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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Rattlesnake
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
Rich Z
Rattlesnake

Well, today seemed like a good day to get outside and work in the yard. No rain predicted, and things have dried out from the several days of rain we had last week. We are clearing away the grape vines and bamboo in a little patch on the west side of the garage so the big palm and bunch of little siblings can have some elbow room.

We had been dragging the cut stuff over to a pile we have in back of the garage for a couple of hours when I heard Connie call out in alarm. I dropped what I was doing and ran over there just to see the back end of a pretty big diamondback going off into the brush, buzzing like crazy. So I guess Connie scared it as much as it scared her. Strange thing is that I was right there not more than a couple of minutes ago, so I guess that rattler was just on the prowl.

Yeah, they are definitely around here, but honestly we don't hardly ever even think about them. Hopefully neither Connie or myself will have a painful encounter with one some day.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 08:27 AM   #2
Twolunger
Those get pretty large around here. The palm rats are numerous, so there's plenty of food. My closest neighbor is a snowbird and I saw her weeding around the bushes in front of her house. I told her to use a rake first and scare away the snakes before reaching in and grabbing weeds or old mulch. There was a dead 4 footer on the road right in front of her house, and Sue ran over another one in the same spot. Two weeks ago she was screaming bloody murder because a snake was in her lanai. Her husband is afraid of snakes so she was trying to push it out the door with the rake. I told her to call me the next time she sees one in the lanai.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 01:08 PM   #3
Rich Z
I posted this last year sometime in a thread unrelated to rattlesnakes, so I'll just quote it here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Z View Post
Speaking of large rattlesnakes....

Years ago when Connie and I were kicking around in that Murdock area looking for snakes, I spotted some sheet tin a bit off of the road, further back in those abandoned mazes of roads, so we parked the Bronco and I grabbed my Furmont Stump Ripper and headed over there while Connie decided to sit this one out and remain in the truck.

Where I was headed was only a few moment trek from the Bronco, so when I got there I lifted up a good sized piece of tin and ducked down to quickly take a peek underneath. And found myself face to face with a monster of a diamondback. Yikes! I certainly was not expected that! But he (just guessing at the sex) didn't seem particularly offended, and from the way he had coiled up underneath the tin, it seemed apparent to me that it would have been a real acrobatic move on his part to land a strike in my direction . So I carefully lowered the tin again and ran back to the Bronco to grab my camera. I asked Connie if she would help me get some pictures of a rattlesnake I found, since it would be easier if she held up the tin from the back while I took the photographs from the front.

So she gets on the opposite side of the tin and using my snake hook, lifted up the tin while I moved in for some photographs. Honestly I got pretty close to that rattlesnake, but Connie couldn't see a thing of it from her angle holding up the tin. When I got done taking the photos, I asked her if she wanted to see the snake. Sure she did. So we traded places, and when she was in front of the tin, I then lifted it up so the rattlesnake would be exposed. All I saw was Connie doing an olympic quality leap backwards while calling out some sort of unflatteringly descriptive names and curses.

Come to find out that because she couldn't see the animal, and from as close as I appeared to be getting to it while taking the photos, she just assumed that it was just a little tiny rattlesnake under that tin. So when I lifted that tin, she found herself facing one heck of a jumbo sized monster. She obviously did not notice that it would have been rather difficult for this guy to launch a strike, but then again, she obviously was in no mood to analyze that situation for long. Now this WAS an exceptionally large rattlesnake, and as I mentioned I was pretty surprised myself. If I had laid it's head on my open hand, you wouldn't have been able to see much of my hand and fingers. I have no idea how long it was, but it was certainly one very chunky looking animal. And Connie was just in her sandals, so I'm sure she felt that her feet and toes were extremely exposed, which certainly helped her to execute that 10 point leap backwards. Yeah, I guess in the excitement of finding that magnificent animal, it just slipped my mind to warn her of exactly what she was going to see when I lifted that tin up.

Of course, it took a VERY LONG while before I heard the end of that from her......... Come to think of it, it was a very long time before she even started speaking to me again.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 10:36 PM   #4
Twolunger
I'm kind of surprised I have not seen hatchling or young rattlers around here. I have seen several 4 footers, a 5 footer, and the 6 footer my brother-in-law killed when it bit his dog. Too late for the poor dog, it died the next day despite the vet trying to save it.
 
Old 06-17-2019, 12:24 AM   #5
Rich Z
Seems like babies of some things are just hard to find. For instance, in all the years I have tromped through the woods I have only found maybe two or three young box turtles. And the adults used to be quite common in Maryland when I was a kid.

Now baby black racers, heck, you can often find them by the bushel basket full.

Same thing with baby black rat snakes when I lived in Maryland.
 
Old 06-17-2019, 08:46 AM   #6
Twolunger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Z View Post
Seems like babies of some things are just hard to find. For instance, in all the years I have tromped through the woods I have only found maybe two or three young box turtles. And the adults used to be quite common in Maryland when I was a kid.

Now baby black racers, heck, you can often find them by the bushel basket full.

Same thing with baby black rat snakes when I lived in Maryland.
It may be that young snakes are more nocturnal for self preservation. I have only found young black racers, a few corns, a yellow rat, and one hognose out in the daytime. Speaking of black racers, I saw a gravid female digging a hole in a sandy spot to lay her eggs. I always assumed they laid eggs in the deep leaf litter around here. She was shoveling out the sand pretty quickly with her snout. I didn't wait to see how many eggs she laid, as I had my little dogs with me and they would have loved to get at her.
 
Old 06-18-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
Twolunger
Sue and I were bike riding and a five foot rattler was crossing the road. Sue wouldn't get within 20 feet of the rattler. I told her it wasn't a Spitting Cobra so she could get close like I did to check it out. When she got within 10 feet, being goofy, I yelled RUN and run she did, throwing her bike down on the road, bending the handlebars and breaking the mirror. I was laughing until she yelled and called me a few things I didn't know she had in her vocabulary. I had to fix her bike with my head tucked in like a scared turtle. Such abuse!
 
Old 06-19-2019, 12:18 AM   #8
SnakeCreations
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
Sue and I were bike riding and a five foot rattler was crossing the road. Sue wouldn't get within 20 feet of the rattler. I told her it wasn't a Spitting Cobra so she could get close like I did to check it out. When she got within 10 feet, being goofy, I yelled RUN and run she did, throwing her bike down on the road, bending the handlebars and breaking the mirror. I was laughing until she yelled and called me a few things I didn't know she had in her vocabulary. I had to fix her bike with my head tucked in like a scared turtle. Such abuse!
Oh my... karmically you're screwed man!! Poor Sue....

-Tonya
 
Old 06-19-2019, 02:22 AM   #9
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
Sue and I were bike riding and a five foot rattler was crossing the road. Sue wouldn't get within 20 feet of the rattler. I told her it wasn't a Spitting Cobra so she could get close like I did to check it out. When she got within 10 feet, being goofy, I yelled RUN and run she did, throwing her bike down on the road, bending the handlebars and breaking the mirror. I was laughing until she yelled and called me a few things I didn't know she had in her vocabulary. I had to fix her bike with my head tucked in like a scared turtle. Such abuse!
Yikes! Personally, if I should ever really REALLY want Connie to start running, I sure wouldn't want her to hesitate for even a millisecond to check to see if I were serious or not.

Of course, sometimes I just act like I suddenly got lobotomized, and I really should cut that out, because if I ever had a stroke or something, I might have a real tough time convincing her it was for real and PLEASE get me to the darn hospital.
 

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