It’s that time of year again. The weather has warmed up sufficiently, and the snakes are out and about. Most I don’t mind, the non-venomous ones are very beneficial, and I catch them and bring them home whenever I can. Then there’s the other kind………rattlers. Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, to be specific. I know they are about, but I don’t usually see them this early. Well, they are proving to be early risers this year. I haven’t had any around the house yet, but as I made my way out to a jobsite 30 miles out of town, I see a pretty good size snake crawling across the dirt road in front of me. I speed up to get a better look, and see the tail being carried in the air. That’s a hallmark of a rattler, they don’t drag their tails along the ground like other snakes. And this is a big sucker. I manage to lock the truck wheels and skid over him…………twice. Just rolling over them won’t kill them, it just pisses them off real good. If you can skid over them, it tends to ruin their day. Anyways, I backed up for a closer look, and wound up parking my rear tire on his crawly self. Got out and inspected the critter, good sized rattler, around 5 feet long, and quite dead. Of course, his body didn’t know that yet, they are quite primitive, and it takes a while for the body to figure out the brain is dead. Right about this time a fellow comes along hauling a cattle trailer. He stops to see what is going on (we all do that), and wants to know if he should get his shotgun out. I told him it was dead. Then he wanted to know if he could have the rattlers. He’s welcome to them, I don’t even want to touch one of these snakes. I head down the road as he gets his pocket knife out. One less rattler in the world, no great loss as far as I am concerned. As benevolent as I am towards the non-venomous species that live in my world, I will always kill a rattler or copperhead. They have their place in the world, but it’s not going to be where I am at. I can’t think of one farmer or rancher who has warm feelings for venomous snakes. And I don’t blame them.

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