The Adventures of Seymour Snake
                        

March - April, 2001


Background note:

When I was in Minneapolis on a business trip, I stayed with our good friends, the Przybyliskis. Barry & Nancy's sons, Zack (8) and Alex (5), have a stuffed snake that decided to hitch a ride with us for a while. What follows are the postcards the snake (now called Seymour Snake) has been sending home to the boys.







Saturday, 3-17-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

I really was getting tired of the Minnesota winter--all that cold and snow was making me pretty sluggish! I've always wanted to see more of this world, so when Auntie Kay was sleeping in our basement, I saw my chance! I slithered into her suitcase to hitch a ride to someplace warm. Boy, was she surprised when she got back to Arizona and found me!! I explained that I wanted to see more of what she and Uncle Tommy get to see, so they agreed to let me hitch a ride until they get back to MN in May. They told me I'd better drop you a card from time to time so you won't worry about me. I look forward to telling you about all my adventures. Stay warm up there!

Love, Seymour Snake







Monday, 3-19-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Boy, are these flowers ever pretty. I sure am enjoying laying around in these lupines. It feels so good to soak up the sunshine down here. It has been in the 70s here lately. How is it at home? I hope it warms up lots before I get back!

Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy take me out into the desert for walks almost every day. When I get tired, they pick me up and carry me for a while. Sometimes we all stop for a little rest, and they find me a pretty place in the flowers. I sure like it here.

Love, Seymour Snake







Tuesday, 3-20-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

The nice couple on the front of this postcard is very special. Remember how I was wounded when we were playing back home, and my skin split open in a couple of spots? Well, I wasn't molting when that happened, so I needed some stitches so I wouldn't spill my guts! Anyway, "Dr. Gracie" stitched me up just fine, and then her sweet husband, Arnie, offered to carry me in his backpack when we went hiking so I wouldn't miss a thing. These nice friends of Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy will be leaving soon, and we will miss them. They are very nice--except when Grace becomes a "mean sucker" while playing Mexican Train (a domino game)! So long for now.

Love, Seymour Snake







Wednesday, 3-21-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy have been introducing me to the cactus here in the desert. They showed me this little Teddy Bear Cholla (pronounced choy-ah) near our campsite. It is a very prickly cactus, but it looks cute (just like me, right?). Sometimes birds build nests in these cactus, and the cactus spines protect their babies from being eaten by other animals.

Maybe one of these days I'll try to sit on a cactus. I think I'll have to toughen up my skin first! Say "Hi" to Mom & Dad for me, would you please? And tell them not to worry about me--I'm doing fine.

Love, Seymour Snake







Thursday, 3-22-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Well, I finally toughened up my skin a bit and got up my courage to sit on this fishhook barrel cactus. Uncle Tommy had to help me get up here, as I didn't want to crawl up the side of this spiny plant. The barbed spines from this cactus were used by the Native Americans to make fishhooks. They had to soak the spines to soften them a bit. Then they reshaped them and let them dry. The points are very sharp, so they had to be very careful when they did this. What I want to know is where would they find fish in the desert? Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy said there is a lake near here that actually has fish in it. They said they will take me there someday, so I'm looking forward to that.

Love, Seymour Snake







Friday, 3-23-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

It's another beautiful, sunny day here in Arizona. It has been getting quite hot here-up to 90 degrees during the afternoon. That's almost too hot to slither! It sure has warmed up in the week I've been here. We take our walks in the morning and then rest in the shade in the afternoon. There is usually a nice breeze that makes it very comfortable as long as we're not in the sun.

This morning we found some pretty owl's clover for me to enjoy. It is really soft and fuzzy, and it makes a beautiful carpet for Mother Earth. When I coil up in it, I feel like I'm "in the pink." (You can ask Mom what that means.) I hope you're having fun, too.

Love, Seymour Snake







Saturday, 3-24-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Wow! Did I ever have a neat (and sort of scary) experience yesterday afternoon! There was a Western Diamondback Rattle Snake on the neighbor's site here at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, so Uncle Tommy took me over for a visit. I moved in close, and we eyed each other for a few moments. Then I made "snake eyes" at her--kind of flirting. She rattled at me, and I thought it was an invitation to dance, but I was wrong. It turns out she wasn't very happy about me being in her territory. When I didn't move away, she struck at me! How rude! After that the park host came and took her back to the desert. I think he was giving her a hard time because she wasn't nice.

Love, Seymour Snake







Sunday, 3-25-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Guess where Uncle Tommy and Auntie took me yesterday--to Sedona! They told me you guys were there with them last year. Do you remember all the neat red rocks? Some of them sure have unusual shapes.

It was a bit cooler in Sedona--only about 80 degrees. I sure like this warmth and sunshine. Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy went to see a man named Terry who has a cool healing table that has crystals and lights in it. There were peacocks and horses by Terry's place that were fun to see, too. I sure am having a great time. I hope you are, too.

