Since you all liked my spider . . .

And we’re getting close to Halloween and all things scary, I thought you might get a kick out of my snake, Steve.  Steve is  a black snake.  He eats birds, rats, mice, and, I’m told by the locals,  other snakes like the Copperheads also in this area, but I think that he’s being confused with the King snake, which in this area is black with white rings.

In any case, snakes give Guy the creeps, too.  I grew up with snakes and I’ve a healthy respect for them, but if a snake were to have the choice of meeting me or Guy, he’d be better off meeting me.  (laugh)

Steve has been under our house most of the summer, enjoying the cooler temps and keeping the mice from invading.  Steve works the outside, the cats work the inside.  I’ve not seen a mouse in my house _ever._  Guy spotted him leaving his adobe a few weeks ago, and I got it all on camera.  Here’s just a few shots.  😉


Steve emerging from under our crawlspace.


Steve checking the space out for shovels and screaming.

Steve 3

Steve heading out, disguised among the hoses.



Filed under Drama Box

82 responses to “Since you all liked my spider . . .

  1. Lynne

    ok, Kim, did mudepoz send you some cool orchids? Since I started reading your books I’m not getting any repotting done. But I just checked the greenhouse and I saw 6 square inches of empty bench space. My pupils are TOTALLLY black now. Tell me when to be at the post office…. I’ll pay the freight!

    • mudepoz

      Okay doll. Email me at and we can discuss what you might like and give me your shipping addy. I have to destroy or find homes for my plants…we can’t sell what we divide at the school. The major collection is usually worked on Thursdays, but I HAVE to spray for Mealy. I need a good mealy bug eater…. Now back to your regularly scheduled witch/reaper/high fantasy author. *Kof*

    • Hi, Lynne. She did earlier this spring, and most of them have settled in and are growing new leaves. Six inches of empty bench space? I’m sure Mud can fix that! 😉

  2. Jo

    Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing them. You think maybe Steve may have a cameo in a short story someday? 🙂


  3. The Old Geezer

    Good Mornin’, Ms. Kim.
    Snake stories, eh? Try this. Absolutely true story. Back in the day, I was walkin’ home from 4th grade (Dad had the carriage in for a new wheel rim and the horse, Dobbin – don’t ask – was getting a new shoe) across a burned over field and found a treasure. A dead garter snake! Carried it home, around back to the back porch. Mom had her flower bed along the back of the house and her prized snap dragons in front of the water faucet. She always stopped there on her way into the house after parkin’ her car in the garage after work to water her flowers. Now you couldn’t see the water faucett fore the tall snap dragons. I proceeded to artfully drape the dead snake around the faucett. Now my great miscalculation was not considerin’ that adults are far too trustin’ because any kid with enough sense to pound sand would know you always check what can be hidden behind the foliage before just stickin’ your hand in there. Carefully watching from behind the garage, Mom proceeds to walk up to the snap dragons and just plunges her hand in there to turn on the water. Instead, she gets a funny look and withdraws a handful of dead snake. But there was a payoff after all. Ma commenced to hootin’ and hollerin’ and jumpin’ up and down screamin’ like the boogey man had her. (parenthetically, female suits at that time did not have trowsers and in her skirt jumpin all around I saw more about middle aged femaie undergarments than in my 10 years I had ever imagined. Gave me nightmares) She tossed the snake in one direction while leapin’ in the other. The Old Man came gallopin’ out of the house to see what had to be literally eatin’ Mom. She was shriekin’ about the 15 foot long, Mom eatin’ monster snake. Pa grabbed the garden hoe and began choppin’ the flower garden into mulch (he never saw much point to them gol danged weeds any way) as Ma pointed at anything that resembled the aforementioned critter. After the flower bed was thoroughly mulchified and ma was too pooped to hoot any more, they both staggered into the house, Ma tryin’ to hitch those extremely puzzlin’ undergarments back into place. Smartest thing I ever did was keep my yap shut about how that snake got there and who helped for the next 7 years. Finally, one day Ma was recountin’ the story about how that poor little Ma eatin’ monster snake had must of been in the last throws of snaky demise and watned to breathe it’s last in the only bit of tolerable temperature on the cool water faucett (Ma was convinced that Hades had nothin’ on that part of Texas.) I couldn’t just take it anymore, besides being 17 now and much taller, faster and stronger than Ma now, I took a deep breath and said, “Mom, I hate to have to say, but that poor Ma eatin’ monster snake had help gettin’ up there”. She sucked in a deep breath with a hiss (what is it with you gals doin’ that?) but before she could verbally start pulling strips off me, her surrounding friends and female relations exploded with chortles, gales and howls of laughter fallin’ off their chairs. Ma didn’t say anything to me for 2 weeks which when all things were considered wasn’t so bad. Absolutely True Story. — Affectionate thoughts as always, The Old Geezer

