Rattlesnake

What a rush!  This evening I was reading in bed with the sliding door open to the screen and the curtains closed.

The cat ducked under the curtain and took a swipe at the screen.  Immediately a rattle started – the kind that sounds like the drip system turning on but makes your heart rate go up and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I grabbed my camera and turned on the outdoor light, but the snake was backing away under the chaise and the flash went off, bouncing the light off the glass of the window.  

I decided not to go outside for a better shot.  The tiles are 12” so the snake looks to be just over 2 feet long.

The cat’s tail was completely furred out after the rattle started.  Bet she’s never seen a rattlesnake before.  Luckily I had closed the screen.  I’d had it open all day. 

Whew!  That the first snake I’ve had (well – known about) in this yard.

Flowers and Bugs

 

Up until dusk I’d been enjoying my flowers (sweet potatoe vine and bougainvillea in pots shown here), and various bugs – butterflies dancing around the lantana, bees covering the texas rangers.

I had rescued a walking stick from a spider web the other day.  Last night I moved a large one from my bedside lamp to outdoors.  I was curious as to what they ate (whether they were carniverous, like the praying mantis), and found that they are herbivores and that males are not needed for reproduction!

Many stick insects are easy to care for, and make good pets. Almost 300 species have been reared in captivity.

The most commonly kept, the Indian stick insect, Carausius morosus, requires a tall (25+ cm) vivarium (even a jar with a few holes punched in the top), some bramble, ivy, privet and lettuce and an atmosphere at room temperature. Indian stick insects are almost all female with only a few half-males (gynandromorphs) and these are not needed for reproduction. They reproduce by parthenogenesis and seem content living on their own. All stick insects moult and may eat the shed skin. By the sixth moult the Indian stick insect will lay eggs.

I also caught a wolf spider in the bathtub and let it go outside.  (Luckily I didn’t have to move the snake.)

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7 Responses to “Rattlesnake”

  1. N Says:

    Wow!!!!!!!! BTW, I rescue wolf spiders all the time; love ’em and call ’em all Charlotte. Keep that screen closed, GF.

  2. LYN KAGEY Says:

    What a rush, indeed! I know how you feel. I found one on my patio, about 4 ft long, just a couple of feet from the screen door one evening at dusk. I was nervous about putting the dogs out for several days, but it never reappeared. However, I live in a closely populated suburb. You are out in the wilds… Thank goodness for your cat! (and you never thought you would hear me say THAT)

  3. Jim Says:

    What a beautiful creature – and what a real life drama it gave you…
    Because of our rich rodent and lizard populations, we have many rattlesnakes here – 10 to 15 encounters every year. When our son was young, I relocated them, using a pail with lid. Now I no longer bother. They are commonly eaten by the hawks, gray fox, coyotes, and king snakes. Snake bite kits have been shown to ineffectual. There is an instinctive fear of snakes in all primates. There is insurance against being bitten, always watching where you step.

  4. Jim Says:

    PS. In Tucson, a friend’s cat was bitten on the head and recovered without treatment after a week. Our dog was bitten in the head and survived without treatment. They, unlike us, do have extremely fast reactions – reducing the amount venom injected. I once watched a turtle dove fly up into a mesquite, drop dead to the ground in 10-15 seconds, and then be swallowed by the rattlesnake which struck him.

  5. Stella Says:

    Hey Lynne – I just met the man you need. His business card reads: Snakebuster – Catch and relocate all reptiles! Seriously – glad you or the cat were NOT on the patio then.
    Stella

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