Thursday, August 28, 2008

walk with me wed...don't tread on me

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crotalus horricus...light phase...although the tail is always black. Some say the number of buttons on the rattle indicates the age of the snake...others say it only indicates the number of times that the snake has shed his skin. If you don't want to see any more of this snake, I'd turn back if I were you.

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A few weeks ago, we encountered a rattle snake in our path. We didn't kill it. It is unlawful, in this state, to catch, kill or possess a rattler, no matter how obtained. Turns out, someone driving on the road either didn't know this, or didn't care. This snake was dead when I found him.

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The triangular shaped head is one way to identify a venomous snake.....

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...vertical pupils are another way. You can hardly see the pits near the nostrils, but that would be yet another indication. This snake was heading in the direction of the river. Some say, that when it becomes hot and dry, the snakes come down off the mountain looking for water. Some say this is a myth.

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Some tell me that a rattle snake's territory is usually a range that encompasses about a mile from it's den. This snake was within a mile of our cabin. Some folks say that mature males can travel up to six miles when searching for a female. And some have said that a snake cut into pieces can come back to life if you put it back together before the sun goes down...

10 comments:

The Gingerbread House said...

Thanks for the warning, but my curiosity got the best of me and I looked "Ugh"....I would give that one a wide path to crawl pass or get the "H---" out of the way.
Ginny B.

elizabeth said...

Sad.

pacalaga said...

I was okay until I got to the obviously-dead picture. I like them much better alive, and ignoring me.
Round these parts, a few boneheads a year get bitten because they see a snake in the road, assume it's dead, and try to take him home. And it turns out, he never wants to go! Seems like your photography is the easy way to take him home without his arguing. ;-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow, a rattler near your home. That would put me on alert. I wouldn't doubt that snakes would come down the mountain looking for water. I bet they don't need much though so that might be a myth. I know if you hack one up you can't put it together. That is definitely a myth. This snake was a beautiful creature. I have only seen one. It was on a path we were hiking in AZ.

Judy said...

After the one we had in the yard I read more about them. Mating season supposedly coincides with our hot dry season so people think they are "coming down for water". Also August is when they give birth. Hopefully your snake wasn't a mom. Lots of snakes this year.

Sharon said...

So interesting! I think all snakes here in Australia are venemous, and normally are found NEAR water - If you don't want them near your house you have to make sure there isn't a water source for them.... Hmm, you are reminding me that summer is comming again, and so is snake season... What fun with an adventurous toddler around!

Cathy said...

I've seen a number of rattlers - the most recent a prairie rattler sunning on highway 14.

Your photos are spectacular as always.

judy said...

Did you try bring him / her back to life? I don't know that I'd get very far i the trying. Guess that having no venomous snakes is the trade off for having SO many blood sucking insects.

Diane said...

What great photos, glad you could take them without risk. Love your site!

KnitChick said...

eeeehhhhh....Sad that he was dead, but thanks for the pictures. I opened my front door yesterday morning to take out the trash and there was a black "cord" lying on my doorstep....until it slithered away that is... I know that there are a lot of black racer's around, but don't know if that's specifically what he was...didn't really want to find out and was happy that he wandered off to his own corner!!

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