I have a funny story to share from a couple weeks ago when the weather was nice and I was home with the boys on a Saturday.
Note: I was originally going to call this post "Snake Porn" but decided to take the high road.
We were all enjoying the sunshine, except for Owen who had done something (can't remember what) to warrant being sent to his room for a bit. When I came back outside after talking to him, Sammy said "I think I see a snake!"
Naturally, I was excited. Some moms wouldn't be, but thankfully I grew up with two brothers who taught me the joys of creepy, slimy things. So I ran right over and found a VERY long snake next to one of the basement windows. Upon further inspection, I found it was actually TWO snakes who were stuck together: it was a mother snake giving birth!
I right away called for Owen and gathered all the boys around to witness this "miracle of life." I pointed out how the "mama" snake's abdomen was moving, clearly trying to push out the rest of the baby. I even showed them the "umbilical cord." The only thing I didn't quite get was why the "baby" snake was a) almost as big as the "mama" and b) why he was kind of dusty, not "fresh-looking" like I would think a snake who was fresh out of the shoot was. After about 5 minutes of taking pictures and ooh-ing and aah-ing over this beautiful display of nature at its finest, the neighbors behind us came over to see what we were all gawking at. I told them what was going on and showed them how the snakes were still connected and Nick took one look and said, "Um, Becky....they're breeding."
As soon as he said it, I knew he was right. Oops! I told Nick I was really thankful for his choice of words since the kids were still right there. It was really funny. Nick even went and got his computer so he could read all about what the miracle of birth for snakes is really like. I guess they give birth to a lot more than one baby at a time - more like 30+. The most on record for a gardner snake was 98 babies at one time. WOW! The boys were undetterred and continued to play with what they called "mother snake" and "baby snake" for the rest of the afternoon.