Mixsonian Larry


Red Corn SnakeRed Corn Snake

I had started collecting snakes in ‘73, living in Florida there were all kind of snakes around.  It started with a green garter snake that I caught in the yard which I put in an old aquarium with a screen top.  Then our friend, Bobby W. said that people were catching the much desired King Snake along highway 441 where it crossed Paynes Prairie, so we drove out and walked along the side of the road looking for them which could have been dangerous due to there being lots of water moccasins and rattle snakes.  I remember one time as a kid going to Grandma Mixson’s with Dad driving and there being hundreds of snakes, mostly run over, on the road where it crosses the prairie, We didn’t find a King Snake that day, but Bobby W. had another plan to catch them.  On cool nights snakes would crawl out of the grass onto the warm road, Bobby explained, with the best place for this being Wacahoota Road that runs along the south side of Paynes Prairie. So, one night, Bill, Bobby and I got in the car and drove out to Wacahoota Road just after it got dark. While one person was driving slowly, the other two would sit on the hood of the car with flashlights and, when we saw a snake, would jump off and catch it.  We caught several snakes that way.  Before long I had thirteen snakes, red corn snake, yellow rat, garter snake, ring neck, black snake and others.   But the final snake was a rattle snake.  On night Bill was coming back from visiting his girlfriend in Windsor when he spotted a snake on the road, so he pulled over, got out of his car and saw it was a rattlesnake, not a very big one mind you, only about eighteen inches long, but still deadly.  Bill happened to have a cardboard box in the trunk of his car and somehow managed to coax the rattlesnake into the box and brought it home.  When he got home, he came into the house with a big grin on his face, telling me to come out to see what he got, and I following him outside where he opened the trunk of his car and said he had a rattlesnake.  I wasn’t sure I believed him at first, but when he shook the box, sure enough, it started rattling.   I took one of my snakes out of an aquarium, putting it in with another snake, and then we carefully dumped the rattlesnake into it.   It became quite an attraction to our friends when they came over to visit.

Updated: 12-27-2022