Before Saturday 28th July 2013, I always loved to say that I loved nature and wanted to be at one with it. Fast forward to nature trips and near encounters of the strange kind and I am off this nature trip! I will be at one with nature from the comfort of my living room. You might ask me why? I will tell you one, terrifying word: SNAKES or in a terrifying sentence – the probability of seeing a snake that close. Let me paint you this picture.
My friend Daphne is visiting me from Holland for three weeks (one week has already gone but you get the drift) and she is a nature lover so in order to ensure that she at least gets to do somethings that she likes I agree to go on this nature trail with her at Komoka Provincial Park!
My 5YO was with us when we went and like me he was a bit tentative as we had technically never been in an actual forest like this one. He felt there would be bears and I feared for snakes. After about 30 steps into the forest, he was ready to leave and started bawling! We vowed to visit when he was at camp so that we could fully explore the forest.
On Monday following we dropped both kids to camp and together with my husband we headed for the KPP. As we arrived we dug deep into the forest and I was less tentative as I was told that the likelihood of seeing a snake was remote on these trails and so we plunged ahead trying to get to the river’s edge! About an hour into the forest, what could I see? No, not the dreaded snake but a sign showing all the possible wildlife and yes there on the sign board was a picture of an owl, deer and a SNAKE! I can see it now in my memory! All I could think about from that point forward began my nightmare almost becoming reality. Every step I took was tentative and I kept looking for the dreaded snake (never mind that the sign also had other animals) but I didn’t dread them now did I. It didn’t help that Daphne kept looking in every nook and cranny to see what animal was hiding in there. It reminded me of every horror movie that I ever saw with the girl that always went in the direction not supposed to and got killed. Thankfully we all lived to tell about this adventure.
The hour long walk out of the forest was pure torture. Did I mention that I am deathly afraid of snakes. I can’t even look at them in a book without shivering and if I ever visited the zoo in Trinidad I would either avoid the reptile section or walk through it with my hand over my eyes. Yes, it’s irrational but it’s my thing!
As we left KPP, I breathed a sigh of relief that the only visible and exciting wild life we saw was a buck who posed for pictures very nicely albeit from a great distance.
However, I must be a sucker for punishment because two days later, I asked Daphne what she wanted to do and she suggested going to the Fanshawe Pioneer Village which unbeknownst to me also had some wildlife as well. As we drove into the Conservation area, what do you think was the first thing that caught my eyes? No, not a snake although that would have just been “peachy” but the sign you see posted here (second one).
After seeing that sign, it was clear that if I had to brake for it then the probability was going to be high that I would see one. However, that did not happen at least not where I was.
I have had enough nature for one week. My poor heart cannot take the stress of will I or won’t I anymore as there is too much at stake. I thought maybe I need to get over my fear of snakes but just not today. I googled it and I am what you would call suffering from a slight case of Ophidiophobia!
In any event, I have some pictures of my visit to Fanshawe Pioneer Village. I must admit it was really great to walk these roads of yesteryear. So much history and stories that it’s impossible not to imagine yourself walking to the General Store to get something or the other! I had a great time and I have to take the kids but let’s just remember, that if I do see a snake while driving into the area, I will brake but I will also be doing it as I turn around to get the hell out of there!!!!!! Mentally, I can deal with it behind shatter proof glass but I am not ready just yet for the up close and personal. Brake indeed.