Love, Seymour Snake







Monday, 3-26-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Do you remember this place? It is called Bell Rock, and it is in Sedona. Uncle Tommy and Auntie Kay said you guys climbed all over this rock formation when you were here last year. I wish I could have done that with you. It has a really neat feeling around Sedona. I'd like to spend more time there, wouldn't you?

Last night I went to a potluck dinner here at the campground with Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy. We sat around the campfire afterwards and looked up at the gorgeous stars. I sure like seeing more of this beautiful land. I wish you were here to see it, too!

Love, Seymour Snake







Tuesday, 3-27-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Hey, we finally found a lake in the desert! Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy took me along on a picnic to beautiful Saguaro Lake. It is nestled in the mountains with dramatic cliffs dropping down to the water. There were a lot of boats on the lake--especially one noisy jet boat that was much too loud. We enjoyed the peace and quiet when that boat left!

Saguaro Lake has walleye, bass and other fish in it. This is one of the places the Native Americans used to come to and fish with their hooks they made from the spines of the fishhook barrel cactus. (Remember when I sat on one of those?) We took a nice hike along the lake. It was sure nice to see water again!

Love, Seymour Snake







Wednesday, 3-28-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Poppies, poppies, poppies--what a beautiful carpet of gold they make. When we walk in the desert, there are so many beautiful flowers that it takes my breath away! I have never seen so many in my whole life. Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy said the flowers are blooming so much because there has been a lot of rain this winter. Last winter there was very little rain and the flowers didn't bloom at all. They said the desert was mostly brown. But this year, it is green, blue, purple, pink, yellow, red and gold! I didn't know flowers came in so many gorgeous shapes and colors. What a treat for my eyes and my soul! I'm having a wonderful time.

Love, Seymour Snake







Thursday, 3-29-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Well, I've toughened up my skin some more, and I even climbed a saguaro cactus! This cactus was a really tall one and is probably older than Uncle Tommy. They don't start growing arms until they are 50 to 70 years old. Some of the other cacti are just starting to bloom, but not the saguaros. They don't bloom until June or July. When their flowers come out, they only bloom for 24 hours. Then the blooms die off and the cactus fruit begins to grow. The fruit of the saguaro is used in making jelly and wine. It was very important to the native peoples who lived here in the old days. I wish I could see one bloom, but Auntie Kay and Uncle Tommy say we'll be leaving in a week, so we won't get to see it this year.

Love, Seymour Snake







Friday, 3-30-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Guess what I am--I am a snake in the grass! When we were out hiking we found this really neat clump of unusual grass, and I thought it looked like a great resting place. The tips of the grass are very soft and feathery. Auntie Kay likes to tickle Uncle Tommy with it.

There are lots of beautiful birds and butterflies down here. There are gila woodpeckers, cactus wrens, cardinals, hummingbirds and many others. When I'm outside I have to kind of watch out for the Harris' hawks. They like to eat rabbits, mice and sometimes snakes! (Yikes, I don't want to be a hawk's dinner!) Usually Uncle Tommy is around to protect me--thank goodness!

Love, Seymour Snake







Saturday, 3-31-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Greetings from sunny Arizona. I saw on the news that you guys are still having cold weather up there. Brrrrr!! I hope that the snow hurries up and melts before I get back. It has been sunny here and in the 80s most days. The sun is really intense, too. I'm glad there are a few trees around here in the desert so I can hang out in the shade once in a while.

The coyotes have been "singing" to us every day. Sometimes it sounds like there are dozens of them, but most of the time there are only four of them that hang around. They usually stay away from snakes, so I don't have to worry about them coming after me.

Love, Seymour Snake







Monday, 4-2-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Look at me perched on a buckhorn cholla cactus! I'm getting used to these prickly fellas. In the background is a big saguaro cactus that has lived here for about 100 years. They sure do live a long time. I like the cacti a lot.

Auntie Kay has been working lots, so I've been spending time with Uncle Tommy. He took me for an exciting trip, but I'll tell you about that in another postcard. We're making plans for Uncle Tommy's birthday. I'm sorry I won't be there for yours, Zack. I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!

Love, Seymour Snake







Tuesday, 4-3-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Uncle Tommy took me hiking again. We found this big ocotillo (pronounced o-ko-tee-o) in bloom. This is a cactus, which sheds its leaves whenever the weather has been quite dry. Then after a rain, it grows new leaves and blossoms. Most of the time it looks like a bunch of thorny gray branches, but when it blooms it is very pretty. The hummingbirds really like the blossoms and so do I.

It has been quite windy here. The sky is hazy from all the desert dust blowing around.

We saw two other cousins of mine (rattlesnakes) on the road, but we didn't stop to say "Hi." We hope they made it across safely!

