Rattlesnake Watch 2008
Lilly and I cut our Sunday morning walk short — partially because it was already hot-hot-hot and partially because our neighbor Debbie reported seeing TWO rattlesnakes on her walk. She got back just a bit before we left. THEN, when we got back home, another neighbor called.
Aaron across the street reported that Josie, that very young Lab that Lilly met on the road several weeks ago, got bit by a rattlesnake Saturday night, after 8 pm. Her family is out of town, but someone is staying with her. She’s spent the last couple days with the veterinarian. They think she’s going to be OK, despite her relatively small size, etc.
What’s weird is that it happened so late. Trust me, when the sun goes down in the valley, the temperature at this altitude drops. So, the only thing I can think of is that with near 100-degree temps lately, the snake stored up some good body heat and was out later than usual.
This is the second dog from that same family to be bitten since we moved up here in 2001. I’d be completely paranoid after one bite, never mind a second one. Last summer, we had one close call with a rattlesnake, but otherwise, we’ve never had any near to the house (that we know of).
Due to fire danger (which is super high this summer), Tom has already mowed our wild grasses back from the house. But, there are still some longer areas out on the edges of our property. Some people up here mow everything short, believing that it gives snakes nowhere to hide from hawks, etc., which they hope keeps them away from open areas.
Personally, I like a bit more of a natural look to the pastures, but we might have to cut back more, if these reports keep coming in.
For now, I’m keeping the dogs inside, unless one of us is with them, and when we are out, I’m keeping an eye (and an ear) peeled for any slithering and/or rattling sounds. Generally, if you don’t bug them, they won’t bug you, but if you surprise a rattler, it will strike.