Thursday, June 10, 2010

Snakes? Snakes? Where are you?

If you are the one or two people who frequently read this blog, you know that I do a lot of trail running.

Pretty much, I've hit every hiking trail in and around the Cuyahoga Valley National Park region. I've also had my share of running adventures in Central Ohio as well.

But, I'm not here to brag.

I'm here to make a specific point about snakes. (work with me, here)

When I was a kid, my brother and I would find a plentitude of snakes all around our home of Martins Ferry, Ohio. We used to pick snakes up with ease, like it was almost second nature. With precision, we would pull on their tails from in between two rocks, throw them in the grass, grab them on the back of the head, squeeze and pull them up. Their tails would slowly slither around your arm.

It was a cool feeling of empowerment over the smaller creatures of the world.

Waaaay back in 2007, when I moved up to the Northeast Ohio region (particularly Lakewood) I would come across a number of snakes on my runs. Most of the time, I would mistake them for a stick and, as soon as I jumped over them, they would skitter away giving my heart a slight tremble.

Lately, I've been a little out of practice in picking up snakes. So I thought to myself 'On my trail running, if I see a snake, I'll get back into the practice of snake-picking-up just in case I run across one with my kids.'

Important note to fathers: You don't want to look like a sissy in front of your kids, especially if it has to do with insects or snakes. So I recommend you get over your fears of eight-legged and no-legged creatures prior to having children.

I've been on some very rustic runs in the Akron area and, let me tell you, I've only come across a total of five snakes since moving down to the Bath area in 2007. Five freaking snakes!

That said, I wasn't surprised when I came across this article on today concerning our slithery friends.

Seems that the world's scientists are in agreement that there is a noticeable decrease in the snake population - not just in Northeast Ohio....worldwide mother fucker. Worldwide.

According to the article, some key factors known to play a role in the decline include climate change, habitat loss, pollution, disease, lack of prey and over-exploitation, either for food or trade.

I know some people will clicking their heels in excitement over this news, (My wife would prefer to be reading a similar article about spiders.), but I'm a little disappointed to read this news.

Hopefully there will be an upswing in the population. Hopefully the little tiny country mice will get busy humping. Hopefully St. Patrick isn't taking his snake campaign worldwide and running the snakes out of the planet.

Hopefully this article isn't true and it's simply a slow news day.

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