HOW THE STUPID GET THEMSELVES MAIMED OR KILLED, part 3:
“Is it genetic or environmental? Or both?
The saga of the snake:
Last night Shadow [dog] was barking up a storm out by the back door, and it was really annoying. So I went back there to get her inside. Opened the door and called. She wouldn’t come in at first, then made a wide circle around the steps to the wall and slid inside. By then I’d realized what the problem was – a cute little snake curled(?) up on the step. It seemed to have a dark body with light bands. Both dogs were now inside so I closed the dog door, shut them out of the back hall and went for my camera, curious as to just what sort of snake it was.
Here’s where it gets downright Darwinian. Your balance-challenged, hyper-reflexive mother, camera in hand, set out to negotiate back porch steps that were illuminated only by a porch light obstructed by the open door. Started having suspicions when that little snake half-struck at me as I stepped over it. There I was, one foot on the concrete step about two feet from the snake, the other foot on the ground, not feeling all that steady. Took a few moments to center myself so I could get both feet out into the yard so I could crouch to take pictures. That was when I saw that the light bands were a more pronounced pattern. Really getting suspicious now.
After the photo session I climbed back up onto the porch and looked down on the little fellow, who was vigorously shaking his tail at me. Because this photo makes him look huge and ferocious I have to give the whole episode some scale. Coiled up, that little snake was about the size of my hand. Its body was a smidge bigger in diameter than my thumb. Wasn’t until I was back inside and downloaded the pictures that I realized for sure that I had been dealing with a beautiful baby diamondback. And he wasn’t just curled up on the warm concrete, he was mad. If that baby tail had had more than one rattle on it, he would have been making noise.”
link to rattlesnake photo here. I’m so jealous she got a photo and I didn’t…