Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Snakes alive!

A nest of vipers that I took on my last day of my bike ride through the Allegheny Mountains a year ago.
This a 'basking knoll' of timber rattlers awaiting to give birth. They are probably 6 feet long and would be the most poisonous snake in the US given the length of its fangs and size of its poison sac but it is the most docile of the rattle snakes. Crotalus horridus is it official name. Usually they are lighter in color but in this section of the mountains, they are dark.

This week a boy was hospitalized due to massasauga  rattle snake bite he got wandering through the botanical gardens. They have signs warning of them all over the place there and have a stuffed one in the lobby. They are the least toxic rattle snake with tiny fangs and small venom sacs as opposed to my friends I came across last year on my bike ride. I don't think I have ever seen the Michigan variety unless it was those snakes swimming with their heads out of the water going from island to island at the Girl Scout camp. I've seen California rattlers quite a few times.
Snake deaths in the US are rare, about 5 a year and most of the victims were at holy roller churches doing snake trials..like Jesus will protect you from the fangs. Well He didn't. In Northern Appalachia, they use timber rattle snakes and in the south, copperheads. Snake trials seem rare in California.
Another rainy day. Will write later.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

I don't do snakes well. Sad, because we have some of the world's most venomous. I can appreciate their beauty - from a looooong way away. And the time I found myself swimming with one still haunts me. We had a red-bellied black snake which lived under the front steps in one of our homes. And I only used the back door for about nine months of the year.


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