Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Morning

I've had a lot going on and haven't been able to do much of anything with the horses lately, so I wanted to at least walk off the ice cream and cookies we had yesterday and take a horse along.  My husband said he wanted to go for a bike ride, but was going to wait until it got hot enough to make the rattlesnakes sluggish.  I said, "Oh, I'm not worried about that.  I've got my thick, knee high boots on and I'll bring my walking stick along."

So, my husband got in the shower and I headed out the door with my bottles of water.  My walking stick was in the horse trailer.  I carefully checked the back steps where the gopher snake was a few days before and they were clear.  I got to the bottom of the step, turned the corner, and ran right into another snake.  I was just one foot away from its head, spun on my heel and ran back up the steps.

I knew this was a different snake because it was a light gray as opposed to those rich browns and greens I saw on the gopher snake, and this one had diamonds along its back instead of blobs.  So, I got up on the stone wall above it and tried to peek over the edge to see if it was a rattler.  The problem was that I had to move far enough down away from its head to avoid getting bit.  I peeked over the edge where its tail should be, and sure enough, there was the rattle.

If I run into a rattlesnake out in the desert, I just go around it.  But when they are headed up my back steps to get under my porch, I have to do something about it.  We are constantly walking around out there and taking our dogs out to pee.  We can't be held prisoners in our own home by rattlesnakes.  So, I ran in the house to tell my husband, and he said he'd be out in a minute.  By the time I got back outside, the snake was gone.  I searched the perimeter of the house, but couldn't find it anywhere, so it either went under our porch or into a hole.

My neighbor had a rattlesnake get into his barn a couple of weeks ago and his dogs were barking at it.  He shooed the dogs away to deal with the rattlesnake, and was taken by surprise when two heads popped up and struck out at him.  He had interrupted two rattlesnakes that were mating.  He was fine.  He didn't get bit, but let's just say he saved the neighborhood from having a lot of little rattlers slithering around.  It would be nice if everyone had the tools, the time and the skill to relocate rattlers, but the reality is that some of us just have to defend ourselves and our pets.

What I'm hoping is that the rattlesnakes will do what this one did today and just skedaddle as soon as they run into me, but since I don't know where it went, we'll be taking our walks to the barn and back one small step at a time from now on.

11 comments:

Cheryl Ann said...

Those damn snakes! I'm glad he got rid of two at once. I don't like rattlesnakes around dogs or pets...sorry...If I find one out on the road, I'll move it, but they are NOT allowed on the ranch at all. PERIOD. Too dangerous for horses and dogs and people.

IanH said...

We might have a lot of snow, but at least we don't have snakes! Know anybody with a mongoose for sale? :-}

Willow said...

OH I remember the days far too well when I was a horseback trail guide in New Mexico we would come across rattlers all the time,also when we lived in Florida. In Florida one of the ponies at the stable got bit in the nose and it wasn't a good ending. Horses grazing sometimes put their head down to eat and startle the snakes. I am all for nature, live and let live but your right you just really have to protect yourself and your pets sometimes.

Crystal said...

In our area, supposed rattlesnakes are protected, but pretty much anyone who lives her will kill them if they are on thier property. Sure dont want them on the porch steps, much too close to the house.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Yikes. We have the mosquitoes to deal with and not so much the snakes. I would rather the 'squitos given the choice.

Paint Girl said...

I absolutely love Arizona, but I don't know if I could handle the rattlesnakes. I would probably be a prisoner in my own house for sure! Scary stuff. I guess it's something you have to live with and adapt too. Thankfully we only have harmless gardner snakes, but they are still snakes.

fernvalley01 said...

scary! you need Mikey close by

gowestferalwoman said...

Oh Nuzzles - I feel sorry for you! According to this site http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/arizona-rattlesnakes.shtml

the state of Arizona has 13 DIFFERENT rattlesnakes! and of course each one has a different temperament and poison level - some are even protected species - yikes! Here in our corner of Montana we only have one type - the prairie rattler - and they are very docile unless you try to poke at them - even then they get a little p'od but still try to escape rather then strike...and they also arent as poisonous such as your western diamond back...

but if its any consolation, that site says "According to Arizona Poison Centers, less than 1% of rattlesnake bites result in human deaths". :o !

I hear that sprinkling "Diatomaceous Earth" around seems to repel them due to the texture - I dont know if thats true, but its worth a shot to try it in the areas you and the dogs are in, since its non poisonous and basically an organic substance!

Cindy D. said...

There is another blog I follow called The Kolleborn Chronicles. He just did a post about the snakes in your area.

http://superstitionmountaintomkollenborn.blogspot.com/2013/04/snakes-alive-snake-season.html

Its a pretty cool blog too, you might have fun reading about the history surrounding you.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cindy - That was a fascinating article. It had the most in depth information I've ever read about rattlesnakes. Thanks.

achieve1dream said...

Yeah I kill them too.... kill the poisonous and leave the rest alone is my motto. I'm not risking any of us, human or animal, getting bit! I hope that rattler goes far away and doesn't come back!