Just got very, very lucky. Was out mowing the very back portion of my yard here in Joshua. It’s wild territory, invisible from the house and where we throw lawn cuttings from the fenced in portion of the yard behind the house–but it’s still one of the 8 or 9 lawns and needs cutting now and then. Well, I was in a tall grass corner and had to move some old Christmas trees that we’d thrown over the fence into that wild area, and then I had to step into the tall grass to turn the lawn mower around. I thought I’d taken a good look at things before I did: I was looking for a tree branch I might step on or a broken bottle the neighbors might have chucked over the fence. Didn’t see anything so stepped into the tall grass. The moment I did I felt a weight on my right ankle and kicked furiously. I knew what it was from experience: A snake.
This one was just a baby and it got away, but my ankle hurt like hell. I kept mowing for 10 minutes, then got weak, scared and so forth and went to the front porch swing to sit for a while and check it out. The wound was more of a scrape than a full fang bite. In half an hour I felt weak but there was no appreciable swelling or difficulty breathing. What there was included a headache and shooting pains originating at the point of the attack running up my right calf every five minutes–Yes, the same calf that the infection tried to eat last year.
When I felt well enough I went inside and took my sock off and washed the wound with alcohol. Then I looked at the sock: Two fang marks on the outside of the sock, maybe 3/16ths of an inch apart. They matched two dots of blood on the inside of the sock. But below the tiny exterior fang holes in the sock was a yellow stain the size of a large thumbnail. That’s what that baby was going to give me if it had a moment more to hang on before it was kicked off.
So I got real lucky today.
And now, four hours later, the headache is nearly gone. The pains up my leg will continue for a week. Ah, but the lawn got mowed and I am not in the hospital. What a great day!
But everybody: Please be careful out there.