Rattled

Jul. 11th, 2011 01:39 pm
astra_nomer: (Default)
[personal profile] astra_nomer
We recently assigned the chores of taking out garbage and recycling to the kids, since they wanted a raise in their allowances. Last week, Son the Younger came back in claiming that there was a rattlesnake outside. Given the cacophony of sounds of Washington area summer nights, hot and heavy with insects and amphibians desperately seeking mates, we assured him that he must have heard some kind of cicada or some such, not a rattlesnake.

Last night, we got home late, and DH took the garbage out instead of the kids. Hearing the cicada behind the garbage can, he decided to check it out. And discovered a snake. He brought me out to show it to me, a good 1.5-2" in diameter, maybe 3 feet long, mottled brown markings, and hey, look at it's tail vibrate! I freaked out. I mean, we had sent our poor little kid out in the dark within a couple of feet of a timber rattlesnake!

I called animal control and got rerouted a couple times, and was told that I'd have to hire someone to remove it from the premises. At which point DH insisted I calm down and we could deal in the morning. I slept poorly.

This morning, the snake was gone. I gingerly walked over to our neighbor's house to warn them about the snake, our neighbor who also happens to work at the National Zoo. He told me that just last week someone reported seeing a timber rattlesnake in the area, and he didn't believe it until he saw the pictures. ("Now copperheads, there are plenty of those around," he said.) So for him, this was two sightings within a week.

Now, I need to stop obsessively googling about venomous snakes in either Maryland or Out West. Unfortunately, I don't think moving is going to decrease our chances of more such encounters!

Date: 2011-07-11 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gnibbles.livejournal.com
You should get [livejournal.com profile] balmy_fool to tell you his dad's story about hiking in the hills near Berkeley. :D I don't know if that would reassure you though....

Date: 2011-07-11 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firstfrost.livejournal.com
Between your encounter with the rattlesnake and [livejournal.com profile] ilhander's encounter with the grenade, it's been an exciting day!

Date: 2011-07-11 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astra-nomer.livejournal.com
Yikes! Grenades are unlikely to slither off and reappear in another part of the yard, on the other hand, snakes are less likely to explode.

Date: 2011-07-20 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaltair.livejournal.com
For living in rattlesnake country:

1. Do not put your hand (or other body part) where you cannot see it. (If you're near vegetation or nice warm rocky crevices wear closed shoes.)

2. If you see a snake, stay at least its body-length away from it.

3. If you get bit sit still (well, get away from the snake first) and call 911.

#1 is the most important. I used to be paralyzingly afraid of rattlers - and Mom & Dad wanted to go for hikes in the desert. If you make sure of #1 you'll all be fine. After all, rattlesnakes won't chase you down like a mean dog will.

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