Snake Bites

Yesterday, we brought the kids to my friend Julie’s kids’ birthday party.

Did ya get that? Too many apostrophes and plurals in that sentence. Anyways, the birthday party was held at Mixon Fruit Farms & Wildlife Refuge.

The kids got to ride on the back of this big tortoise, who didn’t seem to mind at all. He just kept doin’ his thing.


This is Mr. Matthews, the keeper of the animals and tour guide. And here is his pet opossum.


These critters normally freak me out – but I gotta say, this guy is pretty darn cute. Except for those freaky-sharp nails. Oh and the teeth. Or the rodent-nose. Or the cross-eyedness (which, I just learned from Matthews, is why they end up as roadkill so often)

Okay, never mind. the really aren’t cute at all.


Only in Florida would you ever have a beautiful fruit orchard destination that includes a tram tour of their roadkill refuge.

Matthews wrestles alligators, sleeps with deer and the kids just love him because he lets ’em do things their parents would never let them do.

Like pet baby alligators. At first, Nathan looked pretty concerned and wouldn’t touch the thing. He’s thinkin’ “Didn’t your mama tell you not to touch alligators?!”


But after seeing that everyone still had all 10 fingers after petting, he went ahead and poked it too.


The baby gator reminds me of that annoying Geico gecko.


Stupid human tricks. Let’s open the mouth of an alligator!


Stupider still was that I had a macro lens and I got real close. He coulda snapped my nose off.



Speaking of stupid.

Julie egged me on to put the BIG SNAKE around my neck. BIG GIANT SNAKE.

How easily I am influenced.




I have no idea WHY I agreed to put this human-eating poisonous python rattler around my neck.

And the only explanation that I have was to dig deep into my past. I was 25 years old and took a trip to New Orleans with a boyfriend. We went on one of those swamp tours and right in front of the ticket booth, they had this dead stuffed alligator.


I think this is one time where a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Comments 38

  1. Stephanie

    How fun! I actually used to have one of those very same [though much smaller] pythons… her name was Jasper. Unfortunately, a careless friend of mine killed her.

    Then I married my husband, who is VERY snake phobic, so I can’t have any more snakes.

    Sad panda.


  2. Connie

    I’m not gonna lie – reptiles are effing scary! Serious aversion to snakes of any size but holy schmoley that thing is GINORMOUS!

    In other news, I’ll be making some of your Chinese sausage fried rice from the cookbook this week… now that’s something we can agree on I’m sure!

  3. Stephanie

    Oh BTW I’m going to make your coconut shrimp and blog about it this week. That is, if my poor dead computer lets me open up the PDF………. meh!!

  4. Anh

    I cannot stop but laughing so hard, jaden. You are my woman!! I would never touch a snake (well, I did eat some snake dishes in the past but live snakes? Noooo!)

  5. Sue

    OMG, you are one brave woman………….with that reptile coiling around your neck oooooooh …….now do we get recipes like snake pizza or steam snake with mushroom or something like that?

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

  6. Grifola frondosa

    Sooo, with all that inspiration around… what did you have for dinner?
    Possum – Roasted or stewed?
    Savory Loin of ‘Gator?
    Ssssssnake “wings” with Sssspicy Sssssauce?
    Real Turtle Soup (Sure it’s endangered, but soooo tasty).

    Can’t wait to see the next issue “Real Adventures of Steamy Kitchen”.

    Hmmmm, are you thinking Reality Cooking Show?
    Pet ’em and put them in a pot !

  7. Alta

    See, that big fat python doesn’t scare me half as much as that possum. Eeeeewww. Hate those things. I wonder what would happen if they vanished from the Earth. Perhaps I’m ignorant, but what contributions do they make to the ecology? And why do they have to be so ugly?

    As for that snake, I bet he’d taste good deep fried. With some sort of Sriracha dipping sauce.

  8. Annie

    I sympathize with you! I think “oh shit!” would have been the least of my thoughts! This was the perfect thing to wake up this morning, though … thank you! Hilarious!
    🙂 Annie

  9. kayenne

    be comforted in knowing that pythons are not poisonous. they kill their prey by squeezing the life out of them, then swallowing them whole. =D they don’t have rattlers at the end of their tails, too… so, you’ll not likely hear them coming. ;D

  10. Fuji Mama

    Growing up my family always had several snakes as pets. I came home from college for Christmas one year and my mom informed me that one of the snakes had gotten loose (a 7 foot gopher snake). That night I turned out my lights, got into bed, and reached down to pull up the blanket that was folded at the foot of my bed. As I reached under the blanket, what did I find? Yep, the snake. To this day I’m still very proud of the fact that I didn’t scream.

  11. julia

    Very Cute PICS, but…
    pythons aren’t poisonous. They’re constrictors, so the one hanging around your neck would simply squeeze you to death. (I’m guessing the constrictor had eaten already).

  12. The Cooking Bride

    Was that opposum just exceptionally large? Because in the pictures it looks huge! It reminds of the “rodents of unusual size” from the movie “Princess Bride.”

  13. Cynthia

    You are so brave, there is no way in hell I was putting that snake around my neck! As a matter of fact I would have been at the other end of the park!

  14. Barry

    Oh please, after all the tasty stuff you’ve eaten, I hate to say it but that snake had probable cause*.

    *meaning he/she’d squeeze it our of ya, not eat ya.

  15. Dr. Biggles

    MMMmMmmm, gator. It’s really good rolled in cornmeal and deep fried! Kinda tastes like sea chicken. Not to be confused with Spongebob’s Sea Bear. mMmMm, bear.


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