  4. Ooooh *shudder*. Maybe it’s because here in Aus pretty much all of the snakes I’ve ever come across are scary and poisoness, but ewww even photos of snakes creep me right out.

  5. Lynne Madonia

    hi Kim, this is Lynne in Chattanooga TN. I’m new to your books and blog ; enjoying both. love the picture of Steve, glad I don’t have to provide health care for him or any of his kinfolks. I saw a blurb somewhere about you tending orchids. how about some flora pics along with the fauna? I remember during Trent’s failed wedding? several references to black orchids. It caught my intrest because I am trying to bloom a “black orchid” in my greenhouse. Along with about 400 others, haha. What do you grow?

    • Hm, wonder if Lynne would be interested in taking some orchids off my hands (evil grin)

    • Lynne

      orchid swapping is always fun. Whatcha growing?

    • mudepoz

      I DON’T swap. I get rid of 🙂 I maintain a university greenhouse, so mostly species orchids. Coelogyne, dendrobium, some cats, well, hell, several hundred species I think….

    • Lynne

      I see your evil grin and totally understand but saying species orchids to me is like Ivy’s lust for blood. My pupils are starting to dialate. what part of the country is mudepoz in?

    • mudepoz

      I’m in Milwaukee at a fairly large university. I ship. Ask Kim. She is no longer accepting orchids or gesneriads from me.

    • I’m full up, Mud! 😉

    • Hi, Lynne. I grow mostly green leaves, actually. (grin) Occasionally I get flowers, but not often. I’m not the most attentive of indoor gardeners. Seriously, I don’t know the names of most of them, but thanks to Mud, I do now have a nice selection of lady slipper like orchids. I don’t think there exists a black orchid, but I could be wrong. I think it was a cool idea to have Trent have something that doesn’t exist or is very rare. You and Mud really need to hook up and talk orchids. –Kim

    • mudepoz

      Oh, yeah, there are some black orchids, at least purple black. And Lynne and I have and she should have her very own box of orchids tomorrow or so 🙂

  6. Phil

    Hi Kim, i’m feeling seriously deprived now that i’ve not had even a single encounter with a snake! 😦 I’m not sure what i’d do if i ever saw one up close tho i’ve heard they’re not aggressive unless provoked and prefer to slither away and hide, so i kinda feel sorry for them that they get a bad reputation. I so admire your, and Guy’s, tolerance even enthusiasm for your wildlife! 🙂 ~Phil

    • Hi, Phil. Most of the time, all I see are the tail ends going away from me, but I can’t imagine never seeing one before. Some people might be envious of that! –Kim

  7. James Fox

    Hi Kim, it’s Jim from Youngatown. If I remember correctly, it’s King snakes that are predators on other snakes. Most snakes in that size range eat rats mice frogs etc, but the king snake is top of the food chain. It doesn’t have many enemies.The stink keeps dogs and cats off and nothing else is interested.

    • Hi, James. King snakes eating other snakes is what I’ve heard as well, but the locals here swear that the black snake does, too. I think they are confusing the two species. –Kim

  8. Yikes!!! I don’t like snakes!! Ugh. I feel faint.


  9. Marsha

    Panama has a lot of very poisonous snakes as well, but for some reason they don’t have the same “oogy factor” that spiders do. Although I will never forget the sight of my dad’s commanding officer passing out when a boa constrictor climbed up his leg. As long as the snakes can’t eat small dogs or cats we get along fine.

