Friday, July 20, 2012

What's at the End of Our Rainbow?

I was out taking pictures of a rainbow and both my husband and I had been sitting on the porch watching the sunset for a while.  Then my husband got up and walked over to the edge of the porch to check on the drip system.  I heard a loud, sudden explosion that was like a sprinkler going off and turned to see my husband running backwards.

While he had been checking out the drip system, he didn't realize that there was a Western Diamondback rattlesnake right below him.  He said he eventually spotted the tail, followed it up to its head, and the head was turned around, pointed at him.  It struck in that very same second, my husband ran backwards, it missed, and then it shook its rattle.

That's twice now that he was doing nothing wrong, nothing risky, and he almost got bit by a rattlesnake.  Some people claim that rattlesnakes won't bother you unless you step on them or reach into something where you can't see, like a bush or woodpile, and in both cases it's your own damn fault.

I beg to differ.  On the first occasion, my husband was just walking down our driveway and almost stepped on a rattlesnake that was all stretched out.  It appeared to just be another stick.  On this occasion, he was just looking over the edge of our patio and the sucker struck from a straight, non-coiled position without rattling first.  So, anyone who believes that rattlesnakes always coil up and shake their rattle first to warn you of their presence before striking is misinformed.


Mikey said...

No they certainly do not rattle first. Some say it's evolution at work, since usually when they rattle they end up dead. Some say that eventually rattlesnakes won't have rattles to warn you.
I relocate rattlesnakes for a Phx company Rattlesnake Solution, look it up, lots of good snake info on there. I relocated a big mohave just the other day. A couple days before that, while working at the vet's, my coworker nearly stepped on one coiled in the parking lot (I relocated that one too) They definitely can be anywhere and everywhere this time of year. Keep everything up in your yard, leave no hiding places, use a flashlight always and keep a sharp eye out. I always look before I go out a door, having had so many right on my doorstep. I'd say you get used to them, but you don't really.

Paint Girl said...

Beautiful rainbow picture!
That is super scary about the rattler!! I know I always say I wish I could move to Arizona, but I know I couldn't handle the rattlers!!

Cheryl Ann said...

Ow, wow!~ That's good information. I'm always out tromping through the brush, trying to take photos and yes, I LOOK and LISTEN for rattlesnakes, but...(knock on wood)...I haven't run into one yet. However, it's good to know they can strike while stretched out.

ABScharstein said...

Snakes are scared shitless of people. Sometimes they just react and retreat without giving you warning. Your husband didn't do anything wrong, but the snake only saw feet coming perilously close to its body.
Glad he wasn't bit.

Dreaming said...

Scary! And the darn things blend into their surroundings so well.

Reddunappy said...

E gads!! Where is that Bull Snake!!

How do you get a handle on rattlers?

Have I told you how glad I am we dont have snakes here!!!! (well only small gartner and grass snakes)

I think that would put we over the edge!!!
You need a mongoose!!! LOL LOL LOL

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mikey - My husband was researching that site while I was writing this post. We've got the phone number centrally located in the house now.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The other issue we have is that we are all going blind. We've been too busy these past couple of years to keep up with our changing eyesight. So, we are all getting exams this weekend and should have new glasses by next week. I had my exam already and was told that my current glasses are almost useless for my needs.

I'm beginning to think that the most dangerous aspect of rattlesnakes is how quiet they are. We can't see them and we can't hear them.

fernvalley01 said...

Very Scary! Be safe , and call Mikey!

achieve1dream said...

Wow, that's scary about the rattlesnakes!!! I'm glad he wasn't bitten!