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.