welcome to texas, beware of snakes

 During one particular visit to my parents’ house I came downstairs from a nap to find a small trashcan upside down in the middle of the kitchen with a sign on top that that said, “Snake.”  Since no one was around I opted to not touch anything and just walk away because that sort of thing is not unexpected in Texas.  I later discovered that it was in fact a copperhead and very anxious to be free.  I also realized that I should probably warn potential visitors of the Lone Star State that the summer months can be risky as far as going outside.
Every time I visit my parents in Texas we have variations of the same conversation just before I arrive.  They want to know the details of my flight and what I want to eat, and I want to know the weather and what clothes to bring.  The trip planning always ends the same way though; with me asking them to please remove the stinging insects from my room and check the bed for poisonous spiders.  This is because there will likely be a Brown Recluse in the bed and for sure a red wasp nest in the attic, the door to which is next to the bed.  It’s not that they don’t exterminate, it’s that they live in Texas.  In Texas, especially in the summer, you can’t go outside without the possible/likely encounter with a poisonous snake, spider, scorpion, fire ant, hornet, tree roach, weasel, or mockingbird (yes, they will attack you), and you need to be prepared.  What this means I have no idea. 
All I know is that Summer + Texas + Outside = Life Threatening Situation.

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The devil is in the details.

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