Close Encounters of the Creepy Kind

From ancient times to the present, snakes have been looked at with disgust, as a harbinger of bad luck.  Indiana Jones certainly showed his repulsion for snakes from the very beginning.  We all know the trouble the serpent caused Adam and Eve.

Everyone always wants to kill snakes, when in reality, they just want to be left alone and can be very helpful to the environment.  The snake is really quite incredible, though I must admit I have no love lost for them, as undoubtedly my neighbors testify to my shrieks from several streets away when they slither across my path.

Did you know scientific studies have been conducted to demonstrate that a part of our brain and consciousness senses a snake before we visually see it?  Thank God for that!

I’m researching snakes because in the last two days, two large black snakes have crossed my path.  Both were large.  One was a black Carolina racer (the constrictor kind) and the other a harmless black snake who glided past my garden door and into the woods with gentle, nudging spray from my garden hose (after the neighbors heard the shriek, of course).

A long time ago, I shared a story about a client of mine who lived symbiotically with a 7 ft. black snake named “Frank.”  She loved Frank and let him go anywhere he wanted in her house, because he took care of the rodents and other undesirables.  Then she added that Frank was far less trouble than her ex-husband and far more pleasant!

Here are some interesting facts about snakes I didn’t know:

  • Only about 20% are poisonous.  (That’s a good thing, right?)
  • Snakes do not live in Antarctica, Iceland, or New Zealand.  (I start looking for real estate there shortly.)
  • Snakes have no ears but feel vibrations.  (I wonder if the vibrations from my spontaneous operatic high “C” had any effect on it?)
  • Snakes are very helpful.  The small ones often eat harmful bugs and insects.  The big ones eat rats, mice, gophers, and animals that destroy crops.  Good farmers and gardeners know how helpful most snakes are, and are happy to have them around.  All snakes, except those that threaten people, should be kept safe from harm.  They are part of the chain of living things, as we are!  (Thanks to for this information.)
  • In certain parts of the world, they can be as tiny as a toothpick or as long as 33 feet, and weigh 320 pounds.  (Eee-gads)
  • Some snakes can live up to 30 years.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans believed snakes to be healers.  To this day, two entwined snakes are on the medical Caduceus.
  • Native Americans and other cultures believe snakes can bring transformation and healing.  They also believe they are protectors.

WP_002283   WP_002282After seeing this, I managed to put my shovel down and watch in wonder as this large snake balanced on its tail.  If he was trying to get my attention, he succeeded.  Instead of killing him, which I really didn’t want to do, I gently used my 6 ft. long tomato pole to gently guide him away from my back door!  He left in no great hurry, as if to say, “OK crazy pole lady, just let me explore and snooze in the sun for a while, eh?  I won’t bother you if you won’t bother me.”

And what thanks did I get?  I found another snake today, who also slithered right beside me and left me completely alone.  I offered him the very same courtesy, after jumping several feet in the air.

Snakes are everywhere this time of year.  Think twice before killing them because many species are beneficial!

TIP FOR THE DAY: Be careful if cleaning out an estate, attics, garages, outdoor barns and sheds, etc.  Be especially careful if reaching under piles of stuff in these environments.  Always wear blue jeans, boots, and heavy gloves!

©2014 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent.  Email her at

4 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Creepy Kind

  1. He was sensing your tv cable ? Lol. Great pic. I grew up in snake country Illinois and never saw a snake do something like this. This is what we would call a Rat Snake. Very welcome around barns!

  2. Another great article, as always!  I completely identify with your screaming jumps into the air.  As a toddler, I saw my city-bred mom chase a big black snake away with a broom when it threatened the baby birds in a porch-side bush, and as a child, picking blueberries barefoot, I stepped on a black and yellow snake, jumped and screamed, saw it slither away, and have been creeped out by the sight of a snake slithering on the ground ever since.  But I’m not afraid to touch one if someone is holding it, as at those nature center reptile exhibits.  Poor snakes — just don’t silently creep up on me!

    >________________________________ > From: The Estate Lady Speaks >To: >Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 6:56 AM >Subject: [New post] Close Encounters of the Creepy Kind > > > > >Julie Hall posted: “From ancient times to the present, snakes have been looked at with disgust, as a harbinger of bad luck.  Indiana Jones certainly showed his repulsion for snakes from the very beginning.  We all know the trouble the serpent caused Adam and Eve. Everyone” >

  3. They can climb trees and almost anything else…and they like the warmth of the car engine, often finding a resting spot near the battery ledge inside the engine area. I stopped on a country road late on a summer evening on 2 occasion…both times when I slowed down to see a snake crossing the road they disappeared…right up the wheel well and through to the engine…one of those hitched a ride with me back into town 20 miles away and I could see a shadow make the shifter console dim a little..I got home and searched all over for the snake in the darkness, however gave up believing I’d ‘imagined’ the shadow…sure enough, in the first of daylight, that snake (Gopher-harmless) was in the backyard terrorizing the cat! LOL! I captured him and, believe it or not, drove him right back to where I’d seen him, the near twenty miles or so away. We live in the Mojave Desert so there are several species of snakes here…about half belong to the rattlesnake family…never take one of those home…I sure haven’t. 🙂

  4. There are no snakes in Alaska either 😉

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