It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Let sleeping serpents lie ?

Well, I took a short walk this morning. It's going to be another hot day and it's always so nice to walk before the heat "swarms" down upon us. A blog friend used that word to describe how heat accumulates during the day in one of her poems. I like the expression because that's exactly how it feels.

I got to the big turn in our road where we have accumulated a few junky things. Our hauling trailer and various pieces of metal, fencing and wood that....,"we may need some day". I always walk over there carefully and my eyes are ALWAYS on the ground. I walk EVERYWHERE carefully, especially in the summer and it's a good thing because, when they're sleeping, rattlesnakes don't always rattle.
This one was sunning itself and didn't move a muscle until I took the picture. Then it came to life. For those of you who have never heard a Rattler rattle; there is no sound quite like it. It's like a well oiled motor that is running smoothly. It's a warning that you can't ignore. This snake was very good sized. It got into strike mode and it's tongue started moving in and out, tasting the air for the sorry two- legged invader who dared to wake it up. Then , as most snakes will do if you give them plenty of room, it retreated back underneath the pile of wood. It was still rattling loudly as I carefully backed away and returned to the house.
When I told the Prospector, he left with his shotgun in hand, to kill the poor thing. The dogs and I waited, inside. I never heard a shot. Finally the Prospector returned. It seems that he could hear the snake but could not get a good shot at it and, of course, didn't want to miss. I think I have said this before: We don't like to kill snakes but last year a very small rattler bit both of our dogs and the vet bill was enormous. Our German Shorthair thinks snakes are lizards and he will not leave them alone. So we don't let the Rattlers get anywhere near the house if we can help it. Now, with the goats, it's even another reason not to let snakes roam around here. We have a king snake that lives up near the chicken coop under the straw bales. It's beautiful! They kill rattlers. He is welcome here. We'll wait until this afternoon or evening and go down to the switchback again. It has to be done. It's about survival of the fittest. Sometimes I'm not so sure who the "fittest" is. This was the snakes territory before it was ours. Something I always like to keep in mind.

1 comment:

castlewon said...

wow!!
good picture too
I've never heard one in person