Living in Florida offers many perks for someone like me who vehemently dislikes the cold. For most of the year, we have nothing colder than sweater weather. I haven’t worn my winter coat in years… years.
The subtropical climate is a gardeners paradise. Our spring planting season begins mid-February. That also means, yards brighten up earlier than most of the country. It’s not unusual to have to mow your lawn in early March.
I enjoy mowing… really I do. Sometimes it’s just a good excuse to get outside, sometimes it’s a form of meditation, sometimes it’s to mow in a chevron pattern to piss off a passive aggressive neighbor who is too fixated on his own yard and makes snide remarks about lining up my mowing rows with his.
Too soon, our lovely spring weather morphs into Hades Hot with Suffocating Humidity. What normally takes me about 30 minutes to finish the yard, now takes an hour and a half because of water breaks and trying not to pass out from the heat.
It’s mostly for that reason that the backyard doesn’t get as much attention. Twice the size of the front yard, I’ve allowed the back 40 to go to seed more often than I care to admit. When the Labs wear trails through the tall grass, it’s a clear sign I need to mow back there.
It also means I have to prune bushes and tear down creeping vines. After making a myriad of piles of yard trash, I then carry it out to the front of the house for pick up.
Needless to say, the first mow of this summer produced a lot of brush and other junk. Enough piles that it took several trips to get it all out of the back yard. On my last pass, looking for clippings I missed, I noticed a little creature exactly where I dropped some clippings, making me wonder if it was lurking in one of my armfuls of debris.
Once I gathered my composure, I took a better look at my slow-moving friend. He looked odd for a snake. His skin wasn’t scaly and he was shorter than a snake with his girth should be. So of course, I took a picture and went searching.
I don’t mind snakes. I’m not afraid of them, but I can be startled. And, if I’m startled, I’ve been known to spontaneously blurt out a long string of fancy words. Apparently legless lizards can induce the same response. A Legless Eastern Glass Lizard to be more precise, which as best as I can determine was what my new friend was.
According to Google University, the differences between a legless lizard and a snake:
- Lizards have eyelids, snakes do not
- Snakes have forked tongues, lizards do not
- Lizards have exterior ear holes, snakes do not
- When threatened, legless lizards can detach their tails, snakes cannot.
Both have teeth though, so there is that…
Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.
W. C. Fields
This week’s word is:
What to do:
Using “snake” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here, and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.