The party on Sunday was a great success, but after the party we had a near miss of a dangerous, scary disaster!
We live on a dead end street, so Joel parked our cars down at the end of the street where the street ends in the woods. After the party we cleaned up and put things away, and Joel went to bring the cars back into the carport. First our daily car was moved up so my little old Mazda could be pulled into the carport first. Then, Joel went to get the Mazda and I heard a yell, and then “Come and bring the camera! There is a big snake out here!”
I grabbed the camera and this is what I saw coiled up in the middle of the road under the street lamp.
The street lamps are yellow and not very bright so the light wasn’t good, but it didn’t take me a second to recognize this as a Fer de Lance or Bothrops Asper, a type of pit viper and one the most dangerous snake found in this area. This was a big one, as big around as my forearm and probably about 6 feet long. We kept a safe distance and I managed to get two photos before it quickly took off and disappeared into the woods.
Then, Joel tells me that he first yelled because he STEPPED ON IT on his way to the car, and was disconcerted because he almost lost his balance. These snakes are more aggressive than most and why it didn’t strike at him is beyond me! Deaths from these snakes are rare now because anti-venom is readily available, but this certainly would have been an emergency run to the hospital and who knows what kind of damage from the venom.
I still cannot believe that he didn’t get bitten! My friend Cedo thought maybe the snake had just eaten, and at that time they are lethargic because they are digesting. It was a cool night and since snakes are cold blooded, maybe it was too chilly to move fast? I don’t think so because when it decided to leave it moved very quickly. Whatever the reason, we both feel unbelievably fortunate that Joel wasn’t bitten. I think he has learned that one must always watch the path in front of you, take a light if it is dark out, and proceed anywhere with caution. You never know what you might encounter. Most things aren’t dangerous but there are a few that are, and this could have been a much more painful lesson than anyone would ever want.