Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Thirsty Green Mojave and the Good Sheriff Gopher

This is a picture I found on the Internet of a
Green Mojave Rattlesnake.

I thought I'd write about him first for my own personal therapy, since you guys didn't seem to have a definate preference of order here.

I couldn't get a picture of the real one.
That is, the one that showed up on my back porch yesterday afternoon.
The one that was right next to the water bucket.
The same water bucket that is next to the hose.
The same hose I told my son to use to rinse out the cooler for the BBQ cookout we were headed to.

I couldn't get a picture of the real one because I was busy trying to process the information my son just gave me:

Kid:  MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!  (Door slams REALLY loud)

Me:  Thinking... That doesn't sound good.  Look at kid's face as he flies into the kitchen.  Face is white.  White as in I-just-saw-a-ghost-white.  Very white.  Sound of slammed door still ringing in my ears...

"What happened????"

Kid:  There's a snake.

Me: It's a rattler, isn't it?

Kid:  Yes. He's green.

Me:  sh**.  That would be a Green Mojave.  Not good.

Kid: Mom.  Mom?  I was getting the hose.  I bent down to get the nozzle by the water bucket you put out for Bolt. It was a foot away from my arm and face.  Ready to strike. It was really mad. I didn't hear the rattle until I was down next to it.

Me:  But it didn't strike, right?  You're OK aren't you? 

Kid: No, it didn't strike.  Get the gun. No, I'll get my pellet gun...  it's too close to the house.

Me:  ...and the neighbor is mowing.  I'll call over there and tell Mrs. Neighbor what's going on so she can get Mr. Neighbor out of that tall grass he's pushin' that mower through in his sneakers and shorts. 
...and have her send him over with the "snake kit".

Kid:  Mom.  It could have bit me.  It was so close.

Me:  I know, baby.  But it didn't. You're OK. Come on....

So I call the neighbor while my son's getting his pellet gun loaded up.  The neighbor gets the snake noose and garbage can.  We spend 30 minutes trying to get the darn thing out of a bush. Almost got it in the trash can...but it wouldn't go.
Then my son got a clear shot at it and took it.  Missed the first time and pegged it the second.  He was pretty sure he got it in the head...but then we couldn't find the body. got away, under the damn bush again.  Probably back into it's hole nearby.  Hopefully to die... but we're not sure.

The problem is, it's right by the back door... and right in the fenced in area for the dog.  ...and right by the hose.  And that snake got too close to my kid, and in doing that, declared war with me, Mamma Griz.

So now we're crazy hyper vigilant.  OK paranoid...
Fine...scared sh**less.  Yep, that describes it best.

So we're not letting Bolt out for her kangaroo pouncing romps in the field to chase lizzards.  We're having to walk her on the leash...

I had errands to run today, ...and on my way home, just down the street from my driveway, I ran over a...


Another slithering venomous snake.

I didn't even see it until it started thrashing after I apparently ran over it's tail.  Great. 

So we go in and get Bolt leashed to go for her walk...but not until I put my boots on.  This Texas girl has now officially given up her flip-flops for the monsoons.  Kissed them goodbye, just like they were trying to tell me to all along...

I loaded my son's Heritage .22 pistol with snake-shot and we headed out for our walk.

When we got home...
almost to the front sidewalk...

my son said,

"Mom be careful still, a snake could be right here."
He pointed to the ground...

and I kid you not

there was another snake.

I wish I had a picture of his face!
He shocked himself so badly he couldn't move for several seconds, then he almost shot it.

I started to laugh, because I knew THAT snake.
It was the gopher snake that lives in my garden area.
Sheriff Gopher Snake.

My little cowboy almost shot the sheriff.

I guess not much has changed out here in the wild west, huh?


ain't for city gals said...

Oh boy....been there and done that a couple of times and don't want to do it again! The scariest thing is when you almost step on them isn't it so weird how you don't see them..they blend right in...really makes you super aware for a long time....glad your boy did not get bit..I think my MollieDog can smell them...the only thing she is afraid of which is good...

Wrexie said...

Bad dreams scary, huh? It makes you very aware.
I almost touched a baby copperhead one day in TX while planing flowers. That woke me up too. Hardly ever saw a rattler there, unless we had bad floods.

I think Bolt knows the smell. She always stops and sniffs the spot in the road where I hit the diamondback. Then she looks across the field, like..."where are you bad boy?"

Anonymous said...

Gotta love AZ...Not only is it hot as hell we have snakes and bugs that can kill us...

Mikey said...

Lol, loving your blog. I love you get hypervigilant after a close call. We do that too. Wade stepped on one off the porch, lucky for him he stepped on it's head, but the tail came up and struck his calf. He wasn't the same for a loooongg time, lol. Super jumpy, lol.
Glad your neighbor catches them though. That's what we do here. I'm fascinated by the snakes, but very very careful of them too.
Off to read more of your blog :) btw, I want neighbors like yours. Feds :) That would be so nice!

Wrexie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Mikey...

Those snakes make me jumpy like a Jack-in-the-box. Oh My Gosh, I know!

I looked out the window this winter and saw my dog trotting across the desert with a snake in her mouth. She found the Mojave... dead, thank goodness. She really didn't want to hand it over, either. Just glad she didn't chew on the head!