Rattlesnake season isn’t supposed to start for another month, but I guess nobody told this guy. This morning, he was outside my front door, but by the time I dusted off my snake bin and grabbed my snake stick, he was gone. By afternoon he somehow made his way INTO THE HOUSE.
Now, I like snakes and I’ve been trained to handle rattlers – I am a certified snake wrangler for the Santa Fe Wildlife Center – but I totally freaked out. A Rattler. IN MY HOUSE. This was way over the line.
Of course, I had to snap a few photos first, but then I locked up the dogs (my puppy Dio, who was bitten by a rattler last summer, ran and hid when he heard the rattle) and grabbed my snake stick. My hands were shaking and that’s no good. The snake stick is a metal golf club with a hook on the end and it transmits vibrations very well. If you’re shaking they can feel it and they’re more likely to run. If you’re calm and treat them gently, snakes are usually cooperative. When they run, they usually run away, not towards you. But I really didn’t want to lose him again in the house.
Stick in hand, I stood motionless for a few minutes, waiting for the snake to calm down and stop rattling. I said, “Easy now, calm down. Nobody’s going to get hurt.” Snakes follow movement and while they sense vibrations very acutely, they don’t hear sounds the way we do. So I suppose I was mostly talking to myself. Then I took a very deep breath, stepped forward, slipped my hook under one of his coils, lifted him into the box and closed the lid. Rattlesnake wrangled.
I gotta say, I’m rather proud that I was able to calm myself down enough to get him in the snake bin on the first try. That was a serious Zen moment! I‘ll drive him a few miles away from my house and release him in a wild place, where he can be a snake. The world needs rattlesnakes. Just not in my house!!!
Update: I fed him and freed him. See photos of the release here!