Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Snakes Alive!

This is a nearly 6ft rattlesnake that was killed at our hunting lease near Rio Grande City, Texas

1. Best Advice
OK the best advice about snakes is to ask at the park when you arrive what, if any, snakes are common to the area and if there is anywhere you should to avoid.

2. Stay Alert
I have never seen a snake while camping other than from a long distance and both times the snake was in water - but I have seen them at the hunting lease, the jogging park, at work, while birding, while gardening, and just on the side of the road. I don't ever expect to meet one while camping but I will always be on the look out regardless.

3. Stay in the cleared areas.
My cousin Joy who lived on a ranch near Raymondville, Texas once told me that they kept the grass cut back 6ft on either side of the roads to discourage snakes. They supposedly don't like crossing such a wide open space.

4. Snake Repellent
Recently I was camping in a park known for snakes. The park ranger told the lady camping next to me that sprinkling crushed moth balls around the perimeter of her site would deter snakes. It smelled awful the first day but it was fine by the next morning. I had never heard of doing this so I looked it up online and found plenty of folks who say it works but plenty more who say it doesn't. hmmmm.

5. Not that I think I should have to say this but the truth is I have been caught walking through the campgrounds at night without a flashlight. Sis was with me and she forgot hers too. Scary walk back to trailer in the dark. We were sure we heard snakes, oh and of course lions, tigers, and bears... oh my.

Found this informative article online at Safe Travel:
(I edited it somewhat)

Avoid Snake Bites? Avoid Snakes!

The easiest way to avoid snake bites is to avoid snakes in the first place – and this is not as difficult as it might seem. Snakes are most commonly seen when they are “basking”, usually early in the morning or evening. Being cold-blooded animals, they need to warm themselves up in the sunshine before they can go about their life – but this, of course, means that they are fairly sluggish and inactive until they have. Normally a snake has felt the vibrations of your footsteps – all snakes are deaf and will have got out of your way long before you would ever suspect that it had been there.

When they are not basking, snakes tend to spend their time in shade, often hiding under rocks or beneath vegetation – they are prisoners of their cold-blooded biology, having to alternate between sitting in the sun to warm up and staying out of it to avoid overheating. Keeping your hands out of likely-looking places such as hollow logs or rock crevices is a good way to make sure you don’t rouse a resting snake.

Whenever you walk in “snake-country”, watch where you put your feet and if you need to cross fallen trees or boulders, take a good look on the other side first; even the most placid of snakes will scarcely welcome being unceremoniously trodden on! Although snakes would rather save their venom for their prey than waste it on you, they will bite in self-defence and snakebites often take place when the animal is taken by surprise.


We took most these pictures from a nice safe distance. Thank goodness for long lenses!

You'll have to look hard to see the snake in this photo. This is a picture of a Water Moccasin and was taken by my husband while photographing Anne Corzine and I out wading around in the same river. We almost walked on water to avoid it. We also yelled alot but didn't know at the time that snakes can't hear.


I took this picture of a Diamondback Water Snake while birding at the Inn at Chachalaca Bend in Bayview, Texas.


It took two of us to take this photo. I held the palm frond while husband snapped the picture of what we believe is a Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake trying to enjoy his lunch.


This is an unusually long Coral Snake we came across while birding. Please note this picture was taken from inside my truck. These snakes are very poisonous but rarely bite. I was told by a Parks and Wildlife ranger that only one person in Texas died last year from a coral snake. The man came home drunk and passed out in the yard and evidently laid on one!


This small Rattlesnake was found right by our office entrance. He was relocated to the undeveloped part of the golf course.

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