Thursday, July 18, 2013

Midnight snake wranging - beginner's class

This is the first snake wrangling 101 of the season with Jim. . . . I have caught probably the same bull snake 2 other times up around the garden, both of those times it was stretched out either in the grass sunning or holed up in the old tires by the garden shed.  When it was sunning, I just chased it into the wind break and made sure it stayed out of my way.

Now let me set this up properly.  The proper attaire for snake wrangling are leather boots, jeans and some type of long extension of yourself like a rake or shovel.  If you watch Animal Planet you would get a sense of what is considered proper attaire.

Now picture this . . . . I am working at the computer which I do in the evenings until I go to bed.  I am in my comfy summer clothes which are a tank top, thin cotton capri pants and flip flops for when I have to walk outside.

My dear husband comes to my office and says "I need your help NOW!"  I look at him like what on earth could you possibly need my help with at this late hour when you are supposed to be heading to work.  So I pretty much ask that same question.  He responds with, "there is a snake by my car that is hissing." 

OK, so out we go, me in my cotton capris and flip flops without a flash light or any kind of light to illuminate the area in question.  Jim says to keep it hissing so I know where it is.  Yea right, not when I am that vulnerable.  I didn't even know which side of the car it was on. . . . He runs into the house and gets a flashlight and his big shotgun because he was going to shoot the snake. 

Once in the spotlight I can clearly see that it has Jim's front passenger tire guarded and the snake was hissing up a storm.  I think Honey-Cat and Miss Kitty had been antagonizing it because it was all kinds of pissed off.  When I finally see it I say no to shooting it, it is just a little bull snake.  We can chase it or toss it towards the stubble field.  So the shotgun was laid aside.  Jim kept it in his sights with the light and I moved the car back to free up the lane to the field and got 2 shovels.  Jim did the flipping and I was spotter and misdirector.  It was coiled up as tight as it could go and took several well timed strikes at the shovel; it was really pissed off.  Jim got a little more brave with each toss. . . The best toss was about 6 feet in length with the snake flying up about 5 feet in the air.  It did not retreat and slither away after being tossed because each time Jim scooped it up in the shovel it was coiled tight, hissing and preparing to strike.

We finally got it into the field and Jim safely off to work.  Maybe that snake has learned its lesson that the yard is no place to be.  Yesterday it was in the same general area and a bird was dive bombing it from the tree.  Course at that time I was not home so by the time Jim got his gun and came back out the snake had run for cover and Jim had no idea where it was.  I think it retreated to the safety of the log by the retaining wall where Jim parked his car today.  Lesson learned, I think.