A Close Encounter of the Scaly Kind

Outside our little piece of land, there is a stretch of dirt that will eventually be built by Irving?s siblings. At the moment, this is an area that is mostly left to itself, but the kids play there a lot. The weeds have sprung up and it?s quite the mess, so Irving hired a friend to clear the area.

Today, he called me out. ?Quieres ver una culebra?? he whispered. Sure, snakes are cool, so I grabbed the camera and off we went to see the snake, leaving the boys with Mirna.

The guy who was clearing the land had his little boy, about Dorian?s age, with him and he?d killed the snake with a blow to the neck when it slithered out toward his son. I didn?t get very good shots, but didn?t realize until afterwards.


I have no idea what kind of snake this is, so if you want to enlighten me in the comments, go for it. I do know that it had fangs . . . Irving didn?t know they could lie back, so the guy lifted the mouth with the machete to show him (hence the dirt in the mouth).

The boys managed to escape Mirna shortly afterwards (she put their shoes on) and came running out to see what was going on, so we had a little science lesson. While we were examining the snake from a safe distance, the tail started to move back and forth and Dorian yelped, ?It?s gonna bite me!? I explained that it was dead but the muscles were still moving a bit and that?s why we should never ever touch a dead snake because its jaws can still bite you even when it?s dead.

Then they ran off to look for more snakes in the little remaining grass. Thankfully they didn?t find any.

Update: We?ve figured out what the snake was, Godman´s montane pitviper or Sheta, cantil, or tamagás in Spanish. They are definitely poisonous.

3 thoughts on “A Close Encounter of the Scaly Kind

  1. Ooooo I would be careful with that one. I don’t know a lot about snakes but I believe most of them with triangular heads would be considered pitvipers and most likely venomous. Just poking around with on-line pics I think it might be a Atropoides.

    I am enjoying your blog. We have been considering expatting to Mexico but things are getting so bad I am thinking about going further South. It sounds like you are near Antigua, is that right? It looks beautiful. I wish Mexico wasn’t so nuts as I was already able to get my kids dual citizenship but I am thinking more and more about a central american country most likely Honduras or Guatemala.

    • Yes, we are fairly close to Antigua. There are plenty of expat friendly places around here, though, if the tourist central doesn’t appeal. :)

  2. Awesome – we definitely would not be looking for any place on the tourist track. Maybe we can make down to check it out.

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