Sunday, November 26, 2006

Arrowheads, Spreading Adders, Cotton Fields and Granny's House

I took the small child to visit her grandmother in Cordele Georgia on the day after Thanksgiving. Upon arrival, we had a lunch of smoked turkey, pulled pork, pork ribs, beans and stew from Bryce’s Bbq and Rib shack. It was the best turkey I had eaten in slightly over 12 hours. The smoked turkey is a seasonal item I believe as Granny says that chicken is the usual poultry of choice. Granny is lucky enough to live within walking distance of both Bryce’s and the now hugely successful Stripling’s General Store. Stripling’s makes truly awe-inspiring pork sausage by the way. It is a rare occasion when we visit Granny and don’t get sausage at Stripling’s.

After lunch, Granny and I took the small child (small grandchild as Granny calls her) to the adjacent cotton field to look for arrowheads. As this particular field is within spitting distance to Lake Blackshear, we found plenty of small pieces of flint and at least two of them showed signs of knapping. The smallest piece was almost certainly part of a small arrowhead. The real find though was a small eastern hognose snake. Heterodon platirhinos to brainy science types but known to yokels like myself as the Spreading Adder. The snake was sunning himself in the sand next to the field when Granny’s terrier - who alerted all within barking range of the snakes presence, discovered him. The spreading adder gets his name because he can flatten out the area right behind his head like a hood thus looking like a larger more dangerous snake to predators. Unfortunately this is a bluff that will normally result in the snake being chopped to bits by a shovel at the hands of anyone who has ever seen a picture of a cobra and thinks that the two snakes are more closely related than they are. Cobras can kill your ass but acting like a cobra can get your ass killed. Another cool thing that the spreading adder can do is hiss LOUDLY. I would imagine that if these guys grew large enough you could almost mistake them for a bicycle inner tube going slowly flat. I don’t think that grow that big but even if they did few would make it due to the mistaken identity issue.

It was a good small adventure for the small child but I think Granny enjoyed hunting arrowheads even more. The snake enjoyed it least of all.


Olaf said...

The Hognose snake is perhaps more known for its ability to play dead...or at least very sickly. They writhe like only a snake can and show their very yellow underside to would-be attackers. I've seen one make quite a show of it whilst I held onto it in my hands. Unfortunately, a snake that acts like it has been poisoned will also most likely result in the snake being hacked to bits by a shovel. Silly humans.

11:00 AM  

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