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rattlesnake

Earlier this evening, the sun had gone down just far enough to be called dark, but we could still see. PB and I (and the dogs) were down at my neighbor’s property doing some maintenance on my truck. We had gathered up all of our stuff to carry up to the SkyCastle, we started up the trail when we heard the sound that will make your blood freeze, it was a rock rattler. PB was within one step of stepping on it and it wasn’t happy about any of it.

Honestly, I had heard it about five minutes earlier but thought it was a cicada, a large insect that buzzes just like a rattler, I have yet to hear a rattlesnake that sounds like they do in the movies, they sound like an insect buzzing.

PB was about to step on this rattlesnake, the only thing he had in his hand right then was a small propane tank, he slammed the base of it down on the snake pinning and injuring it enough to keep it in one spot. We didn’t have a flashlight so I had to move my truck around so that my headlights would illuminate the scene while PB lifted the propane tank and cut off the snake’s head with a shovel.

A few weeks ago we encountered another snake in front of the SkyCastle, that time it was Zoe who discovered it, fortunately she was faster than the snake and didn’t get bit. We think this might be a sibling of the snake we dispatched today as they were the same size, but no guarantees on that, it’s just speculation.

We have been out here 9 years now and unfortunately have to kill several rattlesnakes each summer, we don’t enjoy doing it, but if they are near the SkyCastle or around the areas where we or the dogs walk or congregate, then they have to go, they are just too risky to leave around.

Rattlesnakes, like any other snake, they don’t really attack, they will defend themselves though, it’s all too easy to walk up upon one or startle one where you don’t expect to see one, they are quite capable of taking care of themselves and aren’t really out to bother us, but since we live where they do, it’s inevitable that we will encounter each other, I do my best to make that as little as possible.

I recently found a good article about what to do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake, especially if you are in a remote place. The article said you shouldn’t cut and suck the venom, you shouldn’t use a tourniquet either, both of those methods are more risky than the venom. The main thing was to remain calm and walk out to get help if you can’t make a phone call.

Personally I don’t want to have to deal with that sort of thing, I generally watch where I walk, don’t blindly step over things that might be hiding a snake, though after tonight, I’ll be even more careful. What about you, are there dangerous snakes where you live? If so, how do you deal with them?



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