Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Snake Visits Us

Last Friday I went on our front porch with the kids to water our many plants. Just as I leaned over a potted flower to reach my basil plants, I noticed a green head suspended in the air just below me. I thought at first that it must be one of the kids’ rubber snakes. But my kids don’t have a green rubber snake. Theirs are pink and purple. No, this was a real snake, right on our own front porch!

I drew the kids’ attention to it and we spent many minutes gazing in fascination at this thin green snake in our flower pot. His body was wrapped around the large flower and about 7 inches of him was raised above the flower. He was very still. We kept waiting for him to move, but he didn’t want to, maybe because he sensed we were near. I let Naomi prod the neighboring flower stalk with a little stick, just to shake the plant enough to inspire the snake to move.

It worked! We saw him curl his upper body into more of an “S” shape and then he stuck his head through our little jungle gym door, as if he were playing peekaboo with us. The kids were tickled!

Throughout the morning we kept going back inside to read books and then we’d check the porch again. The snake was probably there for a couple hours. Finally we saw him crossing the porch on his belly, and making his way for a low-branched tree that touches our fence. I looked it up in our nature guide book and it appeared to be a harmless ‘green snake.’ We saw it once more a little while later, up in the tree, very camouflaged. That was the last we saw of it, though every time I’m outside now I glance up in the tree, hoping I’ll spot him again.

It was quite the excitement at our house. We called Papa on the phone and told him all about it. We took pictures and at a family dinner that night, told everyone else of our green visitor. It was the first I’d ever seen a snake in the wild; yes, even after having lived in Africa for 3 years!


Charity said...

I would have been looking for a machete to whack his head off! Way too many green mambas in my day. I think our last count was 6 or 7. Green mambas were the vast majority of ours. Though we did have a black snake or two, and even had one in Jos.

Squid said...

What a great experience for the kids! I probably would have freaked out. Bravo for being so brave!