Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why do I do this?

Driving westbound on CR28 toward the ranch the other day and I spied a snake on the road. Snakes like to sun themselves on the warm hardtop, but it's not a good deal for them. I've seen half a dozen bull snakes dead in the same area this year, all victims of traffic.
Prairie Rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis viridis. That slight bulge a third of the
way back from the head may be a former rodent.
Don't like to see flat snakes. Always seems a waste to me. But I'm in the minority. Anyway, I stopped to see if the snake had been hit. It hadn't, and it was a rattlesnake.

When I find 'em alive on the road I move them into the ditch. Bull snakes usually move themselves and they're usually grumpy about it.

Rattlesnakes, on the other hand, coil up defensively. I usually scoop 'em up with a shovel and put 'em in the ditch. They're usually fairly quiet about the whole deal, and rarely strike at the shovel.
Coiled up and already testy.
I hopped out of the pickup and reached for the shovel I always carry in the back. Except it wasn't there. I'd taken it out the day before and hadn't put it back yet.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I pulled the sectional jack handle out from under the seat and slotted it together. Seven feet long and a little wobbly but it did the trick. This snake was highly irritated, though, and clearly wanted to bite me by the time I placed him in the ditch.

But he didn't end up flat, at least not there and then. Why do I do this? Just stubborn and contrary I guess.
Home, home in the ditch.