Snakes, ladders and mushrooms

snakes

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.

snakes

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.

house

house

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.

snakes

snakes

snakes

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

toad

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.

slug

spider

This is the forest where the images were taken…

forest

forest

…and these are the mushrooms we picked.

mushrooms

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 🙂

tumblr_m11jsbAw5l1qewacoo1_500v

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!

71 comments

  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)

    Like

    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…

      Like

  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. 🙂

    Like

    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:)

      Like

  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 😛

    Like

  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 🙂

    Like

  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! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I could have used you last weekend when we found a 12-inch brownish-black snake in our linen closet – have no idea how long it was in there but we caught it with a net and let him go down by the lake. I am not a snake fan! Great blog!

    Like

    1. Oh my goodness… In the closet… How?… Last autumn my extended family found two sets of shed snake skin in their attic. The biggest one was about 8 feet… Same question : How???
      Thank you for reading! 🙂

      Like

    1. Thank you for reading! 🙂 I too like the cartoon, their faces are so funny:)
      It is not a pleasant experience to see a venomous snake in wild. Old snakes are usually trying to disappear, the young ones can attack ( it is what I noticed)

      The house is gone, someone put it on fire. In these pictures the house was already abandoned for years. We didn’t come closer, got scared. Now I think – how weren’t we afraid to live there?… Two old people and a child, and a cowardly little dog…

      Like

  7. I would love to have one of those cabins in the middle of nowhere to go out there for a week once every two months and disconnect from everything and just write.

    By the way, have you gone nuts? Did you really see the size of that snake, and you really wanted to pick that thing up? That thing will probably eat you alive.

    Like

    1. Oh I hear you… I so hope that you will have your own cabin some day.

      I bet it was a harmless snake. Never made any threatening move, was happy to get away.

      I still dream about that house and the woods. There is nothing like living with your grandparents…

      Like

      1. You can always kick out or put your grandparents in a nice comfy retirement home, but I want that cabin.

        And I´m talking about the snake in the first picture,yes that thing that measures 1000 feet long and seems to have the mouth of a lion

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this article Inese…there aren’t really any wild snakes where I live, but have seen massive pythons and boas in local pet shops. My house seems to be a popular link-up place for the local arachnids though. Saw one brown spider with distinctive markings on its abdomen this morning taking a breather on my curtains. I am a bit worried it might have been one of those false widows. Just gonna have to confirm later. Eeeek!!

    Vijay

    Like

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Vijay. I don’t know what to tell.. I think I would take a picture of that spider for the further investigation, and then get him into some container and take him away. I might even… Ok, container 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous snake! We have lots of snakes around here. We have a family of garter snakes living under the house. One came inside the other day and he was quick and difficult to catch.

    Thanks for the link to that d-i-y flash diffuser! How clever – I am going to try that. I avoid using a flash, but sometimes, it’s either turn it on or miss the photo.

    Like

    1. Ann, thank you for stopping by! I just noticed that I am not following your blog… How did it happen I don’t know, I am certain I had been following…
      A quick snake sounds like a nightmare to me… 🙂

      You can use many things as diffusers for both in-.built and external flash lights. Very handy, no cost.

      Like

    1. Sheri – thank you for stopping by! I too don’t trust the creepy things for some reason…
      60 miles from a city is enough to be called a countryside, so you probably grew up in a similar environment. Closeness to the nature shapes a person in a certain way. Sharpens your survival instinct anyway:)

      Like

      1. Inese – Here’s a hint from someone that knows so little about technology. I knew I wanted to find your blog yesterday but your avitar refused to link me. A fellow blogger told me the link from the avitar to our other social media sites is the most important purposes of having an avitar. [Thought I’d pass this along]. Your work is more impressive each time I see it. Sheri

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sheri – what can I do? I have no idea… Many bloggers don’t have that link… And it is annoying, I agree… I will go to the Avatar and see what I can do… I will let you know if I fix it.
          Inese

          Like

  10. Thankfully snakes are rare in England but I had a few scary experiences with them in Hong Kong the largest thicker than my arm and about twelve feet long. Thankfully I always found them to be just as afraid as I was.

    Like

  11. I saw plenty of snakes when we lived in south-east Queensland – taipans,brown snakes, king browns, red-bellied blacks and, of course, carpet pythons. The last is non-venomous, the first (taipan) is deadly, very aggressive, bites many times and kills a human being pretty fast.Luckily the one in our house just wanted to get out – we (and it) were lucky! We also lived with rather large huntsman and wolf spiders but they were timid and loved to eat insects including mosquitoes, so we co-existed rather well.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading! Isn’t it amazing how people learn to share space with so many potentially dangerous animals… I cannot believe that you have such a long list of snakes… Wow… I will read more about the taipans, just in case…

      Like

  12. We have snakes aplenty in Florida. If you ever come for a visit we will go in search of some good photo ops.

    P.S. How do you feel about alligators? We have those, as well.

    Like

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Isn’t it amazing how people learn to live with all these creeping creatures in their backyard. I don’t know if I envy you, but I am definitely impressed with your survival skills 🙂

      Like

  13. Great tip!
    Where I was born (Galicia) there are not so many… You can see little ones in the forest and more spectacular ones in rivers. That, I must said, from my own experience. No snakes in Chile (where I am now) at all.
    I prefer spiders to snakes! They are usually easier to contemplate!
    Patrick driving the snakes out…..hilarious!!!!
    Have a nice day
    PS: your photos are lovely, as visiting the forest myself

    Like

  14. I love the picture of the slug and the spider. In the southern part of Alberta we have rattle snakes. In the city where I live we don’t have any snakes except some lawyers hahaha.

    Like

  15. There snakes around here where I live. The famous kind (or the kind you found most) is copper head. They are poisonous. You need to watch them at night for some reason they like to craw on the concrete.

    Like

    1. Oh, the copperheads… They belong to the same Viper family as the Adders. Only they look even more dangerous ( I just googled) …The concrete is warmer than ground, it is why they come there. Not only for themselves – they are looking for their prey.

      Like

    1. Thank you for reading! I have never seen a salamander in wild. Something to look forward 🙂 I have seen a newt, once. You know, I would never look for a salamander in a wood pile… Thank you for the tip! 🙂

      Like

Comments are closed.