Ya know, I really like living up here in the woods, on the side of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere. Really, I do. Some people think I’m nuts for living this far away from civilization, but they just don’t understand. And it’s really not for everybody. That being said, there is one thing that I must admit that I do not care for and this one thing is something that I’ve written about before but I feel compelled to write about it again. So, I’m going to.
With all this gardening we’ve been doing up here at the cabin, I decided that I want to make some blackberry jelly. So, Mountain Man, my son, and I went blackberry picking one afternoon last week. It has been unusually hot for our neck of the woods here lately, so we decided to wait ’till the late afternoon to head out on the 4-wheelers in search of the deliciously sweet berries that grow wild in various parts of the mountain.
I was prepared for most anything. Even though it was sweltering hot, I had on jeans and my pink, multicolored striped boots. We had a basket for the berries. We were off to a fairly slow start at first. Most of the berries weren’t quite ripe enough for picking. They were still kinda small and for the most part, they were that beautiful pinkish-red hue. Some of them were still just tiny green balls beginning their journey toward the plump juicy blackberries they will later become.
We found a few good ripe ones here and there, but nothing really of considerable significance to help fill our basket. Then, Mountain Man turned up a road that I’ve never been on in all my time here on the mountain. Jackpot! We hit the mother load of blackberry bushes! These thorny branches were hanging full of plump, juicy blackberries! Some of them were ripe for the picking, and some of them were bright red, just on the verge of turning. But there were plenty to help fill our basket.
I had to take a phone call while we were picking, so I stepped away from Mountain Man and my son and was trying to listen intently to the person on the other end of the line when it happened.
I was innocently walking through the grass close to the edge of the bank where the guys were picking and he came outta nowhere! He slithered right by my foot and off into the bushes growing right in front of me! And he was a fast little devil, too!!! All I saw was a little 13 or 14 inch grey serpent slithering swiftly to and fro in the grass, away from me, I might add! And I almost peed my pants, screamed like a little school girl, and cussed a blue streak all in the same breath! But I didn’t! I was on the phone with someone who may or may not understand my slew of profanities at the thought of being eaten alive by a snake!
I did, however, let out a little shriek and let my caller know that she’d have to hold on for a minute while I composed myself after nearly meeting an untimely death at the hands of a creepy, slithery, snake. She totally understood, having shared my deep-seeded fear of serpents. After I took a few deep breaths, I was able to get a hold of myself and return to the conversation, but for the rest of the evening, I couldn’t help but shudder, somewhat violently, I might add, every single time I thought about how close I was to that snake.
I’ve said it before. I don’t wish these little darlings any harm. I don’t want to kill them. I just want them to leave me alone. Perhaps they could just give me a little warning of sorts before they pop outta nowhere. That’d definitely be nice.
But, alas, I’ve moved into their territory so I’m just gonna have to get used to the slithering little devils popping out every once in a while. Surely, I’ll eventually become desensitized to the dang things at some point! One can only hope…