A Bright Shield for the Day

(Lampropeltis triangulum)


These are harmless snakes although they look like the venomous coral snake. It could be that they mimic the colours of the harmful coral snake to fend off predators; this mimicking often happens in nature. While Milk Snakes do bite, there is no venom, they are more likely to rattle their tails and move quickly to confuse predators with their markings.

They are 2 to 4 feet long and the young are more brightly coloured than adults. They live 10 to 20 years, which surprised me. There are 28 subspecies of Milk Snake and they get their name because people once believed they sucked on milk from cow’s udders. The human race understands the natural world again. (Huge guffaw.)

The name Lampropeltis comes from the Ancient Greek lamprós which means “bright” and peltas “shield”, after the sheen of their scales. Triangulum is Latin for “triangle” and pertains to their red, black, and yellow/white bands of varying patterns.

I have had a bout of sciatica for the last 17 hours and had trouble sleeping. It is quite draining and the dilemma with it is that I could take aspirin or Tylenol to alleviate it, but those medications make other things worse like edema and tinnitus. I’ve always thought that I should see what happens if I let it run for a few days. I know fasting helps it go away so perhaps my body is inflamed or clearing stuff out and maybe inflammation/swelling is pressing on the nerve and this is what causes it? It’s a mystery I think I shall explore rather than try to cover it up with harmful over-the-counter drugs.

The Bright Shield is telling me that my pain is mimicking something serious but if I move and take care of myself it will go away because it’s not serious. Hard to feel this when I am consumed by pain on top of other pain.

But then, snakes never lie.


2 thoughts on “A Bright Shield for the Day

  1. I have a friend who lives out in the country who had a similar looking snake crawling across her lawn. I told her the familiar rhyme: red and black, scratch his back; red and yellow, kill a fellow. It turned out to be a scarlet kingsnake.
    Hope your pain lessens soon, friend.

    • Crikey, the Scarlet Kingsnake seems to be the same species as the one pictured on my card. I guess they should have broken it down more.

      I had to take an aspirin–couldn’t bear it any longer, the pain was eating my mind and day up. Oh well.

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