Tuesday, April 15

Serpents emerge—It’s April 15!

Wouldn’t you know it? April 15, file your income tax returns, and see the first serpent of the season. On this morning’s mile-or-so walk, I actually stepped on a two-foot or 60cm gopher snake (aka bull snake). It was odd; somehow I knew I was stepping on a snake even though I wasn’t looking down at the time. We were, after all, walking under an oak tree and were looking up for the most dangerous snake in the area, the Oak Branch Constrictor. My shoe just barely touched the snake in its middle. The temperature was probably 48°F, 9°C, so the snake was pretty sluggish and didn’t even twitch. Wish I had my camera, but I can always find a gopher snake picture on the Internet and steal it.

I wonder if snakes and like creatures are actually controlled by the government. Most people loathe April 15 for its tax connotation, so many of them toss their calendars in early April to hide the thought of the approaching date, then hide under the covers and call in sick for the last few days. Early in the morning of April 15 the government releases snakes, bats, cockroaches, slime mold, hydrogen sulfide and incontinent skunks to remind people of the date. Glad all we got was a snake! At least they’re cute.

Photo by Mark Bratton, as shown on Wickipedia.

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