Since 'tis the season for camping it is time to post an old favorite entry about my snake catching skills.
Does anyone remember this whole famdamly of Garter snakes that were residing in our wood pile at camp? I think there are five in the can. That doesn't include the one that I caught earlier that day, or the last little one of the bunch I caught the next day when I moved the entire wood pile from one end of camp to the other OR the little random Ring Necked Racer I also caught the next day.
Yes, camp has snakes....
This is the woodpile where I found that particular little party of slitherins. From the looks of how comfortable they seemed, they had been residing in our wood pile for quite some time. LOL.
Now, this was two years ago I believe so since that time the woodpile has been move again to another part of the yard and another family of snakes has been relocated.
West Virginia has only two types of poisonous snakes. Those would be the Rattlesnake and the Copperhead. There are places where you find these types of snakes more often but at camp what you normally find are the little brown snakes above or the most misidentified snake we have locally, the Black Rat Snake.
One of my most interesting camp experiences with snakes happened with a family of Rat Snakes. Well, every summer it seems we have an interesting encountered with these guys...
The picture to the left is of a young Rat Snake. They get mistaken for Rattlers because they have a pattern on their backs that is at first glance similar, although there are many differences in the pattern itself, the body size and the shape of the head and eyes. But, really, who wants to get that close, right? So, the Rat Snake finds itself in a pickle with human folk and he doesn't make it any better by sometimes mimicking the rattle sound by vibrating his tail against leaves or other objects.
The second picture is of an adult Black Rat Snake. The pattern eventually fades and they are mostly black with a lighter underbelly.
This is what happens when you attempt to grab a Rat Snake three times. The first two it just tries to get away. The third time, as Sam tells it, the snake figures whatever keeps grabbing at it is going to eat it so....
The fourth time the snake went in the damn trashcan. But only until we caught the rest of them and took them all to the top of the mountain to release them. I'm a snake catcher, not a snake killer afterall.
After the "grab a fistfull of snake" incident we fashioned snake catcher poles out of PVC pipe with a double holed cap on one end. Loop clothesline through the holes to make a noose and control the noose from the other end. Charm the snake into the noose and BOOM, catch yourself a friend!
Here is Sam at the "wildlife release area" getting ready to set our slitherin' friends free in their new home. The woods. AWAY from our camp.
So, you know, it isn't that I look forward to snake catching season each year it is just that we have a camp in the mountains that snakes seem to think is a pretty damn cool place to be. Well, so do I and I am not sharing.
I am sure we'll have some more adventures with our friends in low places this year. I will try to have camera ready!