A snake that needed a helping stick

12 09 2019

If you don’t like snakes, stop reading.

If you don’t like looking down cobwebby holes (pipes) and finding a snake at the bottom, stop reading.

Spring Creek Basin is home to more than mustangs, and some of those things are both creepy (I suppose that’s a matter of opinion) and crawly. If you don’t like those things, stop reading.

Seriously.

I think the story has a happy ending (I’m not sure yet), but really, if snakes aren’t your thing, you were warned!

**********

So … I went out to check the main catchment trough last night after our nice rain, and I remembered that the BLM guys had recently told me that they looked into the valve pipe and found a snake. What? They said the lid was slightly off, and they figured the snake was looking for a cool place, crawled or fell in, then couldn’t get back out. So they left the lid off and figured it would make its way out.

On my way back up to the road to my vehicle, I stopped to check the valve pipe.

Holy mother of a freakin’ rattlesnake!

I expected a bull snake, or a little “racer,” or some other kind of little, *harmless* kind of snake-in-a-pipe kinda snake.

As soon as I recovered and looked back in the pipe, I could tell by the streaks on its face – it was definitely a rattler kinda snake. Great.

I mean, it’s not like I was going to reach in and let any ol’ kinda snake crawl up my arm in order to get it out of the pipe, but a rattler? Well, sometimes ya just gotta laugh at the things Ma Nature puts in your path. 🙂

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This was my first view of it. It’s reaching toward the top, about halfway up the interior of the pipe.

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For reference, this is the pipe in the ground by the water tank. It has a diameter of maybe 8 inches or so. In order to turn the valve on/off, I have to lie down on my belly and stick my arm in it all the way to my arm pit. I’m tall – 5’10 – so I don’t have short arms.

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Here’s another view of our friend. See all the cobwebs?

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Because it’s not enough to have a rattler down the creepy pipe, oh, no. You have to also deal with giant, fat black widow spiders. Of course you do.

I told the snake I was going to go find a stick, and I’d be back.

I knew where an old stake was, but I didn’t have to go that far; another one was nearer, so I brought it back after measuring it along my arm to make sure it would be long enough.

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By the time I got back, the snake had retreated to the bottom of the pipe. Maybe it didn’t believe my promise.

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Is it just me, or is s/he looking up with a hopeful expression? See that rattle? Bugger had the ingratitude to rattle at me when I cleared the cobwebs. I couldn’t help it, I fumbled and dropped my phone. At least I didn’t drop it down the pipe!!!! (Can you imagine?!)

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Ever so slowly and carefully, I inserted the stake in the pipe so it didn’t hit the snake, and then I got outta the way! I didn’t know how fast it would come up and out – or how mad it would be when it did!

On my way back to my vehicle, I texted my mom. 🙂

So that’s the current end of the story. Hopefully I’ll be able to report next that the pipe is empty and Mr. or Ms. Rattler has escaped to live a long, reptilian life elsewhere in the basin. I’ll replace the cap, and the blog will go back to its regular pix of lovely ponies. 🙂


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5 responses

12 09 2019
Pat

You are a lover of creatures for sure. Geeez, thanks to Mike And Daniel for letting you know not to just dive into the pipe!

12 09 2019
Karen Schmiede

Wow! You are really brave!

12 09 2019
Sue Story

You are one courageous girl, TJ! But I have to admit, I would have to do the same thing…maybe even be dumb enough to try and pick the thing up on a stick! Snakes are truly fascinating…not so much the Black Widows! 😁

12 09 2019
TJ

Ha – I’m definitely not brave enough to mess with a rattler, and I wouldn’t even say that I love snakes (after the summer of 12 rattlesnakes and one in my house … yeah, no (but I do avoid snakes on the road and wish bull snakes well!)). But like I told my mom, I couldn’t leave the thing to die at the bottom of a pipe. Awful. Thank you all for ignoring the warnings and reading anyway! 🙂

12 09 2019
Stephanie Shober

HOLY COW TJ! You go girl! Way to save that rattler 🙂
What happens when the horses come across a rattler?.?.? That must happen pretty frequently? Or the cows too…

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