Saturday, August 28, 2010

Snake Encounter, Bobcat Sighting -- Never a Boring Moment Here Lately

I wasn't going to blog this morning, but I've had some adventures. Here they are:

My husband and I have always said that when you least expect it you will run into a rattlesnake. Sure enough, I haven't seen one all summer long and had more or less forgotten about them. Then yesterday evening at sunset, I let the dogs out in their "snake proof" enclosure.

I see Angel, carefully tip-toeing toward something (she's not one to rush anything, thank God) as she started to bend her head to sniff, I realize it's a snake that looks like a rattlesnake, so I yell at her to stop. I have trained them to stop and this time she obeys and tip toes away.

Soldier, on the other hand, has missed his walks so much this summer that he developed a new hobby: Killing any critters he can get a hold of. I guess he feels a dog has to have some fun. He is right behind Angel when the snake lets out a big hiss and he sees it. I yell stop, he stops, but can't contain himself and starts again. I run about 15 feet in 0 time, grab his tail with my bad hand and arm and his collar with my right hand, and with my injured arm and my right, not so good arm, I get super strong from adrenaline and I lift and drag this 77 lb dog into the house, losing my slipper in the process.

Since I don't know if Angel got bitten, I grab my Benadryl that I keep for situations like this and shove three of them down her throat. I look her over and think she is OK, but I start with the three. I try to remember how long it took for Bandit to show symptoms when he was bitten, but my adrenaline is pumping and I can't remember.

So I go out to deal with the snake. In the four years I have lived here, I have never had to kill a rattlesnake. I have been able to lift them up on a shovel and carry them out on the land and release them. The light shovel was in the shed yesterday and I didn't feel comfortable leaving the snake to go and get it as it was getting dark and Samson has dug so many holes for a snake to hide in. Feeling threatened, the snake was getting aggressive, and I felt I had to kill it. I could barely lift the heavy shovel that was out there and I know I never would have been able to lift that snake and carry it anywhere. I hated to have to do this. I absolutely hated to have to kill it.

When the snake was dead, I realized I only had one slipper on. What an idiot one can be, barefoot with a rattlesnake! I put my boots on and tried to put the dead snake on the shovel to carry it into our field, but I couldn't lift it. I hate to have become so old and weak too this summer. I finally just had to drop the snake in the yard and deal with it this morning.

I'm not going to show you the photos of the dead snake. Instead, look at this critter:

I looked out the window early this morning and saw a bobcat come wandering across my yard. It settled down only partly in view behind my picnic table. (Oh, these wild critters, don't they know I want their picture? They never cooperate, that's for sure.) I waited a long time and then it saw something and crouched and jumped.

I don't think it caught anything but I got a snippet of a picture that I enlarged. Taken through my window, I think it gives a rather impressionistic view of the cat in action.

When it started to leave, I ran out my front door. It heard me and turned around for a moment, then went on its way.

Being a cat it just sauntered off, didn't run, didn't look scared, just nonchalantly went on its way and disappeared behind a juniper tree.

This is a Stink Beetle, there are two kinds, I don't know which one this is. It has an interesting defense mechanism, I wanted to show you. Since the bug my friend AJ-Oaks blogged about on her blog A Little Farm With A Big Heart  waited for her to get her camera, I told this bug to wait too, and it did. Then I sort of poked it a little and it went into its defensive position and let out the stinky stuff.

After I got my picture, I put the shovel back in the shed and went in the house. When I came out a while later, the bug was still on its head, which made me feel bad. I had to laugh at myself, but I really felt bad I had disturbed it. After a while though it got down and went on its way.

So not a boring moment these last few days.


  1. Good Grief Girl!!! That's a lot of trouble! Are you alright, any damage to your previous injury? Soldier is a lot of dog! Good pictures of the wild cat and the beetle! Your own little corner of "Wild America"! Whew!

  2. Sharon: Some adventure, huh? I'm fine, I've inspected the fence, no holes, no idea how it got in. Cleaning up out there so no there will be more holes and hiding places in a few days.

  3. Oh that was an adrenalin filled day! I guess you have to be that brave facing a rattle snake if you live in the country... I don't know if I could get used to it although I begun to admire snakes and wouldn't want to kill them. I am sorry you had to make such a difficult decision.
    The bob cat is absolutely beautiful!!
    The bug?? I love the stinky pose:))

  4. Sandra: I have a plan of action now for next time. Put a trash can over the snake, wait until morning when it is cold and the snake is out of it. Get the right shovel and remove the snake alive. It was too crazy last night and I have to forgive myself as I too like snakes a whole lot.

  5. Rattlesnakes! You are one brave soul, Inger!
    What a beauty of a cat! Imagine...outside your window no less.

  6. Holy Smokes, Inger! You were very brave. It's amazing what adrenalin can do, isn't it? I hope that you didn't re-injure yourself.

    That bobcat is just gorgeous. How lucky you are to have seen one in the wild.

  7. Inger, I can't remember if I blogged about it, but I met up with a bobcat, too, out here. I was carrying stuff to my truck, for spinning class, and the bobcat was sleeping next to the tree, by the truck. He jumped up and ran to the fence, then turned back like he was going to do something. I had not clue one what to do, so I figured, be as big as possible, and I held my arms out (spinning wheel in one hand, basket of fluff in the other), and BELLOWED "Git! HE-YAH!" That poor thing did a backflip over the fence to get away from me. (I wasn't real pleased with him, he ate five of my hens... But it was still really cool to see him so close.)


    PS, I am glad no one was hurt in your snake incident, that was just spooky to me.

  8. Inger, I didn't mean to imply you did something wrong ... I just put myself into your shoes (well, one slipper:) and thought how difficult it must have been for you to make that decision. What you did is beyond brave. We can do planning sitting on the couch, but when things happen we react instinctively. I just hope you have no more snake encounters... especially where they are not supposed to be. There's nothing to forgive yourself for.

  9. Wow, Inger! Lots of excitement and some great pics too! Stay safe with all those wild critters....they are beautiful and to be respected, for sure!

  10. Jabacue: I wasn't brave at all, I just had to keep my dogs safe. I'm not afraid of snakes and regret that I didn't have a backup plan to move it alive. I now have one.

    Louise: I see the cats here from time to time. But very little wildlife this year.

    Cat: I don't think a bobcat would attack anything larger than a chicken! But he ate five -- amazing!

    Sandra: I know you didn't, but I like snakes too. Now I have a backup plan and that's good. Plus I'm cleaning up out there.

    Judy: I'm OK with these critters, just have to keep my dogs safe.

  11. Hej inger, och herre hjälp vilket äventyr. Vad modig du är, hade aldrig vågat göra det du gjorde med ormen.Rena rama vilda västern hos dig. Tur ingen kom till skada. Och vilken vacker katt.
    Kram Petra

  12. Beautiful cat pictures:) It's probably the same cat I used to see in that canyon. Glad no one got bit by the snake & glad to hear of your new plan-of-action.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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