Suddenly the stomach of the snake just burst open. She was having her babies! Baby Copperheads were wiggling and squiggling on the railroad tie, her stomach filled with them. Frantically, Joe lifted the shovel from the spine of the mother and began slapping babies as fast as he could.
I know this all sound so cruel and perhaps it was. But it happened. And, in the end, one...one baby slipped over the side of the beam and into the water below. It was carried away, out of the yard. I hope.
However, this is not how this story ends. When Joe went to climb back up the bank, he stepped on a hole in the soft earth. It was a yellow jackets nest. Joe began to run as fast as he could across the open field and headed down towards where I was heading...to get the garden hose. I thought if I doused him with cold water, his scent would be harder for them to follow! He was not happy with me when I sprayed him. Nope.
In fact, if I remember correctly, the words that came out of his mouth were NOT nice at all. The good thing was that he only had a few stings. So, that hot, humid lazy summer day in August turned out to be quite an adventure here in the Hollow.
~~~I've included a link that has some very interesting information for all of you nature lovers out there. Remember to never reach under a rock or a tree limb without looking first.