It's a "Snake Farm"

By Paul Viau | May 01, 2012
Photo by: File photo DON'T STICK YOUR TONGUE OUT AT ME! — There is no reason to fear garter snakes. Really!

OK, this column is going to be a real can of worms — big worms, AKA: snakes.
Now if I can identify with any line of dialogue from any movie, it would be Indiana Jones’ reaction after falling into (literally) a pit of vipers:

“Snakes! I hate snakes. Why did have to be snakes?”

My long-standing fear of snakes goes back to the exciting days of my youth and the hours spent playing alongside Highline Canal, in suburban Denver, Colorado.
I was fond of catching frogs and crawfish. My brother fancied slithery reptiles, like lizards and snakes. And he took great delight taunting me with a fistful of garter snakes.

That’s how I developed into a runner in my early years.

Now, I’m more of a porch sitter — high above (I hope) any reptiles, anywhere.
I especially like the higher places, since a neighbor (just up the mountain from me) told me to watch out for rattle snakes. It seems the land just up mountain from him is leased to researchers as a rattlesnake habitat.

Just great (as in alarming) news! But I am dealing with it. I have several pairs of motorcycle boots that should protect me in the garden.

I wore a pair of those boots (they are about as cowboy as I get) to a recent Ronnie Dunn concert at Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino. The music leading up to Ronnie coming on stage included a catchy video of Ray Wylie Hubbard singing “Snake Farm.”

Really, the chorus was more like a chant. And my wife and I joined in with the crowd, singing:

Snake farm … It just sounds nasty.
Snake farm … Pretty much is.
Snake farm … It’s a reptile house.
Snake farm … (Uuuggghhhhh)

Did you know? — The most common snake in North America (pictured here) is the common garter snake. They are carnivorous, eating small worms, slugs, leeches, lizards and frogs.

Garter snakes will eat pretty much anything they can fit in their mouth. Thankfully, they are small snakes. Tadpoles (frog caviar) is their favorite hors d’oeuvre.
Can you believe it? I actually spelled that correctly.

Back to the snake farm — or should I say Christmas tree farm.

I’m still haunted by the story last year of a North Carolina family that found a live corn snake in their Christmas tree … after they brought it inside and decorated it.
Yep, those snakes are everywhere. You might say, everyone’s yard is a … “Snake Farm.”