Tuesday, July 5, 2011


With the coming of warm weather, which didn't really happen until last week, I've been mindful that we might see rattlesnakes at any time. Sometimes they like to loll along the foundation at the back of the house where it's cool, so as I carry the laundry to the line, I watch my step. Carrying my third load this morning, I noticed Nellie on point and immediately investigated. Sure enough -- a little rattler was stretched out there. Nellie was not about to back off her point on my instruction so I called to Mike, working around the corner of the house, for assistance. He was excited to hear that we had rattler and ran for his snake tongs. He bought it several years ago and this is the first chance he has had to use it. Unfortunately I became so absorbed in his attempt to pick up the tiny fellow with the big tongs that I missed the picture.

This rattler was so immature that it was unable to rattle. It tried valiantly but did not produce a sound.

My dad didn't let a rattler live, and neither do our neighbors, but Mike thinks they are beautiful animals. He captures them live and releases them away from the farmyard. For some people, that's just not good enough.

And remember -- by the miracle of the telephoto lens, I am not as close to the snake as it may appear.


Hallie said...

Eek! Snakes give me the WILLIES!

Leah said...

Lions & Snakes & Bears, Oh my! Mike may have the right idea, if snakes eat rats & mice around the house, keeping snakes alive could help you in the long run. Upsetting the balance of nature has a price.

True story. Several years ago, I began to receive faxes from a company shipping snakes from Florida to an address in Mission Viejo,CA (a town nearby). The phone # of the people receiving the snakes was close to my #. The invoices were laughable, until I thought...good grief, people are buying these snakes in my county as pets! Invoices read "50 Albino Burmese Pythons: $4,000.00. 25 Snow Corn Elaphe g. guttata: $400.00." You never know what is going on in a house nearby.

Kathy said...

The neighbor says that snakes don't eat often enough to impact the rodent population. Well, whatever.

But -- I just don't hold with keeping reptiles as pets. I just don't believe they care about us in the way that, say, Nellie does.