Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rattlesnake Season is Here Again

Rattle Snake Killed by This Writer Yesterday at the Home of a Friend

Paint Stud Horse
Paint Racing Breed
This year summer has come about two months earlier than normal in southern California.  Yesterday, I killed my first Rattler.  Though it was out of necessity, I still feel bad that this poor creature had to die.  But, it was near the home of a friend, and residents of apartments on her property.  There are cats, dogs, horses and goats in the area, and even though this Rattler was only about two feet long, it is actually more venomous than that of a larger Rattler's venom.

I will be eating the meat, and nothing will go to waste.  Such a pretty pattern, and the poor thing had nothing in it's stomach, either.

Yellow Banded California King Snake
Though many people confuse these
snakes with Rattlers, these snakes are
immune to the toxicity of Rattlesnake
 venom.   These snakes actually kill
and eat Rattlesnakes.
Many Rattlesnakes are found on residential property in this area every year, as it is near the Cleveland National Forest, which also has Mountain Lions, Bob Cats, Coyotes, and many Rattlesnakes were also out much earlier this Spring, instead of waiting for July as usual, since we have been getting summer weather two months ahead of normal this year.  We have actually had temperatures of 109 degrees (F) on more than one occasion the year already.

I previously wrote about a friend who also has killed two Rattlesnakes on her property already this Spring (several weeks ago).

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
Southwestern Pacific 
Wherever you live, stay alert and informed, so you can identify poisonous snakes that may live in your area of the country.  When the first come out of their dens in the warm weather, they are hungry, and will bite anyone or anything which makes them feel threatened.  Avoid them, and they will leave you alone.  You are too big to eat, and they are certainly frightened if anything that may approach is large.  Snakes have poor eyesight, and depend on the heat sensors around the mouth area, which tells them some warm-blooded creature is nearby.  They smell by flicking their split tongue, which allows them to recognize the scent of whatever is approaching, or that they may be tracking.
Night Rattlesnake

To enlarge these photos, click on one, and they will change into an album, with large, easier to see photos.

Following are photos of a few different colored King Snakes
Head of a Speckled King Snake

Speckled King Snake

Black Banded King Snake

King Snake

This snake is often confused with the Coral snake, which is venomous.
Here, the red and black touch (Non-poisonous) ▲
Coral Snake of United States    
Here, notice the red and black are not touching (Poisonous)

Here's a little rhyme to help remember the difference between a coral snake and a king snake which is the same colors:

Red with black,
A friend of Jack.

Red with yellow
can kill a fella'

PK Hawk

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