12 Apr 2007

A Rattling Experience

Hiking in the deep woods has its share of dangers. I had a royal scare while hiking in the woods of NC last fall. It is still a surprise to me as to how I could have missed it. By inches. It was not just me; two other friends missed it too. We became aware of it only when the fourth person in the group managed to whisper in fear.

It was a huge long snake spread out on the side of the narrow hiking path. I was closest to it, maybe just a step or even half a step away from stepping on its rattler. I have had many encounters with these creepy crawlies before but this one really sends chills down my spine.

I don't want to scare myself silly ever time I open my blog, so I’m posting the link to the picture taken by my husband here. I wanted to write a brief note just to remember the incident.

I think the poor creature was more frightened than we were. I know that snakes are the most misunderstood creatures and I would never intentionally harm them in anyway. It's just that there is something about the way they look and slither about that terrifies me.

In the end, I'm glad that we both (the snake and the hikers) parted ways without anything unpleasant happening.


Manisha said...

Looks like a bullsnake. And I know exactly how you feel. I get the creeps, too.

See the jungle we live in! :-D

shilpa/eyeonnature said...

Aiyooooo! Scary pictures Manisha. Your blog has lots of interesting stuff. I need to do a long tea session to read the whole thing soon :) Four years! wah!

I don't know much about snakes.But I think this one is a rattle snake.this one had a big one on the end of the tail. Not too clear in the picture I posted. Bull snakes also have rattlers, yes?

I have read that pretty patterns and colors of a snake are a sure indication that it is poisonous.
Your neighbors under the porch story reminds me of a "nag" living in the garden under my bedroom window in my parent's house. We did not do anything about it though as that side of the garden was rarely used. I think he moved after a couple of months.

Manisha said...

Yikes! You lived in close proximity with a cobra! No way!

Bullsnakes are rattlesnake imposters so even though they don't have a rattle, they coil up their tail and hammer it around in the dry brush to make a rather convincing rattling sound. They also hiss like rattlers and apparently flatten their head to look like one, too!

I didn't look at your picture too closely but then later saw that you mentioned a rattler. So maybe that was a rattlensnake then! Now my hands and toes are all curled up in total disgust...Yikes!