Last week we saw a red racer just like this on our gravel "front yard." The "front yard" is in between our trailer and sea-container shed, aka "the red box". He came from under the trailer, went across the gravel (20 feet) and then sort of disappeared near the end of the red box. This afternoon I went out to water the trees and garden, and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him about 10 feet from me, coming my way.
I mananged NOT to scream or swear.
I DID get goosebumps all over my legs and stood on my tip-toes, water hose at the ready. He passed me, made his way over the red box again, and now can't be found.
I was on edge the whole time I was watering. Eyes constantly scanning the ground for snake-like objects. We have lots of PVC pipe and hose pieces in a pile where I last saw him... even sticks had me nervous. George snuck up on me and his nose touched my leg and I jumped a mile. I don't like snakes. However, I don't like mice/rats even more, so if this thing can help the rodent population under control, I suppose he can stay. He just makes me so nervous! Snakes aren't natural. (Neither are spiders... it's the legs. too many... not enough...)
Here's what the Internet said about the snake: (image and information from Digital Desert)
This is the most commonly viewed snake within Mojave Desert. (And where I live!)It can be seen on many of the roads sunning itself in the early to late morning hours. It is the fastest snake in the desert moving at up to 7mph (Can I run that fast?)and can reach up to 6 feet long with a slender, whiplike body. Coloration may vary from gray and tan to pink with black crossbars always present on the neck. As the snake gets older it begins to take on a more distinct reddish appearance. It’s diet consist of lizards, small snakes, mice and birds. (Eat the mice!!!)It is very mean tempered and should not be handled. (Great! A mean snake?!?) Although not poisonous its bite can tear the flesh and should be avoided.(Oh good. So although I won't die, I'll have a bloody gash and an irrepairable fear of snakes. And I've come so far...)
The question is: how do I educate the kids about snakes without passing along my hatred of snakes? All fleshy wounds aside, I'm wondering if being scared of snakes is actually good. Survival and all. (I can't even bring myself to touch one though, dead or alive. Not one little touch with a finger tip... I don't want my kids to be that freaky about it.) A healthy respect would be nice.
I wonder if we should name him?I'm not getting close enough to know if it's a he or a she, so maybe a nice gender neutral name.