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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 09-01-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
Snakes on the prowl

Earlier today I decided to break out the pressure washer as Connie asked if I would clean off her rocking chair for her. It's made out of something like PVC so I figured this would be the easiest way. Plus I wanted to clean the apron to the garage too. Had some gasoline I needed to burn off from the last time I used the washer.

So I turned the corner going to the side porch to get the rocker and noticed that there was a carolina wren just squawking to beat hell. Well, easy to see why. There was a gray rat snake laying right there in the path. And the wren wasn't happy about that at all. The snake was a little larger than the others I caught around the bird feeders. So I picked him up and Connie got a cloth bag to put him in. Didn't struggle all that much, but he didn't seem to care for the bag at all. So rather than have him rub his nose all up, we decided to just run him out to the national forest now, rather than later.

So we were driving down the driveway in Connie's truck after pulling it out of the garage when she says, "Well, there's a larger snake right there." Yep, sure was larger. Heading off to the right side of the driveway I could see the tail end of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. So she stopped the truck and I jumped out to get a closer look.

I'm guessing between 3.5 and 4 ft long. Went right into a defensive coil when it saw me and started buzzing the tail. Clearly agitated at being disturbed. Not sure why it was prowling around this time of day as the rattlers tend to like the evening hours for their activity, I believe. Connie ran back to the house to get my camera for me while I kept an eye on it. I knew one of us had to keep it occupied or it would be off into the woods and gone.

So after taking a few pics, we just got back into the truck and headed on out to banish the gray rat snake to the nether regions of the national forest. I guess it does seem kind of strange to banish a gray rat snake and yet leave a rattlesnake prowling around nearby the house. But I don't suppose a rattler will get up into trees and bird feeders so much and prey on the birds. The rattler probably prefers rodents, which is just fine by me. Get those suckers that had been getting up into the vehicles and tearing up the wiring before the garage was built.

But I guess we need to keep a sharper eye where we are walking. Gotten kind of careless about thinking about rattlers being around lately since it's been a while since we've seen one around.

So anyway, after all that I was finally able to get back to the pressure washing. Just took the long way to getting there, I guess. I did get Connie's rocking chair cleaned, but ran out of gasoline after only getting 1/8th of the apron cleaned. So will have to continue that chore some other day.
Old 09-01-2013, 10:06 PM   #2
The most excitement I've had is what seems like a mass amount of praying mantises on our fence. In the past week I've seen 3 different ones in the exact same spot. Only reason I know they are all different was the colors and size difference. Saw the biggest I've ever seen that measured out to be 7 inches long. I was told they're good luck so the weeds where I keep seeing them continue to grow despite how bad it looks.
Old 09-01-2013, 10:16 PM   #3
Gorgeous shots! Makes for an interesting day, for sure

I had a similar encounter earlier this summer when the Carolina wrens that nested in a potted plant on the front porch (they do that every year) sent out their alarms. I decided to investigate when it went on longer than usual and found a beautiful copperhead attempting to climb into the portable greenhouse the wrens nested in.

I went back into the house to grab a hook (and camera), but the snake was gone when I returned and the birds were more concerned with their brood of 4 than giving me a clue where it slithered off to.
Old 09-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
That's awesome! Great pictures. Thanks for sharing

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