Monday, June 8, 2009

I badly need to exercise so 1 week ago I decided to start walking. I walked part of a trail that winds through a section of our neighborhood. It was extremely pleasant. The temperature was not too hot and there were many beautiful things along the way. A creek runs along much of the path and it goes through meadow and wood. I saw a cardinal and a goldfinch, and all along the way there were patches of honeysuckle which smelled heavenly. However, my excursion was marred by the fact that I was alone. I PREFER to walk alone, except that since much of the trail is wooded and away from the road I worried about things like, oh, being killed and my body left in the woods. So a week passed without another walk.

But I really NEED to exercise, so today I decided I would forgo the alone factor and walk the pleasant path with my kids. I knew they would never walk the distance without loads of complaining, but I was pretty certain they would tolerate it if they were on bikes. Anna hasn't ridden her bike yet this year, I think the neighbor kids must have teased her about having a princess bike so she didn't want anything to do with it anymore. She agreed to get on it for the sake of this adventure, so I wiped off the spider webs, raised the seat and thought we were good to go. Alas, the tires were flat. I headed into the house and dug around until I found an air pump. No use, it is part of our car camping kit and doesn't have the right kind of do-hickey to pump up tires. So I loaded the bike into my car and headed off to the nearest gas station to use their air machine. (Seventy-five cents for 3 minutes of air!) Finally we were ready to head out.

It is considerably hotter than it was 1 week ago and much of the honeysuckle has withered away but still it was nice to be out moving. We passed several people along the trail - couples with babies and couples with dogs. The kids were of course ahead of me since they were on bikes. There was a lone woman approaching and as the kids passed her she greeted them kindly. Just a second after they passed her she let out a fairly blood-curdling scream and ran toward me, wiggling all over the place. As you probably guessed, there was a snake at the side of the path. The poor woman was completely freaked out and apologetic for acting so nuts. My first thought was no problem, it's a snake, not a dead body. I am not as afraid of snakes as you might think, given my aversion to practically anything with 4 legs. But then the woman told me that people have been seeing copperheads around here. Now I had a problem. The snake was between me and my kids and someone recently told me that copperheads generally strike the hiker at the BACK of the line - ME. I had to put on my brave hat and walk past that snake. I steered as far clear of it as I could, and I kept my eye on it the whole time. I know basically nothing about snakes so I don't know what I was watching for. Perhaps if it lunged at me I could have a heart attack and beat it to the kill? I was sufficiently calm to observe that it was pure black and its body twisted and turned for quite a distance. I was reasonably sure that if it was a copperhead it would be some color other than black. And I've heard much of "black snakes" in the area so I knew it was probably okay. Still, I must admit, it was a bit disconcerting to be that close to a snake.

Toward the end of our walk we passed the screamer again. She told me she will never walk that path again, at least not alone. I should have asked for her phone number because...NOW what will I do? I mean, I SERIOUSLY need to exercise but now I have to worry about crazed killers AND snakes.

1 comment:

Mrs. Sinta said...

I would bet that crazed killers don't care for snakes either. Probably you are pretty safe with being afraid of just one or the other, but being afraid of both is probably overkill, no pun intended.