July 27, 2008 at 10:57 pm (Uncategorized)

This post will contain photographs of a snake. Click to enlarge any photo.  

I was out mowing my hayfield yard this afternoon when I came across this little fella/girlie.

Yes, that’s a snake. A pine snake to be exact. While it resembles the timber rattlesnake, one can tell the difference by looking at their eyes (and the coloring is not nearly as dark). I know, who wants to get close enough to find out. Ummmm, that would be me.

Leslie, as we have named the snake (after Leslie from “The Bridge to Terabithia”), seemed to be rather shy and not exactly aggressive. Leslie did curl up the standard rattler S-shape, as if to strike, but instead just wanted to meander off under the clippings and such. This is another reason why its often mistaken for a rattler.

Just so you know, there are only two poisonous snakes in WV, the timber rattler and the copperhead. No copper head, no yellow tail (baby coppers have lemon yellow tails). And, as you can see, Leslie has nice round eyes/pupils, unlike the pit vipers which have pupils like a cat.

 And of course, you may wonder why I named the post “Beetle!” if I’m showing you pictures of a snake I found under the planter in my backyard. Its because I said, “Oh, look, a snake!” when I saw Leslie the first time. Granted, Leslie is a little snake, had Leslie been larger I may have temporarily lost my mind and killed it with my weedeater before figuring out that Leslie is harmless. Had I seen a copper head and a lemon yellow tail, Leslie would not be with us today.

I thought it was the most beautiful snake I had ever seen with markings I had never before seen in a WV snake. I’ve seen plenty of garter snakes, ribbon snakes, and black racers, which rise up a foot or more off the ground and “run.”  Come to find out, the pine snake is pretty shy and becoming more scarce.  Leslie likes to hide in the grass…

Anyway, I went to look up Leslie’s markings and didn’t quite discover much, other than he/she wasn’t poisonous… I had to dig a little deeper to find the pictures of the pine snake. So, Nate followed me outside and we oohed and ahhed and took pictures. Then we left Leslie under the planter to recover from his/her encounter with humans.

The reason this post is named “Beetle!” is because most people would have yelled, “SNAKE!” and ran for their lives when they saw Leslie. (I may have also had Leslie been ginormous… then I would have gone back and looked, becasue I’m morbidly curious that way). However, I hate beetles. I hate all bugs, but I hate beetles the most.  I hate their hard little shells, and the fact they fly, and have sticky legs. Scarabs are a type of beetle and I detest watching the flesh-eating scarabs from “The Mummy” devour people. GROSS! (This does not prevent me from owning paintings with scarabs and other renderings of the sacred scarab, I’m just glad their dead.)

Just for clarification, spiders are not bugs, spiders are arachnids and given that I am a Scorpio, arachnids don’t bother me. I saw several wolf spiders today as I weed-eated – the females definitely stood out as they have laid their eggs and are carrying their white pods around still attached to their arachnid vaginas, although I’m quite certain its not called that. I will sit and watch spiders spin their webs or just sit there and wait for an unfortunate beetle to fly into the web and then I rejoice for I hate beetles.

Snakes eat beetles and spiders eat beetles, and I hate beetles, so long live spiders and snakes that eat beetles.


  1. Mahala said,

    Yeah I totally didn’t read the disclaimer / warning lol. I can appreciate small, cute snakes under controlled conditions.. like pictures and from a distance in pet stores.. something I’ve not always been able to do.

    But if I’d been you, I would have screamed and run in the house.

  2. Tina said,

    Me too. That would of scared the hell out of me and wouldn’t want to spend another second looking at its eyes to see if it’s poisonous or not. I have nothing against snakes personally but if they are in an aquarium or a zoo then I can deal with them. 🙂 I about cried when my friend put her pet boa around my neck once. It was a nice snake but it could of crushed me! Dude, the next time I am over I am not going to go out of my way to get close to your new pet. LOL!

  3. Jammie J. said,

    Like you, like me. I think snakes are beautiful creatures and I’m not scared of spiders, either. But I hate crunchy bugs, of which i believe beetles are… crunchy. Ugh!

  4. Vince said,

    I don’t mind snakes as long as they don’t get too close to me. You’re a crazy woman.

  5. kenju said,

    Leslie is beautiful! I saw lots of snakes during my years in WV, but no pine snakes.

  6. subeeds said,

    Leslie is gorgeous!!! Another way to tell non-poisonous snakes from poisonous without getting tooooooo close is by the shape of the head. Notice Leslie’s head is tapered nicely into the neck. A poisonous snake has a head shaped like a shovel or a spade. It goes out on both sides of the neck-kind of makes a triangle.

  7. KtP said,

    “arachnid vaginas…” – that’s funny. 🙂

  8. Lois Lane said,

    Leslie is really pretty. I woulda screamed. LOL! I was pulling weeds and a frog jumped up out of nowhere and smacked me right in the cheek…thisclose to my mouth, which was open getting ready to scream. I bet my neighbors had a good laugh as I ran off screaming into the house.

    Sorry I am a suck ass friend and don’t come by more often.

  9. brightonandbear said,

    Not a fan of snakes- just by to see how you are doing.

    Post pics of fuzzy kittens next time will ya??

  10. Beth said,

    Ack! Beetles are the only bugs I like! Ever since I saw “The Beetles” sing “Letter B” on Sesame Street when I was just a wee lass, I was hooked! I have a cute little ring that looks like a beetle and last year I saw a beetle orgy at the Bronx zoo….so cute!!

    Snakes give me the heebie geebies! Arachnids too!

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