Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Diamond In The Rough

(Hick, I put the snake pictures in the bottom of the post...don't scroll down)


I mentioned rescuing a diamondback in one of my daddy brag posts about Katie's graduation. Everyone else had hung around for chitchat long after the graduate had headed off to yet another dance, so I headed home alone, anxious to get out of my tie and suit.

My route home is still one of two lane highways, country roads, and pine trees. Once I exit the larger state road, there is literally no one for the last 7 miles or so, just pines and swamp.

I was cruising along, at dusk, thinking about the events of the weekend, when I passed a snake in the road. I kept going. I went a quarter mile before I decided to turn around. The road isn't busy, the snake had a decent...50/50 chance of getting off the road alive, but it looked like a rattler and they get squished on purpose most of the time. This one was in the middle of nowhere and not a threat to anybody, so I headed back.
...and yes, I had my camera and you folks were on my mind.

When I got to the snake, it had not moved. In fact it never moved until I eventually lifted it off the road. It was soaking up the pavement's stored heat and was in no hurry to leave. I stood in the middle of the road, in my new suit, shooting the last frames on the camera, hoping no bubba filled, jacked up 4x4 truck would pull up and offer to kill the snake.

She (no, I don't know that) was beautiful and probably had just molted. I snapped off a piece of native bamboo growing in the ditch and slid one end under her to lift her off the pavement and into the tall grass. She buzzed a little about that, but never struck at me or the bamboo.

Good deed done, I hopped in the JEEP and cruised home.

(Note to self: Ask for snake hook for Father's Day)


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27 comments:

Terri said...

Wow...I've never seen one that up close and personal before. I must say the markings are incredibly beautiful. I know they're also part of nature, but I'm just as happy not encountering one.
You did a good deed there. She (?) wasn't bothering anyone and hopefully will go on to enjoy her days.

Zanne said...

STOP IT! Let me get this straight. You're out in the middle of nowhere...no one in sight...no one likely to come along... and you rescue a rattler? My mind can't even comprehend the possibilities, but then again this is your environment and you're probably more knowledgable as to the behavior of rattles. Still.....
Does your momma know about this????

pablo said...

Let me guess. You were in Slytherin House, right?

benning said...

If you know watcher doin' then it was a nice deed. The fact that she(I don't know either!) only gave you a warning buzz means that she felt you were no real threat. Or that she was squiffed on the warmth! A nice tale, and nice images. Now, if'n it was a palmetto bug ... *squish!*

Snakes are beautiful but so many are dangerous. People need to be careful. And those screaming meemies who start trying to dice the odd lawn snake with a shovel need to go inside and have some Iced Tea. Most snakes gliding across the lawn are common garter snakes and can't hurt you.

Imagine if they had wings! LOL

Deb said...

What beautiful detail...but just the same, I'm glad there are no poisonous snakes in my part of Minnesota.

robin andrea said...

Definitely a good deed, FC. She is a beauty, and you were so kind to rescue her from the road. Not everyone can do such a thing as carefully. I may not want to encounter a Diamondback, but it sure is nice to see one through your camera lens so up close and personal. Well done.

That snake is a much nicer image for me to write about than a photo of a pig's butt. I tried to come up with something for that post, FC, but failed everytime!

Hick said...

I hate snakes. Especially rattlers. Starting about this time of year, I have to be very careful walking around my own yard because those things are out and about...even at this elevation. I'm always afraid Jazz will get up close and personal with one and end up...well, I don't even want to think about it.

By the way...thanks for the warning and I closed my eyes as I scrolled down to try and find the comments section without looking at the durn things, but after clicking around for several minutes, I realized I would have to peek. Sigh. I've run into too many of those things for real for them not to give me the creeps every time I see one...even a picture. You are a noble soul...crazy, but noble.

The MacBean Gene said...

I don't fear snakes but they do give me the "willies". (that's my wifes word, I'm not really sure what it means but whatever it is it's not particularly good). I havn't seen any rattlers around here but we do have a lot of black snakes which keeps the rodent population down.
While you were resculing the snake we had a large black bear roaming up the road and through our back yard. I didn't try to rescue it.

pablo said...

Also, I was surprised to learn that Florida has paved roads. I guess Reconstruction has finally reached you guys.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yes, a very good deed, indeedy. It always amazes me that some people want to kill rattlesnakes just for the "fun" of it.

Laura said...

You are one lucky sonUbaduba. Lucky, because you're still able to type!

My hub used to get so mad when we lived in the country and he would find snakes dead on the road, because a car would see it and simply swerve in the direction of the snake, just to kill it.
I used to ask him to keep a long metal pole or some type of stick in the truck just to move them out of the way, so he wouldn't have to pick them up, but he never did. ahh well.

