Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Snake in the Grass

My go-to running venue is through our back pastures. I have a four mile trail carved out there along with some faithful running buddies (I May Not Dance With Wolves, But I Do Run With Cows).

It is quiet, peaceful, spiritually fulfilling and physically challenging.

The downsides, though, are the small stream of undocumented people (men) who trek through on their way north as well as the native varmints: coyotes, javelinas, an alligator or two, and snakes. I usually carry a pistol and/or pepper spray when I run, although I've never had to use either.

The undocumented folks are no longer of the family type variety that we used to help with food, or the young guys who are just looking for a job. They are increasingly of the drug cartel type, but more on that later. I am not really worried about them, though. They have other things on their agenda, and if they hang out anywhere near our property, they know I can shoot the chin whiskers off a billy goat. There's also a Border Patrol station a few miles away, which I'm sure gives them more caution than my little pistol.

I'm also not afraid of the coyotes, javelinas, or even the alligators. I am, however, terrified, frightful, yes, scared ----less of the snakes. My very worst nightmares involve snakes.

For that reason, I always keep an eye on the ground in front of me when I run. They like to come out in the cool of the day, the same time I like to run.

Good thing I had my eyes peeled. Look carefully at this picture:

Yep, a happy rattler probably on his way to meet his family. I didn't stick around to find out. I'm sure I broke my personal best running record in getting away from him, had I bothered to even check it. Chicken heart, thy name is Shelly.


  1. Oh rattle snakes are so scary. A few weekends ago at my in-laws I came closer to one then I liked.

    Do you still run in that pasture? I'm a big chicken I think I'd have to find a new place.

  2. I believe that was my "Indian" name in high school: Runs with Cows. :-) (I ran cross-country.)

    I have NEVER, however, come across a rattlesnake in the wild. How incredible. There is nothing scary in Minnesota but bears and losing sports teams...



  3. Renegades: U HATE snakes, but the running route I have is too good to give up. I'm just going to have to really be watching. Ugh.

    Pear: You are so funny! Although, I do think a bear is scarier than a snake. A snake can only get me with his fangs, but a bear has too many weapons. And losing sports, teams, well we have those in Texas, too. Sigh-

  4. Pearl: Should have spelled it correctly- not Pear...

  5. I'm sorry, but if I lived where you live I would be packing my bags! Alligators, snakes and drug dealers, Oh My! You are one brave woman.

  6. Belle: It's really not that bad- the reptiles like to get away from us as much as we like to get away from them, so I try to make some noise. The snakes just really give me the creeps!


I love to hear from you! I also love to comment back.