Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

September 2010
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Coral snake hopping

LizaLiza

C. danced around a nice-sized coral snake yesterday morning at Friedrich Park.  Three of us were running along talking about the terrain out at Bandera when C. broke into a high-stepping jig.  I get to teach a bit about snakes, so I’m always interested to see exactly what’s slithered by.  We reviewed the rhyme “Red on yellow, kill of fellow.  Red on black, venom lack.”  This is a useless rhyme for me because I can switch it around and confuse myself.  “Red on yellow, okay fellow.  Red on black, you’re dead Jack.”  Fortunately red and yellow are the colors are McDonalds, so I just remember that if I eat enough McDonalds I’ll die.  Of course, I’ve heard there are poisonous coral snakes on the Texas-Mexico border that have black bands next to red bands.  Sneaky.  So the coral snake rhyme for Texas is “Red on yellow or black, stay away from the snake.”  Thankfully it’s hard to get yourself killed by a coral snake.  Before 2006, the last confirmed coral snake death was in 1960s.  And the fellow who died in 2006, really had to work at it.  (“When the coral snake slithered among them a couple hours before dusk Saturday, the men had been sitting around drinking long-neck bottles of Budweiser in a wide and littered clearing they had made for themselves in the saw palmettos.”)  You can read the full account here, but the take home message is: Don’t pick up a coral snake and, if you do, don’t be too drunk on to get yourself to a hospital afterwards.  I’d love to write more showing off my snake-y smarts, but Tropical Storm Hermine is causing some flooding in my garage and I’ve got to save the cat litter.

Comments 3
  • eliot
    Posted on

    eliot eliot

    Reply Author

    As always, you’re (snake-y) smart and funny, and nice work on saving the cat litter!

    I’ll wade home – see you soon.


  • Joe T
    Posted on

    Joe T Joe T

    Reply Author

    And just think – we would have never seen that if it wasnt for Chris letting us run down another errant trail while he was laughing his %&^ off! That was a pretty cool moment and thanks for being a snake charmer.

    JT


  • Sharis
    Posted on

    Sharis Sharis

    Reply Author

    In Camp Fire Girls & Boys we learned “red on yellow; kill a fellow and red on black; freind of Jack. Haaa.