Friday, March 17, 2017

Unexpect the Expected

With the temperatures jumping up into the 90s after a lot of winter rain, our yard has exploded with wild grasses, blossoms, allergens, and just bushiness everywhere.  Our plans were to try to cut back and clean up as much as possible so that we wouldn't step on a rattlesnake.  Only my leg still isn't working for me, so my husband has been having to do all the work.  I gimped around trying to clean up manure for the farrier while he moved from stall to stall in an effort to follow the shade while he trimmed hooves.  Then I bathed the dogs and took each of them one by one out onto the porch to air dry.

Midge had to go to the bathroom, so I put a leash on her and walked her down the back steps.  We wandered until she found the perfect spots to do her business, and when we turned around to go back up the steps to the porch, we found ourselves blocked by a three and a half foot long Western Diamondback.  Crap.

This happens to me every spring!  I waltz down the stairs with a dog and pass just inches from a rattlesnake head.  I see it on the way back to the steps, and learn my lesson.  Then I spend the next 11 months leaning down at the bottom of the steps to make sure there isn't a snake hunkered down by the wall before stepping off the last stair.  But, by the 12th month I get comfortable because there never is another snake in that location, so I just walk right on down without checking, and viola!  There's a snake.

So, I walked Midge around the side of the house away from the snake and waved to my husband through his office window.  He came to the front door and I told him that a rattlesnake was blocking us from getting up the steps to the back door.  He got his homemade snake hook and a tall trash can and caught it to relocate it.

Only it wasn't that easy.  I still couldn't leave a wet dog in the house, so I took Midge back out onto the patio and hooked her up to the leash that is attached to the railing.  Then I wandered over to the steps to check on the snake, thinking that it was in the same spot up against the wall, but no -- here it was coming up the steps straight toward me.  I jumped back and screamed a little.  It was moving fast.  Usually, when I see rattlesnakes, they are moving sluggishly, but this was coming at me at a speed that rivaled my worst snake nightmares.  Only it's usually the really big snakes like anacondas in my nightmares.

It went left and I went right, and then it tried to curl up and hide under a bush next to my porch.  I was frantically trying to get Midge unhooked from her leash and get her in the house before the rattlesnake decided to come up on the porch, and the dang clasp wouldn't come undone.  I was cursing, finally yanked it off, scooped the dog up in my arms, and hopped into the house.

While my husband was out there, my other two dogs needed to pee too.  I decided to take them out front, but it was too late for Scrappy.  He already peed on the floor.  In the snake mayhem, I didn't have time to put Scrappy's diaper back on after his bath.  While my husband was carrying the snake in a trash can out into the desert, I was scrubbing the carpet.  Between the urine and wet dog smell, I was glad we had the ceiling fans running full force.

First thing he said when he got back into the house was, "It smells bad in here."

Yup.  Spring is in the air.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Yikes! Not for me,I hate snakes of any kind.

Mrs Shoes said...

High temps, cactus spines, cholla balls, gila monsters, snakes.....
You make it sound tempting Nuz, but I think I can resist the lures of the southwest.

TeresaA said...

You need some dull moments!

I would have lost it a bit too at the snake coming up the stairs.

Linda said...

Unless you've been chased by a rattlesnake, it's impossible to describe the speed with which they move. We were riding in Hells Canyon with a couple dogs and one of them found a rattle snake and started running back to us. The grass was dry, so we could hear and see him and we all started running our horses away. It happened quickly, but my surprise was how fast they move! !

Crystal said...

Hmm not sure I could deal with snakes in my yard, at least not poisonous ones