Rectory Rattler? Croatulus Horridus? Yet again?

This doesn’t seem to be a Copperhead. And there are plenty of non-poisonous Eastern Racers or Black Rat Snakes or even “Garden Snakes” with similar patterns for the very young, cleverly making them look more dangerous than they are. And I know that there are a gazillion different patterns for the tiny babies even amongst the poisonous rattlers.

But there are four tell-tale identifiers:

  • One is the super-fat body typical of a poisonous snake, whereas the non-poisonous are super-slender from head to tail, so that you can’t tell the tail from the body which is also about the same circumference as the head. But the specimen above has a super-fat body.
  • Then there’s the ultra-super-slender tail compared to that fat body, and that’s true of our specimen above.
  • Then there’s the rattle, of course, except for the super-young, like this guy. He has the tell-tale “button tail”, though that last button bit is a bit elongated. He just in middle of his first shedding.
  • Then there’s the exaggerated triangular head. Behold:

I think that about settles it. But I’m no herpetologist, though I do have lengthy commentary wrought with historical philology for chapters two and three of Genesis. But that doesn’t count here. If anyone can tell me what this is, I’m open to a correction.

Backing up my hypothesis – just a hypothesis mind you – is the fact that this part of Appalachia seems to be an epicenter for Rattlers. Horribly, people run them over on the road – it seems on purpose – and many then stop and rip out the fangs to use for necklaces. Yep. And then we’re all overrun by varmints.

He was very photogenic, in a rather cold-blooded manner, it being that he’s cold-blooded, and it’s very cold today. After pictures I chased him off to safer territory.

I mentioned this to someone who was horrified (per the name Horridus), afraid for me and Shadow-dog when it grows to some four to five feet long.

But they have rattles to warn you, right? They know how to avoid humans and dogs. They’re after mice and rats and mice and squirrels and… the neighbors’ chickens… and baby kittens and little puppies…

I know, I know.

I assume that they are living on the creek bank next to the rectory, under branches and such. All good.

And, just in case, I know right where my Sawyer’s Extractor is. Just a minute away. Lying down. Calling the neighbors to bring me to EMS or Urgent Care or the Emergency Room. Trying to be still, but using the Extractor a gazillion times.

Today, in the TLM calendar, it’s the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Time for another flower for the Immaculate Conception. Give me a minute to put up some pictures for that post after this one. You’ll need to tell the story for that one, though.


Filed under Nature

5 responses to “Rectory Rattler? Croatulus Horridus? Yet again?

  1. pelerin

    I am surprised to learn that today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I have just returned from a TLM in a neighbouring town and noted that the the Mass Vestments were red. I did not have my missal with me and forgot to check before leaving home so presume Mass was for the Feast of a Martyr.

  2. sanfelipe007

    Ha! Great post, Father.

  3. Nice photograph ! It encouraged me to do a little bit of herpetological web surfing. I am not good at snake ID, but there is a group that might be interested in that picture:

  4. Aussie Mum

    Growing up in Australia and living in isolated and bushy areas for much of my childhood has resulted in a severe aversion to snakes, and so I am glad it was you who found a snake in your yard, Father, and not me in mine. Twenty-one of the world’s twenty-five most dangerous snakes are native to Australia but happily I haven’t had close contact with one for many years. We do, of course, have anti-venom stocked by Australian hospitals and most of those bitten are saved by this means but I hadn’t heard, until reading your post today, of a Sawyer’s Extractor for personal use before help arrives. Here we are only told to apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to the bitten area and rest until an ambulance or flying doctor service arrives.

  5. Monica Harris

    “….your seed….and her Seed…”
    Perfect timing.

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