samuel l jackson and snakeOkay, where is Samuel L. Jackson when you really need him? Because while the ultimate Hollywood badass is probably out sipping Champagne at some film premiere, I’m suddenly dealing with a scary snake invasion. I knew there were rattlers around here. The workmen used to find them all the time when they were starting to work on the barn. But after a while, the sounds of construction drove them away. And that fed into the mythology I’d always held to. That rattlesnakes hate you more than you hate them and will slither away when they first hear you coming rather than risk a confrontation. Well, apparently not all the snakes in Sonoma have gotten that memo.

It started with this guy, who is actually one of the good guys. A King Snake eats rodents AND rattlesnakes.

So this Crawlin’ King Snake was given a name. He’s Hooker.

And the dozens of Garter Snakes we see around? Harmless.

And kind of cute. In a snaky kind of way.

No, here’s where we’re having a problem:

We caught this rattler trying to sneak into the garage/workroom. Hey, no fair! I thought you were supposed to be afraid of noise.

Luckily, John the Baptist was there to scoop him up in a net and release him in an out of the way place.

Then I returned from a power walk and almost tripped over this guy. Twenty feet from the barn.

What are you doing so close to where terriers are yapping? Didn’t you get the Rattle Snake Code of Ethics memo?

Then there was this guy:

This barn ain’t big enough for you and me and some terriers!

Now the snake John set free had five rattles, making him five years old. These two characters above had no rattles and were relatively small. Baby rattlers. But don’t relax. I’m told those are the most dangerous kind. Adult rattlers can modify the amount of venom they release and generally give “warning” bites. The babies haven’t figured that modification thing out and give you full strength.

So when I saw this third snake — within just one hour — and it was the tiniest of them all, I got very worried. I armed myself with a shovel, hoping to scoop it up and take it far away. However, two curious terriers got into the mix. I managed to get Lucy on a leash, but Oscar was dancing around and wouldn’t let himself get caught.

Panic. Snake partially decapitated. Your Honor, I’m pleading unintentional manslaughter.

Up until now, I’ve been blithely stomping around through the tall grass in Tevas. Now I’m barricaded in the barn with the terriers wondering if we’ll ever come out. Worse than that, during the day, I leave all the doors open here. So what snakes have sneaked in? I’m running around poking long sticks under all the furniture. I’m reassessing that whole cooperation agreement I thought I had with the snakes around here.

And Samuel L. Jackson, call me. It’s not a plane, but I’ve got some work for you to do. And for good measure, can you come shout out that Bible verse from Pulp Fiction. Just so the snakes know we’re really serious.

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