Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dog Vs. Snake

{And Why You Should Consider Snake Wrangling Lessons}

When one's dogs stir up a sunning Mojave rattlesnake the best thing to do is get those damn dogs in the truck. The next obvious thing to do is take pictures from a very safe distance.

Some things we should know about the Mojave rattlesnake, Crotalus scutulatus:
1. The Mojave green, as it's sometimes called, is one of the most poisonous snakes in North America.
2. Its neurotoxic venom causes rapid paralysis which can lead to lung and heart failure.
3. Unlike most snakes it does not lay eggs but gives birth to live young, the imagery of which I find most unsavory.

After almost two years of living in the desert this was my first real rattlesnake surprise. I took a snake wrangling lesson last spring to improve Important Homesteading Skills, but that was under the tutelage of a an amateur herpetologist and there were no surprises other than the fact that it's surprisingly easy to safely, gently, respectfully wrangle a large venomous snake into a garbage bin with a snake hook and relocate it to BLM land.  That's an important skill any self-respecting woman should have if she's got a rattler in her house and the husband is not around to Take Care of It.  But for now, I'd be quite happy with no rattlesnakes, anywhere, period.


  1. WOW. good job.

    did you get it into a bin?

    and, *what photos* for being at a Safe Distance.

  2. snake wrangling...damn...im gonna imagine you like those goddess statues with snakes in hand...im also thinking about samuel l jackson right now(i thought snakes on a plane was pretty funny!)

  3. Have the pups had their rattlesnake aversion classes? Although I've heard that it is more effective for some dogs than others.

    I am impressed by your snake wrangling skills. My solution would probably be to shut the snake in whatever room it happened to be in and then just spend the rest of my life pretending that room doesn't exist.

  4. Found you through MaeBird, and I'm glad I did. I'll be checking in regularly for some heavy doses of desert sunshine.

    Love your header, by the way.

  5. full disclosure: the photos were taken with a big zoom and then cropped on my computer, so i was, indeed, at a safe distance. promise.

  6. omggggggggggg WHOT!?! that bad biscuit - i know he was TOTALLY the culprit here. where were you in le dez? i can't believe they give birth - i'm squealing with gross delight over here in L.A. ok love you. bye.

  7. I cannot believe you wrangled a rattlesnake!! Umm, you're kind of a bad-ass! We had a baby garter snake in the house last year and I ran out of the house squealing! xo

  8. Holy cow. I've lived on a "ranch" in the Mojave Desert my whole life and never seen a green. Although my dad has, several times. Once, he was wandering the hills and a green struck at him before it rattled. Thank goodness he always wear steel toed boots, because the snake's fangs hit the steel and it was stunned and he was able to take care of it before it bit him.

  9. Oh my. Of all the spine-tingling things.

    I'm glad you are a first-class wrangler, my dear, but I sure do hope that is one skill you never have to put to good use.

    (The live young thing is very creepy.)

  10. Okay, this post gave me the major willies, from the run-in itself to the live birth business. I'm with Rachel on closing the door and pretending the room doesn't exist if one finds a rattle snake in the house.

    You are the second person I know whose dog has had a recent run-in with a rattler. My other friend lives in LA and was out hiking in the hills last week with her dog.

    You are brave to have captured those amazing shots, Lily, safe distance or not. The biggest excitement around here this week was Todd getting bitten by a tick. Not pleasant, but it just can't compare to your desert tales!

  11. Ack. Is your friend doing any more wrangling classes? Methinks GT and I need to scurry on over and learn some tech-neeks.


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