CraigC Thank you so much for this thread.
My thought is that fear of snakes is either from ignorance or unpleasant experiences.
As a child-6 or 7 - I was picking blackberries along a fence line - bare feet. I stepped on something kind of soft. I looked down. My foot was just behind the head of a HUGE black snake (in my little eyes). At the time we lived in the country- closest neighbor a 1/4 of a mile. They heard my screams.
Dad searched the fence line and found a rat snake.
Venomous or non venomous - I did not care
I was terrified of snakes.
To make matters worse one of my brothers found a copper head skin. The little twerp coiled the skin around my shoes. The next morning I was getting ready for school, reached into my closet for shoes and encountered a snake skin
Even from inside the house neighbors heard me scream .
I was 11 or 12 at the time.
So - big time snake phobia. I could not even look at pictures of snakes without getting the hebegies. Creeped me out.
I love zoos but always avoided the reptile house. Did not want to see snakes.
Met G in '82
We went to the zoo in NOLA. I did not want G to know what a woos I was so I went with him to the reptile house. My heart was pounding and I was in a cold sweat. My palms were sweating. I had a killer grip on his arm. I was on the edge of a panic attack. All I could think of was that I am in love with this man. Deep breaths. Inhale exhale. He took my hand off of his arm and put his arm around me. Kissed me on the cheek and said "I love you. I am here for you. " My love. No more panic, no more anxiety.
I was able to walk through the reptile house and appreciate the beautiful creatures
I vowed to myself that I would learn about snakes. I vowed to myself to overcome my fear.
From '97 to '04 I had a landscaping business . one of my favorite clients lived on 4 acres bordering the river. There was a resident green ribbon snake, frequently black water snakes. My concern was coming across a cotton mouth. The thing about a cotton mouth is that you will smell it before you see it. Never saw a cotton mouth. I did encounter and kill a three foot copperhead.
I wet my pants. Not kidding.
Back to the fear factor.
I no longer fear snakes. I respect them
I can identify venomous snakes indigenous to my region .
In the wild I appreciate their beauty and leave them alone. I sometimes find non venomous snakes in the yard. Not a problem. If I find a venomous snake in the yard it is bye bye baby.
I have gotten over my unreasonable fear. I have respect and appreciation of snakes. They are beautiful creatures
There is a show called "Guardians of The Glades" They hunt pythons for profit in the Glades. Their "macho" leader goes through the Glades barefooted (what an idiot) and they have their large breasted, blond bimbette as well. I guess it is exciting to grab wild pythons behind the head instead of using pilstrom tongs, beside the fact the snakes are going to be put down anyway. Now the folks from "Swamp People" are coming here to hunt them. Though they grab them behind the head, they are wearing full swamp gear.