Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

RATTLESNAKE~~Mikey, this is for you! 041711

So, while driving up the mountain to the horse ranch this morning, I spotted a snake on the road. Of course, I slammed on my brakes and frantically searched for a turnout and found one about 100 feet ahead, on the right side of the road. It was early in the morning, about 8:00, and the road wasn't crowded yet (like it was on the way down!!!). I parked my car, grabbed my camera (I THOUGHT it was a rattlesnake and I wanted to get a photo of it)...BUT...along came two cars before I could get back to the snake. I tried to wave them off, but one of them (a truck), saw the snake and aimed right for it. I could hear the sickening sound of bones crunching and I knew my snake was dead or dying. I cursed the driver and he, in turn, gave me the birdie. :-) (making new friends...) And, the car behind him was totally oblivious to what was going on, and HE ran over it, too. Oye, vei!!! By the time I got to the snake, I knew he was a goner. It was a beautiful, young diamondback, the first one I'd seen in the wild while driving on that road for the past three years. It's too bad that SOME PEOPLE have to destroy living things without even giving them a second's worth of consideration. I did manage to get to the snake, who was barely alive, and move him into the shade next to the highway, but I knew he was dying. He didn't resist me at all, didn't act aggressive, and just let me carry him on a stick to the sand. Guess it was because he was dying? I figured I'd stop back and check on him when I came back down the mountain. So, three hours later, I stopped to check on him, and yup...he was dead. No life in him at all...While I'm DEATHLY AFRAID of snakes, however, with this snake, I had no fear whatsoever. It appeared to be a young one (click on the photos to enlarge, if you want)...but I did marvel at its beauty. What perfectly formed diamonds on him! And, it gave me a new found respect when I go traipsing out in nature. He had NO rattles, and if he had rattled, I would NOT have heard anything! And, its coloration...well, as you can see, he blended in perfectly with the surrounding sand and rocks....hmmmmm....something for me to think about! (Don't worry...I watched the snake before I moved him and I could tell he was badly injured and couldn't move the back half of his body and I deemed it somewhat safe for me to move him off the road.) Last photo was taken on my way back down the mountain...he was completely dead.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You're crazy or brave...or both. I would not be picking up an poisonous snake, alive or dead. *shiver*


Mikey said...

Definitely a rattler, but no rattles! How very strange. Soooo sad that people run them over like that. Just makes me mad. Poor snakes. I'm glad you moved him anyway.
We had someone run over a big bull snake the other day. Looks a lot like a rattler, but they didn't bother to look I guess. We see less and less rattlers because people keep killing them. It's just not right.
I've also read a study that rattlesnakes are adapting to this killing by NOT rattling. I wonder if some will not grow rattles, as part of evolution... interesting theory anyway.
I wish people would understand they rattle to warn people away, not to say "Hey, here I am, kill me".

Cheryl Ann said...

Mikey, yes, I've read that too! ACK! Apparently the Mojave rattles are coming into the diamondback's territory, interbreeding, and thus have created a new rattlesnake that is AGGRESSIVE and DOES NOT RATTLE! ACK, ACK! Oh, boy!

Cheryl Ann said...

I remember one time, when I was pregnant with our daughter, Jennifer, that hubby and I were on our property in Garner Valley (high up in the pines) and I was tromping around, making a LOT of noise. Hubby wasn't...he was being very quiet. Suddenly he looked down and there, between his feet, was a coiled rattler. He absolutely froze, the snake uncoiled and slithered off, and we both survived for another day, as did the rattler.