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.