Prattling about rattling

Did I say that killer bees were the worst when comparing them to scorpions and rattlesnakes?

I’m reconsidering that.   A friend’s horse was bitten by a rattlesnake Friday night.  Her owner found the mare in her pen, unwilling to move.  Two sets of fang marks were oozing on her lower leg.  When I saw the reaction a 1200 pound horse had to the venom, I wondered about how it would affect a human 1/10th the size.

She’ll survive, although the next few days are filled with walking her around gently, hosing her grossly swollen rear leg and injecting massive amounts of penicillin into the muscles of her neck.  We all love this horse- her calm and steady ways relax the horses in line behind her, keeping riders safe.  She’s always on the lookout for snakes on the trails and has stopped dead in her tracks when she spots one.  How sad that one slithered into her pen and caught her unaware.

It’s a sober reminder to all of us- wear boots when outside.  Don’t put our hands into places where we can’t see well- in between rocks,  around pallets on the ground, around bushes.

I’ve always considered myself to be an observer of wildlife, an avid birder.  I’m not the hunting and fishing sort.   Since moving to Arizona, it seems I categorize wildlife into two groups- creatures we enjoy seeing visit our yard and everything else.

Everything else seems to meet an end with the gopher traps or the crowbar.   Packrats consumed the pots of roses. The blueberry bush.  The lemon blossoms.
I have a trap for them, too.   Don’t ask me to look into the glass cages of the mice and rats for sale in the pet shop.  I can’t do it.  I feel incredibly guilty.

Most of the yard consumption occurred out back.  Now we came out to find this by the driveway and it means only one thing- time to set the trap tonight for pack rats before they graduate from cacti to the car wiring that they find irresistible.

I like to think of myself as a nice person.  But lately this war on wildlife makes me think I am the Hannibal Lector of the rodentia order.

Nibble nibble like a mouse, someone's been eating at my....houseplants

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