On The Bricks

July 23, 2019

There are few dreams that I recall having … and even fewer nightmares. Pretty much all of them have snakes in them. And they often happen after seeing or reading about snakes. Seems there is a very deep – seated fear in me of those slithering reptiles.
Recently my father gave me his latest Smithsonian magazine to read, which I enjoy. Lots of great articles in those bi – monthly magazines.
The July – August issue had the very lengthy story entitled “Bounty Hunters and Biologists Wade Deep into the Everglades to Wrestle with the Invasion of Giant Pythons Threatening Florida’s Wetlands.” Holy Toledo, Batman, reading that article may have scarred me for life.
The article had statements such as, “Given the python’s survival advantages, they will never be eliminated.” Just what I wanted to hear.
It also told us, “No one knows how many pythons are out there now. Estimates run from 10,000 to perhaps hundred of thousands. A problem with trying to count them is that they’re what scientists call ‘cryptic’ – hard to detect. Their black – brown – tan camouflage fits perfectly in the marsh, as well as in the higher sandy ground that makes up another part of their range. They are good swimmers and can stay underwater for half an hour or more.” Oh, Lord help us.
Some of the snake hunters use their feet in the water to search for the pythons. That is a nightmare in itself.
Here’s another quote to take from the article, “Twelve thousand five hundred pounds of Burmese pythons have come through that door (speaking of the lab) in the last six years. And we caught all of them within 55 square miles around Naples. The Everglades ecosystem is about 5,000 square miles. Consider that fact when you’re wondering how many pythons might be in the Everglades.” Oh, I’m considering … lots of things.
In a part of the story, they describe the how one python female had 43 eggs in her. Yep, that’s really scary. Every female has over 40 babies a year?
Really want me to continue sharing?
How about, “Now that the snakes have devastated the population of smaller animals, they appear to be moving to larger ones. … pictures he had taken last year of a python in the process of swallowing a fawn. The python weighed 31 pounds, the fawn weighed 35.” Yikes.
“…I heard some of Donna’s snake – hunting stores – about the python she caught that, when she cut it open, had a domestic cat in its stomach, and about the huge python that came at her with fangs bared and she shot it and it got away … and about the one she caught and then let go of its tail, so she could answer her phone, and in that moment the snake slipped its tail around her neck and started squeezing and would have strangled her if the friend who was riding with her hadn’t pried it off.” Oh, my heavens.
And I haven’t even told you about the photos in the article.
Scarred. I will never be the same.
Nor will I ever visit the Florida Everglades. Ever.
Enjoyed sharing with you today.
Enjoy your summer and I’ll see you on the bricks!