I'll show him this picture tonight. I'm sure he'll be very interested!

you know, as I type this, that big old pig's butt is stuck on the page...
that is more pig butt than I want to see in a lifetime. LOL..

Mrs. S said...

Man, I wish my father (and soon, my husband!!) were as easy to buy for on father's day as you are.

Talk about easy to please!

If you get a snake hook, you'll take some pictures for us, won't you?

(and thank you for the comment on my blog :D it makes my day when folk drop by)

Wayne said...

Did FC say the road was paved? Oh yes, he did. Amazing.

Well hurrah for you FC. I've always felt a little, not much, but a little guilty at telling folks around our digs that I met up with a timber rattler a couple of years ago, and let it be.

That's a beauty!

Darlene said...

Good for you! And it sure is a beauty! Wonder if it was lethargic not only from soaking up the heat, but a good meal. Thanks so much for thinking of us and sharing the pix. My husband and I were driving along a country road last year and saw an eagle off to the side foraging on roadkill. The size--really huge!--the beauty; it was fantastic being so close. Something most people never see in their lifetime. How lucky can ya get?

Floridacracker said...

Terri,
Exactly!

Zanne,
My mom named the pulsing vein in her temple after me.

Pablo,
Yes, we do have paved roads...it makes the wagon ride so much smoother...had to put shoes on the horses tho.

Benning,
I'm picturing flying rattlesnakes around the porch light at night.

Deb,
No poisonous snakes?...but, how..uhm, none?


Robin,
Glad you appreciate her beauty. Beauty and danger seem to go together...
I'm still amazed at how strong the reactions are to yesterday's pig butt.


Hick,
Well, I tried...

Mac,
I know all about the willies...spiders, not snakes, willy me.

Hoss,
What really ticks me off is those rattlesnake roundups. Grrr.

Laura,
I only grab the nonpoisonous kind. I've dropped enough tools to realize I might flub a rattle grab and the price would be too high. I like the way your husband thinks tho.

Mrs. S,
I will post it if I get it!


Wayne,
Here, the timber is the canebrake and a rare, rare encounter. I have never had the pleasure. Good for you for letting it be.

Floridacracker said...

Darlene,
I know what you mean. We had an adult and a juvenile Bald Eagle last year that really liked road kill and they were easy to get close too as long as you stayed in the car. Pretty neat!
Welcome aboard Pure Florida!

kerrdelune said...

Hm, we don''t have rattlesnakes this far north, but I have had similar similar adventures moving snapping turles out of the road in spring - and they DO bite - it's almost that time again and my turtle stick is ready.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You're right...she is beautiful and I applaud you for saving her life. I haven't seen a single snake since I got my camera...I guess I should feel lucky since we do have plenty of poisonous snakes around here. I think in my old age, I just make too much noise when I walk.

Ava said...

What a beatiful creature. Snakes get a bad rap most of the time. I'm glad there is someone like you to rescue them. I grew up in an area with lots of tirantulas and my Dad would always stop and carry them off of the road.

Ava

doubleknot said...

Wonderful snake pictures. It reminds me of the first time I encountered a rattler - I was 12 and in the woods at the dead end of our street. I was standing still watching some birds and felt something on my foot - there gliding along as if I were part of the woods was the largest rattler I have ever seen. I let him finish crawling over my foot. Gee I wonder why my mom got so upset and forbid me to go into the woods again when I told her my exciting tale.

Floridacracker said...

Kerrdelune,
Be careful with those snappers! Ours get huge and they are feisty.

Abandoned,
I can't help but feel sorry for them when they're on the road.

Ava,
Now, I confess that a tarantula or any spider gives me more of a jolt than any snake. I'm a spider weeny.

Doubleknot,
Moms really don't appreciate such tales do they?

Ava said...

Very funny!

I have a son who is a spider weeny and a husband who is a snake weeny!

I don't mind either one.

Ava

Billy said...

Absolutly beautiful

Floridacracker said...

Ava,
Brave girl.

Billy,
Thanks, she was.

Tjilpi said...

My mate Bruce Munday reckons that this is a male Crotalus adamanteus, but the position of the shot is not sufficient to allow confident gender identification.

Bruce is one of our local herpetologists and has been bitten a few times.

I once asked Bruce if he had travelled overseas and his answer was: Yes. I came to Australia.

The trick in that answer was that Bruce was born in Tasmania!

He met Bill Love a Floridan herpetologist, when Bill came to Australia, and Bruce wonders if you might happen to know him, and if you do, would you kindly pass on his regards?

Floridacracker said...

Tjilpi,
Thanks for the info. I don't know Bill Love, sorry I can't be of help there.

Tjilpi said...

I found out more about Bill Love, just in case you happen to be near Alva [where ever that is in Florida ].

http://www.bluechameleon.org/