Monday, April 12, 2010

The Garden that Almost Wasn't


The sun was shining.  The baby was sleeping.  My daughter and I went out into the back yard.  We gathered all of our tools.  I dug some holes for our pea plants.  I showed her which ones they were, and she picked them up gently and placed them in the holes.  After we had put all of the peas out, I went back over them, gently covering them with soil.  First, an ugly brown spider jumped out at me.  I went to grab my shoe but couldn't find it when I returned.  I made my way down the first row of peas.  When I came to the one on the end, I moved a bit of dirt and some movement under it startled me.  Under that clump of dirt that I had just moved with my bare hands, and I had just sent my 3 year old to put a pea plant in, was a small snake.  It poked its little head up out of the ground and looked at me as if to say, hey I was sleeping, and then it tried to burrow back under the dirt. 

I was excited at first.  Well, its not everyday my little city child gets to view wildlife close up.  So I called her over to see it, and gently dug it back out with a stick.  It wiggled and squirmed, and looked annoyed but not very menacing.  Then my mommy brain kicked in.  What kind of snake is this?  I had no clue.  It was small, not even a foot long, pencil thin, and brownish grey.  What it poisonous?  Where there more?  I mean, this was a pretty small snake.  What it if had just hatched?  What if there was a whole nest of poisonous baby snakes in my garden.  Yes, that very same garden that I am standing in at this very moment wearing no shoes! 

I took a breath.  I made Bethany go back in the grass.  I called my grandpa.  I thought surely he would know what kind it was, but sadly he did not.  His advice was to dispose of the little critter, just to be safe. 

After all of that excitement, I was a bit nervous about continuing with my planting.  I did work up the courage to carry on.  My daughter decided against helping me anymore, though.  Things probably went quicker that way, and quick is good when there might be more snakes, I figured.  In the end, I got all of the ones that had sprouted into the ground.  There are a few stragglers that I am still hoping will grow, so I left some empty spots for them.  Here's what it looked like after I watered it this morning.  Nothing too exciting.  My sprouts are barely visible.  I'll try to take weekly pictures so you can watch it grow with me =).

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