A Surprise in my Garden

Pretty normal morning… I made breakfast and was in the process of getting the kids ready when I remembered the storm we had during the night.  I grabbed my camera because I knew the rain probably did a lot of good for my thirsty vegetables outside.  Before I headed out, I got a picture of Rayna with my camera lens cover her new favorite toy.   ndsc_0008-2

I headed outside to visit with my beautiful new bellpeppers, tomatoes, squash and onions.  (And, yes, I really think my vegetables are beautiful.)  I couldn’t resist this perfect, green tomato.  I plan to see it again tonight at dinner.  It will be fried to a golden brown, ready to be dipped into a little Ranch dressing. 
I was about to go back inside when, just a few feet from me, I spotted this guy just hanging out above my garden…  

I grew-up with my dad catching snakes and was pretty sure this particular one was non-venomous.   Nevertheless, I am still a girl.  As a girl, it’s embedded into our DNA to scream or run (or both at the same time) whenever we see a snake.    
On the other-hand, I am also a mom to a 3-year old little boy.  The non-screaming side of me wanted to catch this snake where Ross would think I was the coolest person in the entire world.  
When I walked a little closer, thinking I could at least get a close shot of his face, he made a very quick movement which involved his mouth opening and his body tightening up.  

THE GIRL SIDE WON.  I ran in as fast as humanly possible.  (I’m pretty sure I also woke-up a few neighbors with my screaming.)

I went inside to get Ross and my telephoto zoom lens.  At this point, I’m outside shooting the snake (a LOT farther away) with a 300 mm lens vs. the 50 mm I had just a few mintues before he decided to open his mouth at me.  Can you tell I’m really nervous now?

To make a very dramatic story a little less… well, dramatic , Murphy (our dog) some how got outside as Ross and I slipped out.  He also quickly discovered what Ross and I were looking at.  Murphy decides he wants to try to LICK this interesting thing.  I’m yelling at Murphy to STOP and go inside.  As always, Murphy doesn’t listen.  The snake had all the licking he could stand and decides to lunge after Murphy.  Murphy starts running… TOWARDS ME AND ROSS.  The snake is chasing Murphy (and kind-of me and Ross who are running beside Murphy). 

I’m carrying Ross and running faster than ever.   
My camera is flopping around my neck.
Oh, and I’m screaming, AGAIN. 

Thank you, 300mm lens.  Here is a close-up of our old friend. 

Oh, I must also note Ross’ prayer tonight: 
“Dear Jesus, Uh, 2 things:
Thank you for the slide at the pool.
(laughing.  trying not to laugh.  laughing more)
Thank you for not letting Murphy die when the snake bit him.
The End.”

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