  10. Kneosha

    Oh wow what a big boy, he certainly looks very healthy from keepin your house rodent free. I love snakes I used to have a Ball Python but when I came home from college my mom made me get rid of him 😦 One day I will have another 😀

  11. Tiffany

    Also, I was thinking about your mentioning on Friday that spiders were sort of a tie in to your childhood. That is such a fascinating statement that I can’t help but wonder about the story behind it…

    …ok I built a “memory charm” into my question in case I am prying…just blink twice to invoke it [->

  12. Lurker

    Why did it have to be snakes?

    One of my encounters with a snake went something like this. I’m about 16 and in the other room watching tv when I hear this blood curdling scream from the dining room. So, I run in and find my mom on top of the table jumpung and screaming something incoherent and pointing at the floor at a Kingsnake which had just apparently followed her in from the garage (mom makes a lot of friends). I’m pretty sure the snake was more scared of mom than she was of it. Dad arrived on the scene shortly after to take care of the situation… which was a lot less destructive than the other time when the rattler decided he was hungry and the food was in the our front yard.
    In the end our dining room occupants included the mom, dad, me, sister, both cats (rediculously crazy and fearless Russian Blues), all 3 dogs, and one very bug-eyes Kingsnake. It was very cozy. Good times.

    yah. Snakes – not a problem.
    I draw the line at spiders tho. That was just a mean thing to do to me, Kim 🙂

  13. Tiffany

    My cat just caught a similar looking snake…op, wait…no that is the cord to my headphones. Bad kitty. 😉

    Seriously though, I hear that its a sign that your garden has a good ecological balance if you have a garden snake calling it home.

  14. I literally gasped out loud! I love snakes and your little guy is awesome.

  15. Maddy

    Hey Kim, cool snake! I had a question to ask you and I simply couldn’t find anywhere else to put it. So, I was wondering if you would ever consider writing a short on Ivy and Skimmer? Or even just Skimmer. I really like her even though their last encounter was less-than-pleasant. I would like to know a lot more about her and her past. Or even if you didn’t, I was wondering if you were planning on putting her in the future books or if you were just done writing her? Oh and totally off topic, but I’m so excited for your Halloween contest this year (if you’re having it) my friend and I were going to buy wigs and be Rachel and Ivy for Halloween so I’m like “while we’re at it, why don’t we enter the contest?” so we’re really excited! Thanks and Happy Monday, have a good week!

    • Hi, Maddy. A short about Ivy and Skimmer? That’s an idea. I’ll have to think about it. 😉 Skimmer is a big part of Ivy’s past, and it would be worthwhile to bring that out.

      I will be having a Halloween contest this year, but it’s too soon to start it. I’ll let you know! I can’t wait to see what you and your friend come up with! –Kim

  16. Kylie Ru

    Oh, wow! He’s amazing! Yeah, show me a spider and I’ll run screaming. Show me a snake, and I’ll run *towards* the snake screaming “can I pet it!”

  17. Frotee

    Aww…I have loved snakes since elementary school 🙂
    But then, we don’t really have many of them here in Germany and none of them lethal, so I probably just never learned to fear them properly (although my mother has a phobia of snakes – she’ll be up and running if you show her so much as a skin left behind…) ^^°
    Though there are other kids who do; I had a toy snake (which looked astonishingly real – my mother made me give it away because it scared her…) when I was a child, and to see the reactions of some other children, I left it on a muddy patch of earth near a playground, then alerted them ‘to the snake over there’ – which, after they had seen it, sent them running to their parents. I had great fun, of course :]
    I was always hoping one would show up around our pond to hunt frogs and the like, but none did so far. Lucky you having one to help with the mice 😉
    Greeting, Carina

    • Hi, Carina. Oh, you were a little devil when you were a kid! (I like that!) I bet you’ve got snakes that you’ve never seen if you have frogs. Snakes love frogs. Too bad snakes don’t leave any muddy footprints. –Kim

  18. candace

    Ok, now see, a snake is much better than a spider (in my personal opinion). Although Steve looks a little squashed at the tail-end there lol. I too have a respect for snakes- I see them all the time at the barn. The horses are all wary of them but the snakes are almost always harmless garter or king snakes. Or these little green snakes that I don’t know the name of.

