The Man came home in time for lunch today. I was glad. I will be the first to admit that I need a daily nap these days. Since everyone was still at the table eating I thought it would be a good idea to get a head start on my nap while no one had an excuse to be up walking around.
One of the flaws of our house is that the vibrations of the footsteps of a child not purposely walking softly can be felt by someone trying to sleep at the opposite end of the house. I shared this revelation with The Man. "Really? Maybe you should try sleeping after working overnight in the ER first." OK, so he was already aware of this flaw.
After trying in vain for 1/2 hour to get to sleep I got up, still groggy, cranky, and napless. After another hour or so The Man and children were going to go outside. I would try again for a nap. I was just starting to doze off again when I heard The Man instructing the children to stay back. I heard the word "snake" and "hoe." Hmmm...why would The Man need a hoe for a harmless garter or gopher snake? I got up again and went to investigate.
The Man was on our back porch taking this picture...
M had gone on the back porch to work on refinishing the dresser he had finally decided upon for his room. The Dog was out there with him and started sniffing around. That's when M noticed the snake over in the corner.
After taking the picture, The Man struck at the rattling and striking snake with a hoe. He got it (note the smooshed head and neck). Nine rattles on this Western Rattlesnake!
The kids still had to stay back. Even though it was no longer striking, it was writhing around. A few minutes later The Man used the sticks to stretch it out for some measurements.
Even in its mostly dead* state, it wouldn't lay still for measurements. Our best estimate is right at 3 feet long.
Although our neighbors have all had rattlesnakes, we've never seen one on our property until this summer. M told us yesterday that he thought he saw one up on the hill behind our house. I asked The Man last night what I should do if I encountered one when he wasn't home. He said I should kill it.
"With a hoe?"
"The shotgun would be more effective."
After some discussion, it was decided that it would be a lot quicker for me to use the hoe. I'm glad he decided on the hoe today, especially since it was on the back porch.
Sacagawea will need someone to scout the porch for her this summer before she heads out there with the Play-do. I don't even want to think about what would have happened if she had been the first to encounter it! We prefer just to leave the snakes alone since they help control the rodent population, but this poisonous one was just too close and dangerous.
*Extra credit if you can name that movie...the theme song for the movie was played at our wedding.