Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scrub Diamondback ... Bear's Close Call


This is the diamondback I mentioned in yesterday's post. She was laying like this when Doug and I came walking from the opposite direction, so she was nicely concealed behind the stick and pine cone.
I imagine it was Doug's habit of always scanning the ground for beetles that kept us from walking right up on it. He spotted it and yelled, "Snake!"
My heart stopped when I saw it, not because it was a rattler, that's expected where we were, and we were out of range, but Bear had just walked past it ahead of us.

He had probably passed within a foot or two of the snake's head a moment before. My Doggy Daddy guilt kicked in full speed at that point. While he still had his leash on, I had dropped my end of it and was letting him walk about ten feet in front of us as we talked.

It was about 1:30 pm and the day had warmed considerably after a cool night and morning so the snake was very lethargic, which is probably why Bear did not notice it and the snake did not strike.

In fact, it never made any quick or defensive moves, and did not rattle even when we encouraged it off the trail with a lightly tossed stick.


I think it had just slid out of the palmetto scrub to soak up some heat when we came along.



Reluctantly, it decided to leave it's sunny spot and head back into the covering scrub.





Bear watched it go while I gripped his collar firmly.


video

It's kind of a panty video and a little shaky as I was holding onto Bear with one hand and filming with the other.


Bear has an amazing sense of smell, yet he walked right past the snake, thank goodness. Had he caught a whiff and investigated before we noticed the snake, this could have gone so bad.

So, a couple of lessons I was allowed to relearn without punishment are:
  • Keep control of the leash on the trail ... no cheating in snake country.

  • Don't let your spidey senses relax just because you are almost out of the woods. I did that because I was on this wide open sandy trail. When I am off trail, I pick every footfall in snake habitat, but I essentially goofed off on this walk.

All in all, it was a fine day, but the potential for disaster is always there.

16 comments:

Dani said...

I'm so glad you guys made it home in one piece. What an adventure the day turned out to be!

debbie said...

It sounds like Bear has had too many death defying situations lately. He must have a guardian angel watching over him . . . Gumbo perhaps?

Sandcastle Momma said...

That's a good sized rattler. Glad he and Bear didn't notice each other!
What a day Bear had. He needs his own children's book - The Adventures of Bear. He lives quite a life you know.

robin andrea said...

What a fine looking snake. Glad the encounter turned out as well as it did. You've been working hard lately, fc, and wanting some wild excitement. I think you definitely got it on this day.

cinbad122 said...

As I said, you should not be allowed to have a dog. Give him to me!

threecollie said...

I am so glad nothing happened...it was neat hearing Bear pant on the video.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

do I notice atremor in your camera??? (kidding) like I said Bear.... "porch dog" sounds good to me

David Steen said...

Beautiful snake.

Check out the video here: http://hogfoot.blogspot.com/2009/06/if-itd-been-snake.html

for the reactions of a bear cub and a timber rattlesnake when they encounter each other.

Doug Taron said...

I don't recall saying anything so coherent as "snake." I think I said WHOA!!! At least I didn't scream like a girl.

Floridacracker said...

Dani,
Me too! Interesting day.

Debbie,
I love the idea of Gumbo with wings.


SCM,
Funny you would mention that, Bear was typing something when I came in the room.


Robin,
Careful what you wish for right?


Cindy,
You couldn't handle him cat girl!!
:)


3Collie,
He was one hot puppy by then.


Who woulda,
LOL! That shake is from holding 95 pounds of muscle dog.

David,
Diamondbacks really are gorgeous snakes.

Doug,
I save my girlie screams for those moments when I run into big spider webs!
I think "snake" was the third or fourth word out of your mouth.
LOL!

Deb said...

We take things like not having venomous snakes for granted here in Minnesotarctica. But the payback is winter.

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
I'll keep the venomous snakes. :)

Lynn said...

Wow you'd think Bear was a cat with all the lives he used up that day!!! Glad to hear that ALL of them worked out well.

Floridacracker said...

Lynn,
He has catlike reflexes!

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

I'm curious how many people will end up hitting your blog because you called the video of the snake a 'panty video' LOL.

Prem @ flnativeorchids.blogspot.com

Floridacracker said...

Prem,
LOL! I had the same thought! Great minds think a like!