think they probably enjoy it (hahhahahaha!).

  5. Danni, good job!!! ungrateful snake that he was!! Seems like ever day more and more of your "city girl" is slipping away doesn't it? :)

  6. TOO TOO funny...or is that tutu funny? We're leading parallel lives, friend. Here's my story of the snake that got caught in my garden netting:

  7. Wow, the snake looked much bigger before you caught it. Good for you, doing it all by yourself!

  8. Wow! You are so right, the pansy-assed city girl doesn't live there anymore!! (I doubt you were ever "pansy-assed")

    You are VERY brave. I don't think I could grab onto to big snake like that without freaking out. We have rattle snakes around here. I stay away from those.

    Bravo Farmer DK! Bravo!

  9. Did you hold the camera with your 4th hand?

  10. Your big girl pants! hee hee hee hee, you are funny!
    Ok, whenever I told anyone about getting bit by a garter snake they look at me as if I had been smoking crack. Garter snakes don't bite they say. Thanks for the proof and the laugh!

  11. You go girl. Before you know it, you'll be a snake whisperer.

  12. You are so brave! I hate snakes, too. And even though it was just a garter snake I don't think I could've done what you did. In fact I'm sure I would just have waited until Jim got home to do it for me, as long as I promised to bake him a berry cobbler. . . You go city-turned-country girl!

  13. Good job, I'm not to big on snakes either and our property is loaded with them. The kids snake count is up to nearly 40 for this Spring/Summer....yikes!! ~Kim

  14. Things I love about this post:

    1. You risked life and limb to rescue another living being in need.
    2. You risked life and limb to rescue another living being in need, in spite of the scaryness factor.
    3. You were capable and competent and did it all on your own. (We'll forgive you the panicked phone call to your hubby.)
    4. You were able to identify a snake...I wouldn't have a clue what kind it was.
    5. You endured repeated attacks from a wild animal. With BIG teeth.
    6. Your blog reading buddies were first & foremost on your mind, as clearly evidenced by the most excellent photo journel you recorded throughout the ordeal.

    Well done.

  15. Oh my goodness! I am glad I haven't run into snakes while picking the blueberries here.

  16. I am so in awe of you and what you did! I don't care for snakes, and I would have wanted to rescue him too....I just don't think I could have gotten up enough nerve!

  17. I think honestly I would have just killed it. I'm so scared of them.

  18. Good job Danni! You did the right thing and I applaud you for having the fortitude to release the snake rather than panic and kill it. Give yourself a pat on the back! That little garter snake will reward your kindness by continuing to eat pests on your property.

  19. You are so incredibly brave! Wow! I guess once I move I'll have to stop being a pansy-assed city girl too. Yikes, I do fear snakes!

  20. You should change your name to "kick ass farmgirl". You're tough! All in a days work, I suppose!

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  22. I am so proud of you you've really arrived at Critter Farm!! No obstacle is too great! You are master of your domain!

  23. Holy cow. Chicken nanny, donkey rescuer, snake handler. . . is there nothing you can't do? We are super impressed by this latest photo diary, especially the picture of the snake trying to bite off one of your fingers. I'm not sure I would have had the calm needed to take a picture at that moment.

    Glad snake, blogger, and blueberries are fine!

  24. You had me laughing out loud at this. I wondered how you had presence of mind to snap pictures all this time. My experiences with snakes were in the house during some major remodel. Three different times a huge snake came inside the house. I however, used tongs to catch him. Gloves would probably have been smarter but I had to chase the suckers around the house to catch them. Thanks God no one was there to see adrenaline was at an all time high and my words were NOT pretty.

  25. At least your snake wasn't the victim of a drive-by mowing.

  26. :-) First of all, thank you to everyone who called me brave and their "hero" (Robin!!) after my snake adventure. I love you all very much.

    To those of you who called my snake "small", I have this to say to you:
    Yuh huh, that snake was HUGE! The shot with that enormous canvas glove just made him appear smaller momentarily!! :-)

    And to Jenny in Britain, garter snakes are not poisonous, thank goodness! :-)

  27. Danni,

    Just for future reference - I *love* snakes and my cousin lives close by - I'm there frequently enough - AND I drive a hybrid. If you ever need snake back-up, give me a ring! :)

    Now... if I had had a close encounter with a big old spider, I would quite possibly have a coniption fit of some sort. I *am* better since seeing Anachrophobia, but still embarrassingly wussy.

  28. OK...what? No photo of the garter snake tucked ever so cutely into the back of a little red toy truck?

    I'm disappointed not to find a photo of your garter snake swirled into a beautiful crystal champagne glass.
    C'Mon Danni! Where's the thrill of seeing the snake with only a large brown glove, eh?

    Well, ok, it was BITING the glove. So that was sort of exciting.

    But I'm used to seeing blood and drama on your blog(remember donkey balls and roo heads and tails?)

    I'm feeling a little let down now.

    (Just messing with ya! :)

    You are the Critter Queen....mammalian, bird and now....reptilian!

  29. Yikes! Poor Jim. I wonder what was running through his mind on his way home to rescue you.

    I'm quite proud of you for sending the city girl packing and letting the country farm girl handle the situation. :o)


  30. That snake is enormous! I am truly amazed at how you handled the situation. I don't know that I could have done it. Not knowing anything about snakes' habitat, does he live in that deep, dark hole by the raspberries? Anyway, I think you were born to be a farm girl with the ability to handle everything 'critter', and you are not bad at all with the flora either!

  31. Firstly, I applaud your rescue effort given the common reaction that many would have just whacked the poor thing. I have to say, though, that getting "bitten" by a garter snake is only slightly more dangerous than getting bitten by an earthworm. Not that it wasn't terrifying.

    I also appreciated the cell phone illustration. I was thinking... 'she did what? how does THAT happen? now she's lost me...' and then the picture. A thousand words, I tell ya.

    Lastly, I will just assume from your site that you do NOT love visiting my site. And that's totally cool. Everyone has the right to his or her own opinion about the creative pursuits of others. Really no reason to support them if you don't think they're worth anything. That's totally fine, Princess. I mean, you can't just directly say "stop writing, it's boring" or whatever. So, don't sweat it. Message received.

  32. Dear, dear (dear) Urban Hayseed,
    First of all, let me just say, your comment brought a small tear to my eye. You applauded me! (sniff). That's so WAY better than having you insult me until I shriek "uncle"!!
    Regarding the cell phone picture, you get me, you really GET me, don't you?
    Second, don't go getting your panties all in a knot. I read your blog. Not only do I read it, I bring friends. I'd go so far as to suggest you have, for lack of a better word, a following at this point. A small one, perhaps, but a following nonetheless.
    And just because I didn't want to discuss your disappointment with Obama (again) the other day does not mean that I do not appreciate your Art (note capital A). I read it and then quickly returned to my sunshine and egg counting life here on my pretend farm.
    So give it a rest, will ya honey? I promise to be by later to test out your Wiki thingy.

  33. Now, Princess, that was a little harsh, wasn't it? My panties in a bunch? Good heavens.

    I was merely suggesting that the garter snake is harmless-- so as to encourage your wide audience to keep their hoe tips out of them. They are beneficial residents of the garden as they like to munch on slugs, mice, tadpoles and the like-- the snakes, not your readers. I don't know what those people eat.

    OK, yes, I will admit that my Obama rants are non sequiturs. You are excused from those. I did say "don't read this" at the top, didn't I?

    I'm sorry. Sometimes, communication between long-time good friends can get a little passive aggressive. You don't need to put me on your blogroll. I'll be fine, really.



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