Snakes in Maine

Did you know that Maine has no venomous snakes? We were informed of this tidbit while house-hunting two summers ago, as if that bit of knowledge would suddenly cause us to say, “Oh, well in that case…we’ll take this house right now!”  Being a natural skeptic, I simply nodded my head at the realtor and smiled real pretty-like, reserving my sarcasm for the privacy of our car.

I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could absolutely know whether or not poisonous snakes exist in a state filled with vast amounts of wilderness. Not only that but, how exactly, does one keep a snake from entering the state? Is there some kind of sentinel standing watch at the border of Maine and New Hampshire? “Can I see your papers please?” The visiting venomous snake pulls out some forged papers claiming that he is a common milk snake and hands it to the snake sentinel. “I’m sorry, sir…your photo looks nothing like you, you’ll have to turn around. We don’t like your kind in Maine.”

I subjected David to a relentless monologue about Maine and snakes after the realtor provided that weird (suspicious) piece of trivia. I have a hard time letting things go and, just as the ride settled into a comfortable silence, I’d ask, “So…do snakes just stop at the state line? Is there some invisible poisonous snake-repelling force field?” or, “Maybe the poisonous ones choose to avoid Maine. So….what? Maine’s not good enough?” I huffed, “Those elitist jerks.” We tend to engage in these types of conversations on road trips. Mostly because we’re slightly twisted and also because we make each other laugh with ridiculous scenarios.

Have you ever visited Maine? The first thing that you see as you cross the state line is a giant sign proclaiming that this is a state that lives life the way it should be lived. Evidently, whoever decided that living “The Way Life Should Be” also decided that life shouldn’t involve venomous snakes.

This morning I walked out of the house to find all three children huddled at the side of the driveway. Upon hearing the screen door shut, they all looked up and began talking simultaneously in a mixture of unintelligible squeals and excited sentences punctuated by high-pitched voice cracking. “Wait…what did you say?” Joe stood and ran toward me holding his hand out, “We found a snake, Mom!” I realized that the hand he was holding out was wrapped in a brown snake and my heart momentarily skipped a beat. Thankfully, I remembered that suspicious claim about Maine having only non-venomous snakes. I’m obsessive enough to have checked the facts and, short of contacting the State Wildlife Agency to confirm, I’m going to proceed living life the way I should…without fear venomous snakes. (The last known sighting of a Timber Rattlesnake in Maine was in 1901.)

Here’s our new (and likely temporary) friend, Mr. Baby Snake a/k/a Bing Bong. I can’t make this shit up.

Of course, after warning that snakes should never be picked up unless you know they aren’t poisonous and even harmless snakes bite, I let Joe hold Mr. Baby Snake who showed no signs of aggression. Plus, his tiny little head wasn’t threatening at all. I suspect that his mouth was too small to get a serious hold on kid fingers. Besides, how could I resist this textbook -boy” moment of exploration? Look at him… I love that smile and his new, too-big-for-his-face front teeth. I’ll think about the orthodontist bills later. For now I’m going to relish his final days as a six-year-old, big crooked teeth and all.

After he’d begrudgingly boarded the school bus and the grumpy bus driver shot me the hairy-eyeball, I realized that I was standing in the driveway in my nightie and a sweater. Whatever… we were having a moment. Besides, she’s pulled up and caught us doing The Robot and playing dead at the end of the driveway, I think it’s safe to assume her opinion of our family has been formed, nightie or no-nightie. (Do people even use the word ‘nightie’ anymore?)

Anywho… Joe was gone and the snake, now renamed Bing Bong, was subject to two inquisitive little girls who proceeded to poke him and decorate him with ornamental leaves. Bing Bong needed to look pretty for his journey home.

 

*Other than a bit of psychological trauma, Bing Bong escaped unharmed.

Do you hate snakes? Perfect…then click the brown Vote For Me button below and I won’t send you pictures of hissing reptiles oozing venom. Not really, you’ll actually be casting a vote for No. 7. – I’m not compensated at all, but your votes help increase my blog’s audience. Happy Friday!!

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Wait, don’t go! Did you hear the latest in raunchy gossip? Well, it seems that Mollie over at OK in UK gave me blog herpes. It’s true. Go check her out and find out who else she passed her herpes on to. Thank you, Mollie!

