Thursday, May 7, 2009

It was one of them "psychotic moments"...

Or is it "psychic"? ;o)
You know, the kind of thing you hear about, but rarely experience.
Well, either that, or it was just a coincidence.

So, here's the story:

Yesterday morning, while busily sewing away at a few rag-quilted bags, I made a mental checklist of the various steps I still had to go through to complete the project. When I got to the part where I take them outside to shake off the (wet) fluff before tossing them in the dryer, a curious thought presented itself to me: What if there happened to be a snake at the gate, preventing me from going out to my usual "shaking" spot? "Well," I reasoned, "if that happens, I could just shake them in the yard, this time. Sure, it makes a little mess, but it's not a biggie. Either that, or I could shake them inside over a waste basket. ...Why are you bothering me with things like this-- today of all days?! I have sewing to finish!!"

Though I am a self-professed worrier and worst-case-scenario-ist, I don't usually worry about snakes barring my path. Honestly, I spend more time worrying about wasps than snakes. (I don't know why, for certain. Maybe because there are just so many more wasps than snakes around our yard.)

Fast-forward to that point in the day at which I was ready to shake off the loose threads. As I approached the gate, I noticed something unusual. Just outside our fence, only feet from the gate we use every day, there was an unfamiliar dark shape. Focusing on it, I realized that it was a snake. There was that momentary discombobulated feeling of unreality that I always get when I first see a snake-- and then a feeling of déjà vu as I remembered the strangely random thought that had occurred to me only hours before. It was weird and a little creepy.

Eeriness aside, there's not much to tell. The snake was pointed toward the fence, so I hurried to get the dogs inside. (I can't rely on them to obey me and leave snakes alone, and a bite from a venomous snake can easily kill a dog.) Then I grabbed the video camera and tried to ID the intruder. I thought it looked like a water moccasin, and Grandpa L. said it looked like one to him, too.

Here's the video so you can decide for yourself:

Water Moccasin / Cottonmouth from Michael Johansson on Vimeo.

It didn't stay where it was for long, but the last I saw of it, it was still too close for comfort.

Now for a week or two of not feeling safe in my own back yard! You always know they could be out there-- and probably are-- but when you actually see one, it's uppermost in your mind, for a while. For a day or two, at least, I'll be walking the dogs on leashes and keeping them inside the rest of the time.