Saw Tooth Cobra

| 7/18/2012 10:36:10 PM

A photo of MaryWe finally had a break from the weeks of 100 plus degree days without rain this past week.  Several temperature records were broken during the spell.   Friday June 29 temperature was 108, Saturday temperature of 107 broke a record set way back in 1914.  Temperature on Sunday July 1 was 106, another record.  The last significant rain at my house was on June 12th when I reported 0.58 inches to CoCoRahs from my reporting station.  When the rains finally started on June 12 with 0.75 inches, my area of NW Alabama was over ten inches behind on rain.  Now we are trying to catch up on our rain deficit in just a matter of a few days.  Thursday June 12th I measured 2.54 inches.   Sunday July 15, 1.82 inches.  After the first round of rain, the crab grass grew two feet overnight and has consumed a few of my flower beds.  We have a break from the 100+ temperatures, but the high humidity is back, making it less bearable than the hot temperature.

All week, before the rains started, the clouds were threatening and rumbling each afternoon after I got off of work, so I choose to work close to the back door weeding some of my flower beds in case a mad dash for the house was needed on my bad knees and injured foot from stepping in a hooligan hole .  One of the beds hadn’t been weeded and mulched this year and was overgrown badly.  As I worked something grabbed my leg from behind and its fangs dug through my new jeans and into my skin.  When I whirled around it strengthen its hold.  A saw briar had me.  For those of you not living in the country and not knowing what this is, it’s a steel tough vine with very big sharp heavy duty thorns.  The older portion of the vine is a hard tree like consistently that can puncture a riding mower tire. 

After I unwrapped it from around my leg, it’s swayed in the air like a cobra trying to attack me again as I dug around it to remove it.  Once rooting either from a bird deposit or from mulch that I used, it sends runners under the ground in two directions or more to take over a flower bed sending up baby briar cobras along the way.  I’ve seen them snake up a tree forty or fifty feet or more. One thirty footer attacked myself and Blackie, one of my rescues while cleaning up tree limbs it was blown to the ground with during a recent wind storm.  This particular one ran under a couple of clumps of daylilies going both north and south.  In order to remove it, I had to dig up the daylilies.  Whenever I pulled on the roots, the cobra part swaying in the air would strike at me trying to prevent me from removing it from the soil.  

When I finally got it dug up in its entirety, I dumped it beside my weeding pile on the driveway to dry before disposing of it.  Each afternoon I would add to my pile until the rain chased me into the house.  

saw briar 

Saturday morning we finally had a break in the rain, and I started hauling the pile on the driveway off to the compost pile.  While working on the second loader full I noticed the cobra sticking out of the pile in the loader.  I didn’t want to have it live on in the compost pile, so as I started pulling it out of the loader, it wrapped itself around my arm. When I dumped it out on the driveway, it stood up on its two root legs swaying back and forth one more time like a cobra. 

Mary Carton
7/20/2012 3:07:42 AM

Thanks Dave, we were over 10 inches below normal and have caught up half of that. Some of the farmers over toward Huntsville are baling their corn. My sister lives up in Illinois just east of St. Louis and they still haven't gotten rain and her area is a big corn crop area. I'm afraid farmers all over the country are going to be in sad shape. We have kudzu around here, It can cover a tree or an abandon house in no time. It was brought in to control erosion and went crazy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

7/19/2012 2:15:34 PM

Mary, I'm glad you have finally received rain. This year weather has been extreme. Either there's no rain at all for deluges of it. We haven't seen rain in a month here in eastern Nebraska. The corn crops are shriveling up and some farmers are just chopping it up for silage to feed the cows. The temperatures here for the next week are going to be either near or above 100 degrees with no rain. It will be a financial wreck for some of the farmers in the area. I am well aware of the obnoxious vine with thorns. Thankfully, I don't have any of those on either garden property. We have something similar without the thorns that we call bind weed. It will cover a garden plant and smother it to death. Those hooligans are always up to something, aren't they?

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