Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On Paying Attention

This morning as I walked down toward the barn I saw what looked like a snake tail disappearing under the Lantana.  I bent over and tried to peek under, but couldn't see much.  I could hear a lizard shooting around under there, so I figured what I saw was just a lizard with a really long tail.

I went down to the barn, let the horses out of their stalls, and cleaned up more manure.  As I was pulling the wagon out of the barn through the gate, I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake.  Fortunately, I spotted it before doing so, but it was a close one, because I usually walk backwards through the gate, because I have to keep my eye on the horses so they don't try to follow the wagon and bust out.  It was fortunate that I just happened to face forward and look where I was going.

This was an unusual place to run into a snake, because it is out in the open with no bushes.  The snake was on a mission headed toward my hay barn, and despite my wagon making a lot of rumbling noises and causing vibrations as I walked toward it, the snake didn't pay any attention to me.  I figured it was either headed somewhere to eat or to mate.  It looked like the same rattlesnake I saw on my property a few weeks ago, and that had me worried.  I don't care if the snakes pass through, but I don't want them taking up residence.

I stood back and watched it to make sure it didn't approach my horses.  It went right into my hay barn on top of the pallets, and then stuck its head under one of them.  I decided to warn all the animals that live under my hay pallets that the snake was coming, so I threw rocks at the aluminum siding and pallets.  The snake froze at the noises until one of the rocks ricocheted and nailed it on the back.  Then it slipped down under the pallets in an instant, and the iguana that lives under there came racing out.

The iguana has been clinging to my horses all morning for safety, so I hope it won't attract the rattlesnake into the horse barn.  I've been monitoring the situation.  In order for me to flush the snake out, my husband and I would have to move dozens of 80 to 100 pound bales of hay, and neither of us is in the physical shape to do so.  My husband is struggling with back pain, and the muscles on the back of my knee are still weak and can't prevent it from hyper-extending.  I had thought I could just go without the knee brace and be careful, and then an air conditioning unit fired up right beside me, making me jump, and the first thing that happened was my knee shot out backwards.  So, hopefully the snake will come out on its own and stay out of the horse barn.

In other news, the horse trainer rode Bombay yesterday, and of course, he couldn't replicate my wreck.  He made Bombay approach a pile of junk in the desert that had Gabbrielle quivering, and Bombay stepped right up onto some plywood and then began eating it.  Cars were going past, and he didn't get nervous.  The trainer said he even thought about waving down a driver and asking them to honk.  I've decided that I'm just going to get on Bombay's case every time he does anything that is slightly disrespectful or shows that he's not listening.  Rock listens to everything I say and usually responds willingly and immediately, and I need to get Bombay into that same state of mind.  That way if I say whoa, he has to halt without a second thought.


Brenda said...

You have an iguana living in your hay shed? A wild iguana? I wonder how he got there. Anyway, I don't blame you for not wanting the rattler to take up residence in your barn. That could be bad for a lot of critters, human and 4 legged.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Yup. A wild iguana. We have a wide variety of reptiles around our place.

Brenda said...

It sounds like it. He must've been someone's pet who was turned out or got loose since they aren't native to Arizona.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It looks most like a Spiny-Tailed Iguana, but those aren't supposed to be found off the grounds of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum.

Sam said...

We did a study at Tonto and found that rattlers that were relocated came back to their territory without fail. Do you have mice or quail in your pallets? It could be attracting them.