While the snake I was swimming with was not venomous, there is another poison in my paradise. The reason I could not safely launch an truely self-sufficant project out here in the woods is: it's too late. Chernobyl. Much of the dust clouds from the Chernobyl disaster rained down here. I can, as I did yesterday, pick blueberries for an occasional pie, but not pick and make jam for the whole year. I know when I'm burning firewood, I'm releasing radioactive particles into the air again. It's forbidden to eat the fish from the lakes around here. And so on... Sorrow in my heart. The poison in paradise isn't the snake, but the humans.