Saturday, August 13, 2011

This Morning's Giant Diamondback Rattlesnake

Mrs. FC called me almost as soon as she drove out of the driveway this morning ...

"There's a BIG (insert other name for a donkey) RATTLESNAKE on the side of the road before the stop sign! It was on the road, but slid off when I slowed to look at it."

"Wow! Still there? " I responded.

"Yes, it's rattling at me right now."

In 3 shakes of a dead rattlesnake's tail I was there.
The snake, all 5 feet of her, was stretched out in the roadside grasses. She was calm and still and watching us, but not rattling by then.

She was right ... this was a huge diamondback.

 A five foot snake is one thing, but a five foot diamondback, like a five foot shark, looks a couple of feet longer when you are face to face.
What was really impressive about this girl was her girth ... GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY! She's got some bodacious curves.
 I took a few pictures, but I really wanted this snake off the roadside and us gone too, before we attracted the attention of someone lacking in diamondback appreciation skills. I had brought along a big dowel stick for this purpose.
 I wonder if she just ate or perhaps she is pregnant. I didn't ask her ... she's deaf after all.
Plus, I work with women and I know better then to make the dreaded, "When is the baby due?" faux pas.

As the video shows, we were successful in shooing her off the road and into the safety of the brush. This was an area of nothing but forest for hundreds of acres and this snake was right where she belonged ... well, almost ... she definitely was too close to the road for her own good.

While you might treat her differently if you found her in your backyard, this snake was nowhere near human habitation and deserved to be left alive.

And on this day, she was.


Sharon said...


That is all.


Island Rider said...

Are you crazy?

Dani said...

*Dani doin' the happy snake dance*

threecollie said...

Impressive snake. You are more dedicated than I think I would be....or maybe I should say braver.

tai haku said...

Epic! What an awesome beastie. Once again, I'm very jealous.

Suzanne said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! She's beautiful.

Pablo said...

I don't think I've ever seen a rattler at Roundrock, but I have seen a couple of copperheads.

I also made that "when is the baby due" mistake. I don't think I'll make that particular mistake again.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

She was a beauty. You better be careful or the next thing we know we will be wondering if you and Mike Ervin are trading snake stories.

LibraryGirl62 said...

Holy Cow Batman! I would have scared it off by jumping and screaming...

Deb said...

Amazing rattler.

A cousin of mine made a comment similar to "when are you due?" That was part of the impetus to lose thirty pounds.

Suwannee Refugee said...

Man, look at you keeping things PG around PF:)

Shelllady said...

Okay, now it's confirmed...I felt all safe and stuff about the scalloping...but now I think you are crazy!! You got entirely too close....and were filming??? No wonder you don't worry about sharks in the water!!

Just kidding....I think it's awesome, but I would not have chased her!! Thanks for sharing!!

Floridacracker said...

LOL, I remember you are not fond of snakes.

There is some evidence to support your hypothesis.

You and me both!

Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Also... my feet have a reverse gear when needed.

She really was awesome! I hope she lives a long life and stays off the road.

No problem, it was my pleasure.

Here, copperheads are very rare and usually only found in NW FL. Most Floridians who think they saw a copperhead actually saw a young moccasin.
Once you make that "baby due" mistake, you will never utter those words again... pre announcement by the bearer.

It was a loooong stick! I really am playing it safe, I promise.

Library Girl,
I really look silly when I do that.
Hence the long stick approach.

Good thing he was family.
That is really, really impressive.
Not many people have the self-discipline to do that.

In person, I am not always so.
PF however, is always going to be a safe place for kids to drop in.
We are probably more PG-13 some days ... LOL!

Shell Lady,
Well, it was only a little chase and I had lots of escape routes!

lisa said...

Way cool! I am glad that I don't come across them but it is pretty neat to see the pictures of them. I do like snakes but I will refrain from wanting to see one of those close-up!

robin andrea said...

Excellent! She's a beauty.

Kaybe said...

My cousin has lived in Gulf Hammock for 25 years. This is a pretty normal occurrence in your neck of the woods. When I am visiting I'm either looking out for a deer on the road or a snake in the driveway - I'm also looking for critters that encroached the 100 foot mowed area & got comfortable on their porch. I think everyone keeps an ugly stick handy in their vehicle. The Python Hunters would've been proud!

Take good care,


Dani said...

Made scones this morning. :) They be tasty.

cinbad122 said...

You are nuts!

Floridacracker said...

I love to hear someone say they like snakes!

She really is! Maybe she just shed.

Oh gosh, I may know your cousin. You could almost throw a rock and hit Gulf Hammock from here.

Does that recipe rock or what!

Define nuts.

Dani said...

Sure does. Jiggy thought so too. :) I swear that boy will snuffle anything!

cuz tina said...

Yikes! you really should warn people that there is snake content before they open the blog!

Sayre said...

I showed your video to my boy who was mightily impressed! He'd never seen one that big or that fat (or one out of a cage). It kind of gave him the willies.

Floridacracker said...

That dog has good taste!

Cousin Tina,
Hey! Well you know this is reptile land down here! LOL!

It's definitely a willimaker.

Miz S said...

See now, look what I miss when I get too busy to check by my favorite blog. Dang. Job well done, Mr. FC.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Dude. The unapologetic tone of this post is spot on. Being venomous should not bring on an automatic death sentence for any creature. I've moved probably 15 copperheads away from our house and yard in the 20 years we've lived here. Some summers, 3 or 4. And people always ask me if I'm crazy. Nope. Not crazy. Respectful of an uncommon, gorgeous, vital link in our ecosystem. I've been bitten, survived it fine, and I didn't kill the one that bit me, either, because it was my fault. I didn't see him and accidentally poked him in the eye. I've killed three: one that came after me with multiple strikes while I was (duh) weeding in the dark, one that came after Bill and struck at him as he swung in a hammock, and one that got wound up in the garden tools in the garage and was super aggressive from the get-go. I killed them because I was having trouble capturing them and I was afraid if they got away they'd hurt one of my kids. And I've wept while doing it. Damn, I hate to kill snakes. The rest I've spared and moved. And I thank you for helping this glorious creature off the road.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Julie,
I was hoping you would have time to slip back and read this one. We are of like mind on snakes.
And no, you will never hear me apologize for saving any snake, because we both know for every one we save, many more were killed simply for being a snake.