“You brood of vipers!” – Saint John the Baptist
I came upon this guy near the hermitage on the “day-off” yesterday. Not quite four feet long [correction: 50.5 inches] but really quite hefty. He’s been eating very well. I’m guessing a few pounds. Quite the set of fangs. Quite the rattler, from which you can tell he’s only a youngster:
Timber Rattlers, everywhere in this area of the Blue Mountains, can also be almost totally black, but this guy had only a black tail. The rest was the usual spectacular golden color and black markings:
Meanwhile, getting back to the rectory late at night, another suspicious pattern, but actually just a baby black snake faking being a Timber Rattler. This is just a section of the body. He’s been ripped apart before I got back from the “day-off.” Poor thing.
Ho-hum. Looking out the kitchen window this morning I see that Shadow-dog just pooped out a full size Timber Rattlesnake. Markings. Fat body. Relatively short tail. Ultra-fat head with fangs. Wikipedia says that “Potentially, this is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size, and high venom yield.” They warn with lots of antics, but I think that only makes Shadow-dog’s adrenaline pump all the more. Sorry that this next photo didn’t focus, but this is the decapitated head:
Out of focus or not, that’s good enough for me. All very poopy.
Not to worry. I looked it up. Dogs eating venomous snakes for breakfast doesn’t hurt them in the least. :-) Shadow-dog was simply content with a good snack.
It’s been raining and raining and raining after snowing and snowing and snowing. The back yard is a bit of a mess. I’m planning on extending the fence and planting lots of grass seed. Meanwhile, don’t feel sorry for wet and muddy Shadow-dog. He has a warm dry shelter out of the weather tucked far back under the non-mud-cement-patio corrugated roof. Also, he comes in for most of the night. You just have to know that a GSD loves water and mud. He’s been expanding his mud holes with water in them just for fun. I don’t mind. I did that as a kid. Why not?
Anyway, a thought came to mind. You can see how there is zero shelter, zero hiding places for a snake, particular a Timber Rattler which stays in, well, you know, the timber, the forest. We’re in the middle of a city. How is it that that Rattler would insist on being inside that fence line slithering immediately right into the jaws of Shadow-dog, who, by the way, wouldn’t be hidden. It just doesn’t make sense. Ain’t gonna happen if you ask me. The snake, on its own, would zip away. Poor snake. Maybe he was thrown in while I was on my day off. If that’s the case, the result is the following:
- One proud and brave Shadow-dog.
- One now impressed but scared snake-handler.
- Just when people think they “have you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
- Just when the devil thinks he “has you”, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.
- Just when your fallen human nature thinks it has won, you come out stronger for it, more character, a broader foundation of experience from which to proceed, with Jesus, of course. Hah.