Well, as some of you know, I live near the woods, nearly in the woods. I have a great deal of flora and fauna to enjoy. I also like my flowerbeds, raised veggie beds and, my favorite, a tame blackberry patch. I get lots of blackberries. I pick from the 4th of July until about now. I have strict rules about picking, don't leave any ripe ones because the fauna will come eat everything. And don't break the canes. Cuts back on yields. I sell my excess to friends and keep the other 40 quarts or so for me and hubby. (Blackberries and sweet dumplings on a cold winter night in front of the fireplace, mmmmm.)
Well, Sunday evening I went to my patch and began picking. I noticed a nice shiny snakeskin. As I was bent over nearly eye to eye with said skin, I picked the berries that were close to me. Pondering actually moving and picking the next bunch of berries and just stretching waaayy over, my brain clicked in. Shiny snakeskin = fresh snakeskin, i.e. the snake is probably very close. I studied the snakeskin for about a nanosecond and determined a close snake is a little too much for me.
I began to twist my way out of the patch, not moving my feet. There was a snake and I sure wasn't going to chance stepping on it and having it crawl up my ankle! As I looked carefully in the fading light at the base of the berry canes, I saw something very black. And sort of snakelike. And it was moving. Towards my foot which was anchoring me from falling on my face. And my foot was covered by a couple of leaves. I quickly determined black snakes in MO are harmless. My brain knew this, but my heart did not. My brain kept my foot still, and sure enough, the snake slithered right over it. My heartrate had to be about 2000 or so, so I screamed, tossed the berries I had just picked and ran to the deck.
I just shook all over for a minute and calmed down. Rationalizing that the snake was probably just as scared as I was, and probably in the next county, I went back to the berry patch and retreived my favorite berry picking colander and retreated back to the house. Once inside, my loving and caring hubby said, "Did you say something a minute ago?" He was watching preseason football. I just shook my head and declared berry picking season had ended and went to bed.
I like where I live, I really do, but I sometimes wish animals didn't like it so well, too!