I'm just sayin'

Well, It Happened Again. Sort Of.

on September 14, 2012

There I was minding my own business, hanging laundry out to solar dry in my own backyard when I heard a noise. I thought the noise was my neighbors sprinkler system about to come on – then I saw my little precious dog, Phoebe Rae take a jump back. So I had to look what had her startled and lo and be hold a rattle snake! Yep, a rattler just 5 feet away from me and only a foot or so from Phoebe. Holy mackerel! I swooped her up and ran for the house with tiny Bubbles, my neighbor’s Yorkie, right behind me. I locked them in the house and shut the gate I share with my neighbor so their Golden Retriever wouldn’t wander in to the yard. And then I called Animal Control, just like the time I called when I was held hostage in my own house by a gopher snake next to the driver door of my truck.

The difference this time was I knew it was a rattle snake – it rattled, which really sounded like sssssssss – like water bubbling to push up a sprinkler head. It didn’t sound like a rattle snake in a cartoon where it sounds like a egg-shaker instrument. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ll be confused in the future when I hear that noise. Anyway, when I called animal control and told them I had a rattle snake in my backyard they of course I asked what color it was. WTHeck? Color? “Uh, rattle snake color,” I said.  Okay, so she wanted something more defining than that. I have to go out in the back yard again to look at it and check out it’s color. In order to get to the area, leaving a large berth between me and the ivy covered fence it was up against, I had to duck under an orange tree. All the while I was on the phone explaining to the animal control lady where I was headed. As I ducked under the tree, the leaves brushed my neck and I did a little dance and squeal brushing away whatever I thought was touching me – just a natural reaction. I think?  When I got to where I thought I had seen it, it wasn’t there. Knowing there’s a snake on your property and you don’t know where it is, I think is worse than knowing you have one and knowing where it is. But I looked further down the fence line and found it still curled up sun bathing.

I told the animal control lady on the phone it was earth tone with cream like circley-things outlining the earth tone part. I did remind her it made  the rattle noise. She said, “We’ll send an officer out there as soon as we can.”  That was it. Triple AAA asks me more questions about my safety when I’ve locked my keys in the car. Sigh. All righty then, I guess I won’t be doing that yard work I had planned for my morning before-it-gets-too-hot-activity. However, I did use the time to go back in and grab my camera to see if I could get a picture of it. Two reasons I wanted the picture; 1. Why not?  2. Proof. If that snake slithered away before the officer would arrive I wanted to show him a picture on my camera that I indeed had a rattle snake in my backyard. I didn’t want to get on some wacky, crazy-woman list at the animal control facility. I have made several, okay, maybe half a dozen or so calls to them, justifiable calls, over the last couple of years. I don’t have a problem utilizing my tax-paying right to ask them to come to my property and remove a dead coyote or an injured bird or stray dog. It seems as though when I call them, I am in “the system”. They call me by name. Oh, I also called them when a neighbor continually let his dog poop on the SIDEWALK in front of my house. That is not okay. Believe me, I asked him once nicely to pick it up when I caught him red-handed – or I should say caught his dog in the middle of doing his business, this time at the top of my driveway, on the cement. Crazy weirdo. So I need to have the animal control people on my side. I wanted proof the rattle snake was there. And when I went out to ‘shoot’ it, luckily it was still there. Yep, I got a picture. I didn’t get real close – used a little zoom. It wasn’t a very big snake. It was probably about 20 inches – maybe two feet long.

Finally, the animal control guy arrived, actually pretty quickly. I had enough time to call my cousin Smitty J, to tell her about the snake. The officer arrived while I was still on the phone, so not too long. I led the way to where I spotted it and again I couldn’t locate the snake right away. This time it had moved back a little so it was a little more camouflaged but still there. The officer had his pole with a pincher-like thing to pick it up with. I don’t think he thought I was correct in identifying it as a rattle snake. But when he saw it he went back out to his truck to get a large plastic bag to put it in. He had  pretty good reflexes, nabbing it on the first try. That went pretty quickly. I’m not so sure you get a second try – I think it would take off after a miss. Safely in the bag I looked a little closer at it. I asked the guy if they relocated the snakes. Uh, no they don’t. Oh. Now I felt a little badly for the little fella. He wasn’t even big enough to make a hat band out of. Not that I would have…But I didn’t really think they executed them. I wonder how they do that? Do they take ’em out back and shoot it? Yuk. Well, I guess we’re back to survival of the fittest theme. Sorry little snake but I have dogs and friends come to visit with their dogs and the neighbor’s dogs visit. I’m not sure when I will ever get the yard work done. I’m a little gun-shy! It’s kind of difficult raking and looking around to be sure the snake’s mom isn’t gunnin’ for me.

Contra Costa Animal Control Officer


For the faint-of-heart and the interested a snake picture is below!

A Western Rattle Snake, found in my backyard. It was about 20 inches long.


6 responses to “Well, It Happened Again. Sort Of.

  1. Derek says:

    Never a dull moment! =)

  2. realteal says:

    Congratulations on safe removal and life returning to normal. And to yard work! Oh and tiny Bubbles, hahaha. Funny. Thanks for a great read.

  3. VirgoVoice says:

    yep, back to normal. However, I’m taking the day off from yard work!!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    i am totally creeped out!!! Scary. I am so glad no human or animal was hurt!!

    • VirgoVoice says:

      Yeah, every time I go to that part of the yard I have to look in the spot I found it. Which really doesn’t matter because another snake could be anywhere in the vicinity, it doesn’t have to be in the same spot.

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