Comments

  1. People definitely still say nightie.
    I love the pictures of Joe, he looks so cute. I almost didn’t recognize him, he’s growing really fast! It makes me hug my son a little tighter.

  2. EEwwwww! I hate snakes…I ran into my room and shut the door just looking at Joe hold it! Gross!

  3. Congratulations on the herpes! The gift that keeps on giving.

    I do hate snakes, but less than I hate rodents, so I will not eradicate them from the face of the earth. I hope they’re thankful!

    • I will refrain from sending you photos of snakes…because I like you. Sorry about the venomous snakes in Michigan though… hee hee

  4. I’m quite sure that, in this time of illegal border crossings, that there isn’t one transient poisonous snake hiding out in the netherlands of Maine, disguised as a fox or some other creature. Snakes are clever that way.

    Enjoy your gift of well-deserved herpes…

  5. Oh my, you have some really brave kiddos there!!! Yikes! And no, never knew that about Maine, but loving your reason why they couldn’t get into the state. For sure they got stopped at the border and didn’t have the proper id, haha. Have a great Friday, lady!

  6. The cute wittle snakey. Glad he wasn’t poisonous…that makes him even cuter. I also like the name…Bing Bong. Very clever indeed. Your kids are way too cute. :)

  7. I love snakes! Most snakes are more likely to pee on you then bite so watch out for that lol!

  8. Snakes make my skin crawl. Apparently, we have poisonous ones in Montana. I think its very friendly that they have a check point so the nasty snakes don’t live in your fair state.
    All voted for you!

    • OOOOOOO, Montana. My dad wanted to move us all there back in the late 70′s. I want to visit, but your big giant bears scare the bejeepers out of me, Bernie. It’s a bit of a problem considering my husband loved living in Idaho and Alaska and he married me, a woman with an irrational fear of grizzly bears.

  9. Do you not remember the brown sand krait from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? Plus, their traits are slender heads and round pupils. JUST LIKE BINGBONG!

    Anymatch, thanks for the shoutout!

    • AHHHHHH! + excited finger pointing …. I was JUST talking about Rikki-Tikki-Tavi after we man-handled Bing Bong. It seems that kids these days just dont’ get all jacked up about seeing a mongoose cartoon.

  10. Hmmm, I wonder who would win – a grizzly vs a rattle snake? If I had to meet one of them in a dark alley, I still think I’d take a grizzly! But that’s easy to say when I don’t think that would ever really happen anyway. But if it did maybe it would be a trained grizzly, like the ones from the movies, and he would give me a big furry bear hug.

    I love picturing the hairy eyeball of the bus driver. :) I get those looks all the time, working all night and sleeping all day, getting up in my NIGHTIE to answer the dang stinkin’ doorbell that keeps on ringing. Serves unannounced droppers-by right if they have to see me that way! They should know better than to knock in the middle of the day. Pshh. The nerve.

  11. OMG!!!! Women who don’t completely lose their mind at the sight of a snake and kill it. That is simply wonderful that you allow your children to experience the world in such an open manner. I try to do that, too. Except when it’s a cockroach. Then I freak out.

  12. Snakes don’t bother me, but I’ve worked with them before. Poisonous ones have a diamond shaped head generally. Nice pictures of it! We are moving to Maine and I just assumed there would be timber rattlers, but I guess not. That’s good I suppose. I’m more bothered by things like skunks and bears though.

  13. Yep, us Mainers are free some venomous snakes! We used to have some non-native timber rattlers in the very very southern part of the state, but according to our biologists, they’ve all been eradicated. Occasionally someone does find a non-native species that some doofus decided to release into the wild, but these species don’t live through our long winters (hence why we have no native species that are venomous). I can’t be sure about the snake that your son found, since it looks like a young snake, but my guess is that it’s a brown snake. Pretty harmless. They’ll also find lots of garter snakes or ribbon snakes, and these are also harmless (although any snake might bite if thoroughly provoked). I’d look up a Maine snake identification guide just so you can be sure in the future that your kids are playing with a native snake and not an introduced species that hasn’t been killed by winter yet.

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