Love, Seymour Snake







Wednesday, 4-4-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Wow, Uncle Tommy and Auntie Kay took me to a really beautiful part of Arizona that doesn't look anything like the desert we've been camping in before! We drove up to this area called the Mogollan (pronounced muggy-own) Rim. It is at a much higher elevation and has lots of pine trees, creeks and even some snow! When you are on the rim you can see for about a zillion miles. We hiked along the rocky cliffs, and we had to be really careful not to slide over the edge. Uncle Tommy carried me most of the time, so I didn't have to worry. They told me this looks more like a place called Colorado. I hope I get to go there some day, too.

Love, Seymour Snake







Friday, 4-6-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Here I am at the Mexican border last week--boy, do I get around! Uncle Tommy broke another tooth and headed back to Los Algodones to get another crown from the dentist there, and I got to ride along. We even slept in the truck overnight. I think I was more comfortable than Uncle Tommy was. The next day he took me hiking at Palm Canyon on our way back. Palm Canyon is a narrow, steep, rocky canyon with a bunch of palm trees growing right out of the rocks. Boy, did that look strange.

We're back on the road now heading east. I'll send you more updates along the way.

Love, Seymour Snake







Sunday, 4-8-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Here's a picture of me sniffing the bloom of a hedgehog cactus. At least the blossoms don't have spines. This was taken before we left Arizona. I have a couple more postcards that were pictures we took before we left the desert that I'll be sending later.

We went from warm weather in Arizona to snow, sleet and hail in New Mexico. Brrrr! I think I want to go back! It's warmer now though, so we'll keep heading east. Is it warming up at home? I sure hope so.

Love, Seymour Snake







Monday, 4-9-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Do you guys remember the prickly pear cactus from your visit to Arizona? Auntie Kay says you had your picture taken with a big one last year. Well, right before we left Arizona we found one that was starting to bloom, so I curled up by it for this picture. I'm going to miss these cacti, but not their prickly spines!

We have been across New Mexico now and saw lots of mountains. Some of them had fresh snow on them. There is also a lot of high desert, too, with lots of scrub brush. The landscape keeps changing. I sure am seeing more of the country!

Love, Seymour Snake







Tuesday, 4-10-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Wow, I got to sit on top of this blooming yucca plant. It has lots of white flowers. I had to be careful as I climbed up here because the points of the yucca plant are pretty sharp. Uncle Tommy got stabbed by one when he accidentally backed into it. He was even bleeding-that was really yucky! (Hee, hee) These flowers and plants sure are different than the ones we have in Minnesota, aren't they?

We're on our way across Oklahoma now. We hope to find some lakes to relax by. I'll write again soon.

Love, Seymour Snake







Wednesday, 4-11-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Here I am with Uncle Tommy near Taos, New Mexico. We took a day trip in Big Red from Albuquerque (where we left the APPLE) to the towns of Sante Fe and Taos a few days ago. This is a picture from that adventure. It sure was nice to see the big pine trees and mountains. Some of them had snow on them. We even stopped at a neat old chapel, called Santuario Chimayo, where some people have experienced miracle healings. A woman brought in her sick son while we were there, and we all said an extra prayer for him. He looked about your age, Alex. I hope he gets well.

I'm sure having fun, but I do miss you guys. See you in about 3 weeks.

Love, Seymour Snake







Thursday, 4-12-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Look at me with my new friend. This is George, the Canadian goose. He and his wife Gertrude welcomed us to our campground on Foss Lake near Foss, Oklahoma. This is a big lake in western Oklahoma that has a nice state park campground along the shore. There were even some loons on the lake. It reminded me of Minnesota. We stayed here three nights--partly because it was pretty, but partly because there were 50-70 mile an hour winds! We all decided it wasn't good to drive when it was that windy. It felt like we were rockin' and rollin' in the APPLE even when we were sitting still. Uffda!

Love, Seymour Snake





Tuesday, 4-17-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Here I am sitting in a redbud tree in Branson, Missouri. These pretty trees burst out in pink blossoms before the leaves start to form. They're almost done blooming now. Spring has sprung here in the Ozarks. (That's what this area is called.) There are many pretty dogwood trees in bloom, and lots of flowers, too. Even the lilacs are blooming. It is nice to see so much color everywhere. Is it green up north yet? We have been going to lots of good shows here in Branson. Auntie Kay says we've been playing tourist! The music is really good and the comedians made us laugh until our sides hurt! I'm having lots of fun and seeing lots of new stuff.

Love, Seymour Snake





Monday, 4-23-01

Hi Zack & Alex,

Here's a picture of Uncle Tommy and I by the Osage River in Warsaw, Missouri. This river connects Truman Lake with Lake of the Ozarks. We traveled up and down some really BIG hills through the Ozarks on our way here from Branson. Big Red had a real work out. It sure is pretty country around here. We camped at Harry Truman State Park for four nights and had a site that looked out over Truman Lake. It was quiet except for the people heading out for bass fishing early in the morning. Some of those boats were noisy! Today we're at the Horizons factory in Junction City, Kansas to get the APPLE worked on. I'm looking forward to coming home soon.

Love, Seymour Snake





Sunday, April 29, 2001

Seymour Snake returns home to be with Alex & Zack Przybylski