Monday, June 26, 2006

Falling Branches?

This week, I am at Red Point--a small community at the top of the Chesapeake Bay. I've been coming to Red Point my entire life. It is not a fancy place, but it is familiar and one of the only homes that has remained consistent throughout the different moves that my family made.

Nick is working on a straw bale house in Indiana this week. Instead of staying home by myself, I decided to come to the bay and enjoy a quiet retreat. My parents are around some this week as well, which is nice. I brought a lot to do though, and have been craving the quietness of a detatched house out of the city.

Being out of the city also has some issues that I find less than charming. This morning I was talking to Brooke on the phone while walking around in the grove across from the cottage. As we talked, something caught my eye as it fell from a tree and hit the ground with a "thud". My first thought was that it must be a small branch. But, the shape seemed unlikely and since there was no wind, it was hard to convince myself it was even possible. As I slowly moved closer to look, the sound repeated in my mind and it became clear that it sounded much more like flesh than it did wood.

And it was. The flesh of a 3 foot snake. A snake that had fallen from a tree that I was standing very close to. Even thinking about it now makes my skin crawl. I hate snakes.

The snake remained still for about three minutes. Was it dead? Was it sleeping? And then it began to move and suddenly it was gone. I tentatively moved closer to see where it might have gone (hopefully away from me). It had started to climb the tree again. And what I had at first thought to be a black snake, had a white belly and a faint white diamond like pattern on its back.

Does anyone know what kind of snake it might have been? I'm curious. Can a black snake have white markings?

Once again I am reminded that this greener (quieter, more spacious) grass has some issues as well. Snakes for one.

Note to self: Cannot stand under trees.

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