Commonwealth Journal

December 4, 2012

Snakes alive .... in December!

By BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

A snake in December is about as rare as hen’s teeth.
So is the unbelievably warm, springlike weather for the past week. And the warmth, dampened with showers, is expected to continue through the coming weekend.
More about the weather later. How about that snake?
“We killed a snake out here Sunday,” informed Bro. Emmett Lanham, pastor of Tabernacle Pentecostal Ministries headquartered on McKee Street. “I thought you might want a picture of it,” Lanham said, fully aware of this reporter’s inclination for the unusual.
Actually, the snake is still alive. Somebody, as the Scripture says, has bruised its head with their heel, but the reptile was still wiggling when a photographer took its picture Tuesday afternoon.
Nobody is sure what brand the snake is. But a snake is a snake as far as most people are concerned. 
“It was marked sort of like a copperhead, but it wasn’t. It’s tail was too thin,” laughed Bro. Lanham. 
The little reptile – it was about a foot long – was friendly. Ask Emily Ping, Bro. Lanham’s great-granddaughter. She held it in her hands for a photographer to get a picture. 
She and her sister, Adreanna, both stood closer to the snake than the big, “brave” photographer. The photographer thought the snake might have lost its sense of humor by the sore place on its head.
Actually, the snake was disabled by Seth Singleton, a member of Tabernacle Pentecostal Ministries, and Levi Wesley, a sixth-grade student at the church school. They found the snake Sunday on the front porch at the school and saved it for a photo session in a paper cup.
Bro. Lanham was supposed to be there for the picture taking, but the photographer got mixed up on the time and arrived an hour early. 
It was a nice day to be out. The weather during the first week of December has been gorgeous, flirting with high temperature records. Normally, a warm day in December is windy, even gusty. But these days have been perfect with bright sunshine, light winds and temperatures in the low 70s.
It’s about over; not the warmth, but showers are moving in. Dustin Harbage, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson, said the next normal December weather, with highs near 50 and lows near 30, should arrive next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Harbage said most of the rain will be in the northern part of the state. The Lake Cumberland area won’t get much, maybe a tenth to a quarter of an inch.
And now, a final note about wintertime snakes. This newspaper over the years has had numerous reports and photos of snakes coming out in winter, even with snow on the ground. Folklore has it that events such as thunder, earthquakes and the like, will wake a snake and put it to crawling. It hasn’t thundered for a spell, but we did have an earthquake back in November.