Skip to main content
Farm Fresh Forensics
rss feedour twitterour facebook page
site map
Latest Posts

Farm Fresh Blog

Monday, August 04 2014

Growing up in a place thick with rattlesnakes, my momma imprinted this lesson on me pretty early:

"Thou shalt not mess with ratttlesnakes! If you, as a tiny child, get bitten, we are too far away from the hospital to save you."

Alrightie then. So as children, although we regularly saw rattlesnakes, we did NOT under any circumstances get up close and personal with them unless the head had been cut off. Then and only then could you play cruel jokes on Mom, like stuffing the body of a 5' rattlesnake under the back porch just enough so that his lack of a head was hidden.

This particular snake had to be pulled back into place multiple times before my mother saw it because the body kept crawling off without its head. YES! Snakes do that. You learn weird facts like this when you live in the boondocks. So we pulled that sucker back into position many times. It was a pain in the butt, but the payoff when she came home carrying groceries and saw that giant snake sticking out from under the porch gave us riotous amusement. Forty years later, I'm still laughing. (My family has always been a little twisted.)

But I digress . . .

Each year Other Half simply MUST attend the grand Hunting Show which hosts booths and booths of vendors with plans on separating the hunter from his money. This is DisneyWorld for men. I get dragged along each year just because Other Half enjoys my company. (I guess that's the reason.) Anyway, for the most part, Father and Adult Son run around with starry eyes like children, darting from booth to booth. I have little or no interest in the booths, except one particular one.

  Yes, those are rattlesnakes. Lots and lots of rattlensakes. This is a large pen and they are clustered along each wall, and underneath the lawnchairs and table in the center. The pen is made from a double layer of hardware cloth (1/4" wire mesh) tacked over 2x4 boards. The wire is the covered with 1' boards on the seams. This gives a relatively snake-proof enclosure. The humans step through a raised doorway to enter the pen. Thus no snake can squeeze under an ill-fitting gap between the door and the floor.

I tell you these things not because you, or I, ever plan on containing a hundred rattlesnakes inside a convention center. No! I have studied this man's enclosure because he uses it effectively to keep snakes inside. I plan to use something like this to keep snakes OUTSIDE! Outside my flower garden. Outside my dog pen. O-U-T-S-I-D-E!

I plan to fence this area in a pen similar to his rattlesnake cage.


And so that's my only real reason to look at this excuse for nightmares. That, and I'm morbidly curious about the people who do not police themselves and their children around these things. Last year I watched older kids lifting themselves up on their elbows to lean over the railing. Their feet weren't even touching the ground. This pen was not designed to support the weight of multiple small children using it as a jungle gym. There is only ONE man inside the pen to interact with the public, and not manage to get bitten by snakes himself.

 Those snakeboots work. I watched this guy get bitten multiple times. He's a walking adverstisement for snake boots.

My point is that this guy cannot be responsible for YOUR CHILDREN! This is not a babysitting service! This man is trying to look out for you, your kids, and himself, but it is your responisibility as a parent to keep your kids from hanging on the fence, poking their fingers through the mesh, and putting their faces up against the wire. Yep. I've seen it all.

And my conclusion is that these are future Darwin Award Winners, parents who expect the world to be so sanitized that it's safe for their child to be nose to nose with a rattlesnake because the snake is behind a wire cage.

 Alrightie then.

I was also able to talk to the main snake guy regarding my copperheads. It has come to my attention that  many of my copperheads that are the size of adults still have yellow tails which indicate they are still juveniles.

 I noted that my juvenile copperheads were much larger than the copperheads in his display terrarium which had the solid red tails of adults. My question was: When do juvenile copperheads lose the yellow tail?

He looked at my photograph and assured me that yes, indeed, that was a copperhead. Yes it was a juvenile. And yes, that was a pretty freakin' big copperhead to still be a baby.  Hmmmm....

I thanked him for his time and took more pictures of the way he built his snake cage. If this size snake is a baby, my flower garden definitely needs a snake fence around it.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  10 Comments  |  Email
I absolutely love the way you tell a story and always have such great pictures to go along with it! (In spite of the fact that this one made my skin completely CRAWL when I saw the one with the rattlesnake stretched out!) I have trouble breathing and looking at a live snake at the same time......
Posted by Janie on 08/04/2014 - 01:20 PM
I have a friend who just relocated to Arizona. She described most of the properties they looked at as having short, three-block-high concrete "snake fences" topped with what ever other fencing (if any) the owner preferred. I don't know...don't rattlesnakes/copperheads slither up walls? I'd also want to bury the bottom of your fence a healthy depth. Just sayin'.
Posted by EvenSong on 08/04/2014 - 01:56 PM
Although possible, I doubt they'd go to the trouble to slither up the fence unless you had an attractant like chicken eggs or rodents inside. So to answer your question, I wouldn't trust any fence 100%.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 08/04/2014 - 02:03 PM
I'm surprised someone didn't try yo lift up the fence.
Posted by Eric on 08/04/2014 - 05:54 PM
I was married briefly to a herpetologist (any time your husband comes in from a collecting trip, slips into bed and says"watch where you step in the morning is not going to a restful night). I can tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect snake fence... and if those were my kids I would be watching them like a hawk.
Posted by Susan Riches on 08/04/2014 - 06:18 PM
Oh hell no! That would be a brief marriage for me too!
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 08/04/2014 - 06:38 PM
Glad our snakes tend to disappear when they feel vibrations/ [not always]. So no jumping over logs and boots are useful. I have rarely seen a snake [60+yrs] and have always lived near bush. There are some LGD deaths and probably other dogs. We have some of the most poisonous snakes in the world.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 08/04/2014 - 08:24 PM
Yes Liz, I've seen your snakes on Animal Planet! I do worry about Livestock Guardian Dogs up here because they won't be as close to the house. I'm hoping to put a dent in the copperhead breeding population before I move Briar up here.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 08/04/2014 - 08:56 PM
Regarding a hundred rattlesnakes confined inside a convention centre.... WHY?????? Shudder.
Posted by AlbertaGirl on 08/05/2014 - 10:07 AM
Apparently the sight of all those snakes draws a lot of attention, and attention means $$$ to a convention center. Eric, I saw that snake you sent me in the email. EEEkkkkk! Gross! (I'd send a response to it by email, but I haven't figured out that part of my email system for the website mail. I can receive mail but cannot seem to send replies.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 08/08/2014 - 10:30 AM

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.

Red Feather Ranch, Failte Gate Farm

© 2009-2019, Farm Fresh Forenics, Forensicfarmgirl, Failte Gate Farm, Red Feather Ranch All Rights Reserved.

rss feedour twitterour facebook page