Friday, June 19, 2009

Ophidiophobia & Weeding For Dollars

I love gardening. I love it so much, I do my own and I do other people's. My gardening work for others I call Weeding For Dollars. And I earn every nickle. Every season, somebody says to me "Oh, you're so lucky! I would love to work with the flowers all day!" It's not that I'm complaining (well, yes, I am), but they have no idea what they are talking about. First of all, when you do it for other people, you can't just decide after a couple of hours to knock off when your back is killing you and go have lemonade. You have to continue until the work is done. No matter how hot it may be, how many Black Fly bites you have, rashes, Poison Ivy, leaking hoses: you must continue. Today, it was snakes. Mind you, I'm not afraid of snakes. I've caught many of them by hand. I get a certain satisfaction when I get one behind the head so it can't bite me and feel its sinewy body wrap around my wrist, tongue flicking, staring me in the face. But that's on my terms. I do not like being sneaked up on, or 'snaked' up on, as it were. In the garden where I worked today, there was a nest of Garter snakes. I saw six of them. Though they were all Garter snakes, each one was distinct enough that I gave them names: Mo, Curly, Larry, Groucho, Harpo and Zeppo. I don't know what gender they were, but that seemed to cover all their behavioral bases. They dodged, slithered, writhed, curled and slipped around the peonies and astilbes while I worked. Repeatedly startling me, they kicked my anxiety disorder into high gear. Gardening is very hard work, but it's never been as nerve wracking as it was today! I may have advanced my position from a run of the mill herpetophobe to a full blown ophidiophobe.


7 comments:

  1. Lucky?? The harder I WORK the "luckier" I am. That's one of my pet peeves. This morning I look like I forgot to undress and pull my hair out of a ponytail before I showered outside, then rolled in the mud. But the potatoes are hoed before the mist turned to rain and the toms and I'll wash.

    I'll introduce you to my baby snakes tomorrow. Can you believe that!?! Tomorrow! Baby snakes and wind mills tomorrow, Baxter, moose and the Golden Road Sunday. Life is good. We're so lucky! (truly, we are on this one!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, my! So glad this has never happened at 74 Narrows Pond Road. Lord Almighty.

    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would say that they are all boys, and what you interupted was a gang-bang. The female then will go off and lay her eggs and never get to meet the kids at all. At least, that is the way they do it in Maryland. xxooHRD

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hate snakes, not going to read. abt

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like your gardening experience interrupted the snake family play time. Just think of the stories they are telling their mom!
    I am neither a ophidiophobe or a herpetophobe. Growing up in Connecticut and wandering through my Mom's gardens and the woods across the street MANY critters crossed my path.
    HG

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok, You did it to me. I make every attempt to overcome this thing I have about those s creatures, so I made it a point to read your blog. I am sweating right now, and my mouth is dry, and when I’m not touching these keys, I’m wringing my hands and I am so disappointed in myself that they have such a claim on me!!



    ..and I too love gardening! However will I deal with this??

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't shy away from snakes but I must admit that I don't seek them out either. Last snake I photographed was in Acadia last year. Also a Garter.

    ReplyDelete