Snakes, ladders and mushrooms


We met this snake in Twin Falls,  at the edge of Snake River Canyon. He was moving lazily with no apparent purpose and looked harmless.  I walked behind him and worried that he could crawl to the parking lot and get run over,  but he was too big for me to feel comfortable picking him up and taking to the bushes.  Luckily a man  walked by and showing no respect carried the  beast by his tail to the safe place.


Not always was I so shy dealing with the snakes…

When I was a young child I used to spend a lot of time in my Grandparents home. Two images below were taken a year after my Grandmother died ( I already had a daughter of my own), and the house was abandoned and vandalised by that time. It was burned down after another couple of years.



No one would live there in the middle of the forest, with no decent road ( you would be surprised to see how quickly the new growth consumes abandoned road!) But when I was a child the house was beautiful, and there was a farm, and a garden. Grandparents were busy so no one would ask me where  I go and what I do. When I got tired I would climb up the ladder in the hay shed and sleep. I was my own man.

I must have been five years old that summer. Every evening I asked my Grandma to tell me a story, and she often used that as an opportunity to give me a warning. There were multitudes of Adders living all around, and their bite could be dangerous for a five year old;  it is why many of my Grandma’s stories were dedicated to the snakes.

My dear Grandma! How many times I went exactly where she told me not to go – to the ruins of an old farmstead where the Adders were sunbathing in the middle of the day.  No, I am not proud of what I did, but I was only five! With a sturdy stick in my hand I walked to the unsuspecting critters and killed them in bunches! And I did it a good few times that summer.  I guess  I didn’t make a big dent in the Adder population  –  sometimes they even crawled into the house. And I loved lizards, frogs and toads.

There are a few pictures of a Slow worm – a legless lizard, sweet and harmless creature, often abused. I helped him to get off the road and took him to the safety of forest.




I love toads and kiss them whenever I have a chance.


I don’t like slugs. I know it is silly but I  think that they can  jump and strike… I took a picture of this one because it’s belly was orange color.  Don’t like spiders either, but admire their skills.



This is the forest where the images were taken…



…and these are the mushrooms we picked.


The images were taken on my holidays last summer.

It is well known that St Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Some say it was the Ice Age though… but I believe in Patrick.

I don’t know who created this image, but I saw it on Facebook  last Paddy’s day. Makes me smile 🙂


You can walk through the waist-tall grass in your slippers here. You can step over the old tree trunks and sit on the rocks without looking first. You are safe!

Do you have any snakes where you live?

Photography tip of the day: Sometimes you have to use your  built in  camera flash.  Here you can learn how to make a DIY diffuser,  simple and very effective.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great day!


  1. Inese Wow 🙂 But now I have got to do a post about snakes. Your post and all of the comments were very, very interesting. It was brave of you to admit to killing them as a child, as children we can only work with the information that we are given and not so long ago the knowledge that Adders were capable of inflicting what could be a deadly bite overshadowed everything else. People killed a lot of snakes before they became so rare that we largely stopped because we just didn’t see them any more.
    Herpetologists are one of the hardest groups that I work with because they are so protective, secretive and wary of people and probably with good historical reason but I don’t really believe that many people would go out of their way to harm snakes now. (I go to pains to hide my location for three reasons, Badgers are always in danger, Herps won’t trust me if they think that I would give out information and Boar sells for £6:50 a kilo unbutchered.)
    Today if you are lucky enough to see a snake then you should stand very still and watch it. They are very beautiful and very exotic. So rare that I find it hard now to think of these as native animals, more like something out of a jungle adventure story. They are the last of our treasure. 🙂
    BTW. When Adders do strike all that they can do is stretch out their necks a bit, there is no leaping or propelling themselves through space,. If you stay more than twelve inches away then you can not be hit. Slugs can leap several metres and get a hold of you and suck out all the good bits. You have to be careful of them. (I think this is true)

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You are right about not disclosing any locations. Keep them safe. Farmers here believe that Badgers spread diseases, and Foxes are blamed for all the other crimes. No room for animals in the human world.
      In the 1960s the Adder fellas were wriggling all around my Grandparents house, but I don’t remember seeing them where my parents lived. Grass snakes were common and welcomed in the gardens. If one settled, a cup of milk was offered to him now and then. It was OK to kill an Adder in the yard or around the cattle and their young. They actually bit. When a dog got bitten he would disappear for a few days and then come back. Grandma said that he went to find some special herbs to heal himself. Once a turkey got bitten and died.

      I am sure what you are saying about slugs is true. No one survives to tell the story though…

  2. Ines, your grandparents’ home is straight out of a fairy tale. You had an enchanting childhood even with the snakes. 🙂 I am mortally afraid of snakes, that’s why. 🙂

    1. Imelda, I am afraid of them too. Even when I touch a snake I am petrified throughout inside 🙂

      That was a beautiful place to grow up, same was my parents house. It is a long story why the houses are gone now… I lived far away to control all the affairs… And I was never rich… Well, at least I have these pictures:)

  3. Impressive post… I admire you for not being afraid to take those pics of the snakes, dear Inese !!!… Seriously speaking, great shots!.
    All the best to you, Aquileana 😛

  4. I have never seen snake in the Netherlands but in Indonesia I did..have to say, I don’t really like snake..but I love slugs..they are cute and easy to take picture because they are so slow 😀 Nice post! I enjoy reading it and also the variety of the photos 🙂

  5. A beautiful post and wonderful story. And I cannot believe that you found a snake before I did! Dang! Now I have GOT to find one. Hopefully (?!) with a rattle at its end! 🙂

    1. I took the picture in 2007, I think. It was a harmless critter, probably lived in the canyon and hunted field mice. No luck with the rattlers 🙂

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