Monday, February 11, 2013

Coral Season (but not at our house)

Well we hope we don’t have such a startling experience in our future.  Being at 4850 feet, we have fewer snakes than those living at lower elevations. We do have at least one venomous snake, the striped palm pit viper, a lovely pale green specimen with some blue markings. We have seen one live one on the trail, but our gardener has encountered 3 others when working around our yard. Fortunately no mishaps. The only other snakes we’ve seen are a very large king snake crossing the road and some degenhardt’s scorpion eaters.
Our closest neighbors have seen one or two corals in their yard, but we haven’t ever seen one. 

Last week, our Spanish teacher, Grettel and her husband Jorge, our mechanic, told us this story. 

Grettel’s words and photos follow.

"Last Tuesday Jorge came home as usual after 6:00, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. He doesn't turn the stair lights on very often. So, he just walks down, gets his key and opens the door and closes it, as simple as that, but that night when he came down and shut the door he felt something, something that jammed the door for a second but he just pushed harder. That night was normal, we talked, ate,... 
Photo by Jorge Araya
In the morning, I was having breakfast while he opened the door and saw something that stopped him. I read his body language and thought "DANGER". I didn't move after he shut the door again very quickly, and said "It's poisonous".  

So, I stood and ran to get something to kill it, but it was already dead by the time we discovered it because Jorge had killed the snake that night before. 
Photo by Jorge Araya
Remember the thing that jammed the door? Well it was a big and beautiful coral snake."

Evidently, ‘tis the season, because some other friends found one under their Christmas tree on the patio a several weeks ago. 
Photo by Jen Sherridan