  19. Linda (germany)

    uuuuuh. I love snakes. They are so elegant and kind of mystery. but I really respect them, they are so icredible fast.

    Steve is a cool name for a snake. Gosh woman, you got many friends in your house. Do they all understand with each other?

  20. Kat

    Hey Kim~Love the snake pictures…and the spider…he was huge!!! Steve really blends in with the hoses. I wonder if he thought they were other snakes?

  21. I respect you all the more for your love of wildlife. Really, your house is a habitat for many species, with you (and Guy) on top the food chain. With properly placed and attended cats and snakes and spiders and owls, you are not likely to have pests or insects in your home. Quite in a harmony, you live.

    Which, in turn, makes me even more sad for living in a flat.

    • Hi, Ezgi. I have honestly been amazed that we haven’t had more trouble with wildlife than we’ve had. I think that we have attracted birds with food and water has gone a long way in keeping the insects down. The only thing I worry about is the owls . . . You can still have wildlife outside your flat. It might take a year, but a humming bird feeder might work, and it’s clean enough that the neighbors won’t complain.

  22. Suzi Lazear

    Very nice! I grew up with my brothers catching snakes, horned toads, and gila monsters. The hubby brings home lizards in his suitcase and snakes in burlap sacks…

    The hubby is teaching the tot to write. I found a scrawl while moving that said “I have a vampire named Bobo” — wonder what the backstory on that is. LOL Can”t wait for the parent teacher conference…

    Have a great week!

    ~Suzanne and the tot

  23. Judi in NJ

    Oh Kim – Oh! Kim! Oh my….how I despise snakes….what if the beast gets into your house? Laundry room? Toilet? Oh! My! I dig the spider…I loved the moth and the squirrels – I love hearing about their habits, etc….but this??? THIS?! I’m with Guy – up on a chair (or the roof). My toes are curling a la The Wicked Witch of the East upon her demise and removal of the ruby slippers. I’m FREAKIN out over here!!!! Give me a creepy spider (and a mouse) any day….thanks for sharing, tho…. Sreeeeeeching in NJ – Judi

    • Phil

      Judi’s comment made ny day. Lol. I don’t have snake tales to tell but i’ll definitely be looking under the house from now on! 🙂

    • Hi, Judi. If he got in, I’d calmly catch him, hoping he didn’t stink on me. Then put him outside next to the compost pile. Snakes really aren’t that bad. But I understand your dislike. 😉 –Kim

  24. cat

    Oh my gosh.. that is.. he’s really LONG! *shudder*

    I did not like the spider! I couldn’t even skim that post in my google reader. gah! Major phobia here.

    • He is a big one, Cat. I think he’s the one that was giving the wrens fits last month. I didn’t see him, then, but I’m sure that’s what they were crabbing about. –Kim

  25. Thursday

    oh wow! Is it weird that I hate spiders but love snakes? I had one growing up! sssssssss hahahahahaha

  26. Janis

    Honestly, I think that snake is lovely. Judging from his shiny skin, he must have shed recently, and is at his best for his photos.
    Well, so long as he isn’t venomous, I think you should keep him! He’ll keep all of the small pests away from your house while your cats take care of the indoors, just like you said. With the advent of cooler temperatures, he might seek a way inside your house, so I REALLY hope he isn’t venomous.

  27. Antonio Rich

    One of my greatest childhood memories is the time i, along with a male and female buddy, uncovered a huge nest of garden snakes in a nearby creak. We stuffed our pockets with the squirming little guys and then went to my house where my mother was hosting a girl scout function. You’ve never seen a house clear out so fast…

    The screaming was EPIC!

    I got in SO much trouble.

