Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have to Kill It

Fair warning: There be snake pictures ahead.



a yardstick, not a ruler

Stumbled upon and killed shortly thereafter.
Far too close to the house for me to adhere to my Live and Let Live policy.

9 rattles

 Things I've learned about Diamondback Rattlesnakes today.

1. I already knew that number of rattles does NOT equal age of snake.  Rattles are formed each time the snake sheds its skin.  There were 9 on this one.

2. They aren't called rattlesnakes for nothing.  They rattle loud and clear that it's time for you to move away.  Loud like a backyard-full-of-cicadas-at-nightfall, loud.  You will never, ever mistake the rattle for any other sound.


3. Once a snake is dead, it is very easy to tell a male from a female.  Assuming you aren't afraid to handle the dead snake.
 I'm not.

4. Regarding "Thing I Learned Today" #3---I wanted to know if I had a male or female snake on my hands.  Female rattlesnakes give birth to live young in September and October.  The brood is usually between 9 and 25, 12 inch long babies.  I'm thrilled to be able to report that this snake was a male!

5. This snake was probably at his full growth potential.  Lengths are between 3"9 and 4"9.  He was exactly 4" long.

6. Most of all, I learned that my "Live and Let Live" policy is fluid.  I would very, very much liked to have found a way to relocate this boy, but it wasn't possible.  I do not have the tools to do it properly, nor was I ready for my encounter with him. 
 If I had been somewhere further from the house, I'd have just walked the other way.  
They are, after all, premiere hunters of all things rodent.  
My hope is that he lived a long, happy, celibate life and got dropped into snakey heaven full of easily caught dinners of slightly inebriated mice.

PS....No, I didn't skin him.  Yes, I kept the rattles.

3 comments:

  1. Tell me you at least ate him. They are delicious. Well no I guess if you didn't skin it you couldn't very well eat it.

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  2. Sometimes you have to be fluid about certain things...and being alive without snake fluid in your system is something to be fluid about!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  3. That is one beautiful snake. However, it is better off dead because it is dangerous and in your yard.

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