Snakes are plentiful this year. Shirley Jean saw two rattlesnakes. Ina Dobson, 1933
Mike had just finished his afternoon read / nap session and was clambering out of the hammock when he spotted this rattler keeping him company. He dashed to the house to call me and then out to the woodshed to grab his bucket with lid and his snake tongs.
The rattler was still there when we arrived at the hammock. I took pictures while Steve -- er, Mike -- handled the snake.
Into the bucket with it and down to the culvert where others of its kind seem to lurk. KW
Update: Hallie's comments on this blog inspired me to research online regarding first aid for snake bites and I decided to add that information as an update.
No, there are not antidote kits -- at least not that are recommended. And thank goodness we no longer do what Chris and I were taught -- cut little "x's" over the bite marks and suck the blood. But there are recommended actions to take as you leave for the hospital with the victim. I'll print those out along with the neighbors' phone numbers.
We see snakes in the yard once or twice in the heat of the summer. We also see them at the bottom of the lane. Frankly, I think it's possible there's a den there. My dad killed snakes with a hoe. Mike doesn't like to kill them but we don't think it wise to leave them in the yard either. That's why he got the snake tongs.
The precautions my dad preached are the same ones on the websites today -- wear heavy leather boots, stay out of tall grass, don't reach into rocky places. I watch where I walk especially in summer. I always check my area before I work in the yard, and I had Mike cut a trail for me through the tall grass between our place and June's.
This is rattlesnake country -- all of it. I have seen rattlesnakes on the abandoned road where I walk Nellie here in Clarkston. People who live near the Lewiston Country Club also see rattlesnakes in their yards. In fact, we were geocaching last year near the country club. As I surveyed the place, I found myself thinking, "There could be a snake here." I was then not surprised when one slithered from under the sagebrush and moved on down the hill.
Rattlesnakes -- at least those here -- are not particularly aggressive. They aren't looking for a fight but they will defend themselves in the only way they know. KW