LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Wildflowers and Another Sign of Spring

There are so many reasons to go walking through the woods. One can always find such interesting things. At this time of year, I am particularly searching for wildflowers. When nothing else is green, these beautiful flowers blossom every spring.











Another important sign of spring! A little garter snake, basking in the sun.



I've always loved garter snakes. A garter snake was my very first gift from a boy. We were ten and on a school field trip. My friend found a little green garter snake. He gave it to me. We decided the best place to keep him from the eyes of the teacher would be in my lunch box. So we stuffed some grass and the snake into my lunchbox.
----------When I got home from school that afternoon, I was excitedly telling my mother about the field trip. Before I got to the best part, she opened my lunch box to clean it. She screamed and dropped the box on the floor, spilling out the grass and the snake. My mother insisted I take the snake (whom I had already named Jake) outside and set it free.
----------The lunch box smelled terrible! Apparently Jake did not like the enclosure and being tossed around as I carried the box. He had secreted his famous foul smell. That was the end of my favorite lunch box.
----------Perhaps if I had introduced Jake under better circumstances, my mother might have let me keep him as a pet. But I doubt it. She was not fond of snakes or lizards and certainly didn't want them in the house. I made certain that my own children had snakes, lizards, salamanders, polywogs, and turtles as pets. We kept them for observation and then released them. Afterwards, the children were certain they could identify the very reptile or amphibian they had released when we came upon them in the wild.

27 comments:

Cedar ... said...

Oh, violets! The violets here won't be up for at least three more weeks. Thanks for a preview!

robin andrea said...

I love seeing the spring flowers there. So delicate, and yet so hardy. Nice snake story too.

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Cool snake! Those flowers look nice, too. Spring is here for good it looks like...guess I can give up the hope for one final snowstorm down here in the piedmont.

George said...

Thanks for taking us along on your walk through the woods. I can hardly wait to get out and hike.

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: What a neat shot of the spring flowers. Our snakes are still under the snow.

Dog_geek said...

I *loved* the story of Jake! I'm sure my mother would have let me keep him, at least temporarily. Growing up on a farm, she always had pet snakes and lizards and whatnot, and when I was a child, we frequently scooped frog eggs or tadpoles out of puddles and later relased the frogs they became. (Heck, who am I kidding, I still do that!)

Nick S said...

A lovely sign of Spring. Love that Garter Snake, different to ours ...

Appalachian Lady said...

Lovely photos--especially the trout lillies. I loved the story of Jake.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a cute story, Carolyn... I do NOT like snakes--even the good ones. I have learned NOT to scream and jump up on the table now... ha ha... BUT--I would never want to touch one.

My sons are like you. They love bugs and all kinds of things like snakes...Yipes!!!!

The wildflowers are pretty. We have those violets --but they haven't bloomed up here yet...

Hugs,
Betsy

Cheryl said...

I love wildflowers....I love their 'smallness'......so delightful.

I love snakes and reptiles....my daughter is terrified of them...
I remember we were walking across the marshes one day and a grass snake was on the path.....I have never seen anyone leave an area so quickly....like a flash of lightning......

I love the story re: Mum and lunch box.......

Jayne said...

LOLOLOL! What a fun story! Love the wildflowers. :c)

grammy said...

You are a great mom...I do not like snakes. I did try to let my son have one and it was fine until he accidentally dropped it on my feet. I was 9 months preg. and ran a block to get away from it. Not rational, I know, but never the less I don't like them. Silly me (o:

Thistlebrooms said...

Oh, I just love Trout Lilies, the flowers in your first photo...Ours haven't bloomed as of yet But the leaves are growing.

Your first gift from the boy reminds me of the stories of Mom's putting their hands in their YOUNG Sons pockets before they do the laundry AND come out with all sorts of living surprises!!! I myself was brought up on a lake and always brought back surprises...Wonderful way to grow up.

Thanks for reminiscing with us Carolyn...

Happy Easter To You & Yours...
Marilyn

Shellmo said...

Enjoyed seeing all your wildflowers! LOL about the snake in your lunchbox - your poor mother - loL!! As a child I had turtles and chameleons.

Sam said...

Great pictures. It definitely is refreshing to see the first signs of spring- about time, too!!

We went to the park (very wooded park, almost like hiking) for the first time in months. My dog Marge was really excited.

Cheri said...

I have not gone deeper into our woods to hunt flowers yet but our violets are out around the house. I had a similar snake experience - a gift from a neighbor but mom was not happy and made me put him back outside. Good picture to go with your story.

Kallen305 said...

LOVE your wildflower photos. We dont' have them up here yet so it was an early treat seeing them in your pictures. I used to hang around with a boy when I was little and we would collect garter snakes and put them in milk cartons to observe and release. I was a tom boy and the only kid on the block that would do it with him. It's good to know I was in good company! ;o)

mon@rch said...

I love blood roots and mine are just poping out of the ground!

pat said...

no no no...no to snakes of any kind, sorry!

Cicero Sings said...

Fun story about the snake in the lunch box and one surprised Mama!

Jane said...

The flowers are gorgeous, but I agree with your mom - snakes have their place, just not anywhere close to me!

Jane

troutbirder said...

Now that's a neat neat story. Way to go Carolyn!!!

TheWritersPorch said...

Aren't the Spring babies so pretty?
So delicate! I don't mind lizards but me and snakes need distance!
Carol

Leedra said...

The wildflowers are beginning to open up, love photographing them.

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Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I adore those little violets...m.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, everyone for commenting. We do love finding the wildflowers.

Ruth said...

Bloodroot and Trout lilies! My favourite early spring blooms. I share your mother's enthusiasm for snakes.