Wildlife Week: In Which I Encounter Wildlife Where It's Not Supposed To Be Today's Post: Rattlesnake!


Q: Why did the rattlesnake cross the road?
A: To get to the other side.

I'm outside enjoying the breezy 90 degree weather when I see something shimmy on the road. Snake! He's slithered out of S's yard and he's undulating to mine.

"Get back! Get back!" I shout to the seven or eight kids in my driveway; this only brings them closer. "GET BACK!"

I dash into the house, grab my camera, and run past the kids, who are now crouching at the end of the driveway watching the snake serpentine toward them.

"GET BACK!" I shriek as I move closer to the snake. "GET BACK! DON'T MOVE!" Even the snake obeys. I try to play it safe, using distance and telephoto, but then I realize the photo will be blurry should I later zoom in and crop. If I want a close up, I actually have to be close up.

I move in. I'm about five feet away, maybe three, I don't know--it's a rattlesnake, measuring units are not relevant to me at the moment. I snap off about five pictures, whooping and screaming the whole time because as I raise the camera, I lose him in the frame and I think he's moved closer to me, but he hasn't. He's still there, holding his pose--head up, rattle up. I believe my shrieking has convinced him I am a predator.

I take one more shot, then I'm out of there. The snake doesn't move. Neither of us believes we are safe. I make all the kids go into my garage and later, I escort each one home. No one's getting bit on my watch.

This is a pygmy rattlesnake.

12 comments:

Sheri said...

I am rolling here! Despite the fact that is just scarry, you are as bad as Angela playing with a mammoth not so dead spider. Somehow I think if your visitor had attacked there would have been a bit more damage!

You are crazy girl!

Angela said...

I would have done the exact same thing!!I esp love the shrieking predator part.Just an FYI--Squirt guns work good with rattlesnakes....from about 20 feet back. Thanks for the laugh:)

Church Lady said...

Hmmm....I'm not so impressed. I come here only to see the BEST in photos, darn it! I wanted a shot with the snake biting into your leg--a closeup that shows snake teeth, but a posting saying that indeed you did survive and will include this in one of your books.

Something like that. Too much to ask?

:-)

Christy Lenzi said...

Yes, maybe next time, Danette, you could perhaps get bitten just a little, don't you think? For your readers. Don't think of it as "pain," but more like "pressure." (as Mr. Regan's doctor suggests.)

Danette Haworth said...

Sheri,
Thank you! And I love your bug picture!

Angela,
Squirt guns, hmm, I feel a trip to Toys R Us coming on.

Danette Haworth said...

Church Lady,

Iron sharpens iron. You've inspired me--no more staying in my comfort zone. I must enter the animal's space, and he mine. How can I know the animal except that he bite me?

Yes, yes . . . I'm onto a new thing now. Thank you, Church Lady, for opening my eyes (and future wounds). :)

Danette Haworth said...

Ah, Christi,
So glad you referenced the talented Brian Regan! I just absolutely love him.

Again, I must say that I have been inspired by your post and Church Lady's to forget about safety (they have antidotes, after all) and get the penultimate photo.

I think it would also provide me with good material, should I survive. Thank you for urging me on!
;)

courtney said...

Oh my gosh. acck. There are so many people I want to share this blog entry with but they are all phobic of snakes! Glad this is a CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH RATTLESNAKE type entry and not WHEN RATTLESNAKES ATTACK!

Brenda said...

OMG! Okay, You and Angela are going to have to email me each day to let me know if you have any pictures of 8 legged or slimy, crawly things on your blogs that day...grin...

I was coming up my drive way about a month ago and saw a copperhead along the side of the road...by the time I was done driving over it...well, lets just say we had to get a load of gravel to fill in the tire ditches that I spun...grin..my hubby said it was a copperhead smear by the time he got to see it...

p.s. Jeff says that it is not the snake bite that kills someone it is the shock...so if you are going to step out of your comfort zone don't worry about the bite...just don't go into shock!

Danette Haworth said...

Courtney,
I am squeamish about snakes, too! That night, after I took the picture, I stepped on a sock in the house and screamed! That snake was on my mind all night long.

Brenda,
Haha! Good work with the car! It's so startling when I see a big one crossing that I avoid it as I would a branch. Once, I accidentally ran over one, then I thought for sure he got thrown into the engine and was going to curl down around my legs. (shudder!)

Decaf, please said...

Wow, you risked you life to bring us this cool photo!

I don't think I want to live where there are rattlesnakes.

elysabeth said...

And here I thought the snake I ran over was really a big deal (see posting on my blog about two months ago) but you have an actual picture (I didn't have a camera handy and the snake was all the way across my driveway and I had no choice but to run over him and even though he was as long as my car is wide (a little longer because both tires went over him) he slithered away). Needless to say I didn't want to encounter him again - but my husband said it was probably just a common nonpoisonous snake that lives around here.

I hate snakes - like you wouldn't believe and I've had two in my house since moving here 2-1/2 years ago and have had some mice (dang snakes won't catch them and eat them - thought that was the cycle of life for snakes and mice) and have tons of blue tailed skinks (my friend calls them minidragons) around, as well as the spiders - I've killed a few hairy looking ones that I didn't want to see crawling on anyone. The rest bother me but not enough to worry about them - I'm sure they probably bite but they do seem harmless.

So snakes, spiders, mice and the minidragons - just need to go stay outside - lol - glad yours didn't come towards your home though.

Thanks for sharing your encounter - E :)