Jack Simpson

Simpson

Sheltering in place for months doesn’t bring with it a whole lot of excitement. What is exciting about trips to the mailbox and hauling out the garbage?

So yesterday was a bit different. Walking on the driveway near the house I was suddenly aware of movement near my feet. I looked down, discovering I had nearly stepped on a black snake. He went north and I went south, all shook up!

We have had a few such incidents here. My spouse was watering her porch plants and put her hand in a hanging basket to see if the plant needed water. Her hand rubbed a snake that had climbed into the basket seeking a nesting bird.

And, then there was the time she and I were moving a dog house, only to discover how close we were to being bitten by a copperhead!

I guess in my old age I have become much more squeamish about snakes. It isn’t like it once was when as a young teen in Pennsylvania I used to hunt rattlesnakes with a forked stick. I would pin their heads to the ground and pick them up from behind their head. I would hold them up for friends to hear them rattle.

Foolish, dangerous sport for any young person. Now days there is no way you could get me that close to a rattlesnake!

I guess I started getting more fearful of snakes when I went to visit my brother’s new cabin in West Virginia. After retirement, he took up building as a hobby. He built an additional room on his house, then a rental house, followed by a mountain cabin in West Virginia.

He invited me for a weekend. Upon arrival, I parked on the road and walked up a path to the cabin on a hillside.

As we walked along, I noted snakes in the ditches on both sides of the path. We found snakes on the porch and on the foundation. Needless to say, I was not anxious to spend the night in that new cabin!

So encountering the black snake in my own drive brought memories and a bit more excitement. Now I watch where I am walking and am more aware there are still plenty of snakes out there to add to an otherwise routine day.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by subscribing or making a contribution today.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please log in, or sign up for a new, free account to read or post comments.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.