  28. Rebecca B

    Alas, my hub and somebody’s off-leash dog have taken out a couple of these guys over the past two summers around our house. My neighbor and I do what we can to keep the snake-o-phobes away, but one six footer insisted on sunning itself in the driveway and the other got mauled on the compost pile. I made my hub dispose of the bodies both times–nothing reeks like dead snake.

  29. Chrisy

    Wow. I’ve never seen a snake before. Er.. I mean in reality. Well… I survived.

  30. I love the nature shots. I think we need some of the more exotic snake paranormal critters to give Rachel a visit.

    I have a bull snake I am proud of under my front stoop. He/she is an endangered species here, and one of my profs was going to move him to a preserve. Over my dead body, and even then, I would haunt him.

    The Tall Dude and I went to the Chicago Botanic Gardens to investigate their new plant science facility. If the Angel tomato ever was created, it would be there, a horticulture research facility, gene sequencer and all.

    I did get a great T shirt to wear to work. It reads “Plant Science will save the world.” The I in science is in neon green, so it comes out, I will save the world”. Now, you may wonder why I am bringing this up, until I add: Do you think anyone will get my button that reads “Don’t touch the baby”.

    I think there’s a word for this…

  31. Hi Kim!

    That’s pretty cool. Is Steve venomous?

    I’m not sure how I’d react if I found a snake in my yard. Somewhere between tolerance and murder, I think, depending on whether it was a venomous or aggressive species. I really don’t want my skinks or rabbits to be bitten.

    Back in the mists of antiquity (and the country before Oz) we had a bit of a problem with spitting cobras and other snakes. On one memorable occasion the family was roused out of an afternoon nap by the sound of the dachshund pack bailing up one of these creatures. My mother sallied forth with a changkul (a hoe with a large, heavy and sharp head) and chopped the snake’s head off. Tinky had to go to the vet to have her eye (swollen to the size of a golf ball) seen to. She survived, and her sight was saved.

    Then there was that time when my mother moved the sewing machine and saw a coil of cable that shouldn’t have been there. She stopped just short of getting a handful of snake…

    Needless to say, she disposed of it quite handily.

    • Now that I’ve embarrassed myself with my poor wiki skills, here’s the actual spitting evilthing I was referring to: Naja sumatrana.


    • tattoolady

      wow. your mum is quite um..gungho about dealing with snakes,lol. i have vivid memories about my grandmother screaming bloodly murder about a wee little garden snake and my grandfather laughing like a hyena when he saw that it was a garden hose. i personally do not mind having snakes around. i give them their space and they seem to give me mine with exception being when my rather rambunctious pup sees one and chases it into the neighbor’s yard,looking rather pleased with herself with that all said and done 😛

    • Hi, Hapalochlaena. No, Steve isn’t venomous. If he was, I would be a lot less friendly to him. My dogs would react the same way your dachshunds did, and I would have to react the same way your mom did, and well . . . that would be an ugly truth. Your mom sounds like a great lady. –Kim

  32. becca

    hey kim
    hope you had a great weekend,i read your other blog and saw over 100 comments,well i thought whats kim giving away today??lol
    then i see its all spider related,well lets just say if guy needs a back up partner iam there!!
    the snakes kinda cool,not my cuppa tea though(saying this standing on a chair!!)it does give us a look to why you are you and the way and why you write.exellent.its why your the brains and imagination very open minded etc and why your darling guy is the guy behind the women!!lol
    no offence guy you know your da bomb in other ways!!;-)
    i was in our local waterstones book shop and happen to pass a copy of romance 2 book(your dawn cook edition) and with the kiddes in tow (4 and 2)made them sit on the floor(its clean)with some books and i stood there and read your entry!!hehehe really enjoyed it thankyou.
    hugs to all and yeahh nearly halloween!!
    becca and co

    • Hi, Becca. Oh, very cool! I’m glad you liked it! I’m kind of proud of that story. And really, Guy isn’t that squeamy. He will take care of things I just shudder at. Our talents dove-tail. 😉 –Kim