Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting close to nature - and vice versa!

I got back home an hour or so ago after a 5-hour session of  the Camden County "Citizens' Academy." It included a Lannie Brant-guided tour of the huge county landfill operation.

When I pull into my driveway and let my ramp down onto the dedicated concrete pad, there is about a foot of clearance between the rear edge of the ramp and a flower bed. As usual, I got off the lowered ramp, rolled about a yard towards the front door, then turned around to use my remote control to raise and stow the ramp and close the doors. It was while doing that that I spotted a large water moccasin resting int he shade of a shrub about 24 inches from where my ankles had just been.

My first instinct was to dispatch him with my .45, but immediately thought better of it. Only certified Camden G.O.B.s can do that and stay out of jail. My main concern was for children in the neighborhood and my fearless dog.

I call ed 911 and said that normally I would dispatch it myself but in a wheelchair, I was reluctant to take it on. They said that I needed to call animal control and gave me the number. Animal control does not do snakes, but called the SMPD for me. They arrived - 2 officers - about ten minutes later.The whole time, I was watching the snake in case it crawled to another location. It remained perfectly still.  My though was it sees me but is not ready to give up on relying on its camouflage just yet.

One of the officers, a Sgt., had a nice looking .22 magnum revolver in a case which I'm guessing he carries for just such events. He popped the snake in the head from about a foot away. The snake never moved. When the Sgt. grabbed it by the tail and moved it, there arose a horrible stench. It turns out the snake had been already deceased. Before having its head blown off, there was not a mark on it. I said "I wonder what the hell it died of?" One officer speculated that the heat may have killed it. It was only about 100 feet away from the retention pond behind my house. Has anyone ever heard of it getting so damned hot it kills snakes? I know that they are exothermic so clearly it could happen, but I wonder why the late snake in question did not simply take a cooling dip?

One officer was kind enough to get a shovel from my garage and remove the carcass to a nearby empty lot.
Thanks, SMPD.

I'm going to alert the neighbors when they all get home this afternoon. From now on, I'll check out the yard before I let Cojack out. There is no doubt in my mind he will go right for a snake.


Anonymous said...

Damn, I'm asking for a refund on that snake. They said it was healthy and was trained to strike a wheelchairs!

Anonymous said...

I have heard a lot of people encountering water mocassins in the past couple of weeks in flower beds, porches to in the garage. Many of them in Kingsland area. Strange it was already dead. You know Robbie Edalgo at the UGA Extension Office in Woodbine could help you with that question. He knows a lot about snakes in the area and he could help. Be careful!!

Jay Moreno said...

Funny you should mention that. One of the two SMPD officers, as he was in his car getting ready to leave,got on his PA system and said, Mr. Moreno, are you sure one of the people you were running against did not put there?" I laughed.

The way it was laying up under the shade of the shrub, it would have
required someone to come up onto my property carrying a dead, stinking snake, kneel down,and carefully lay it out in a perfectly natural, lifelike pose underneath he bush.

No, there is no doubt in my mind that it crawled up under the shade of that bush then died right there but of what I have no clue.

So far, Jay 1, scorpion in bed, ZERO;Jay 1, cottonmouth in flower bed, ZERO.

Anonymous said...

you can put moth balls out around your property line to keep sankes out of your yard. That is if you can stand the smell of them.

Anonymous said...

Jay it could have eaten a rat or mouse that had eaten some poison. You can try the mothball trick, but I do not believe in that old tale. A friend of mine had scattered 3 or 4 boxes of them under her mobile home and when I went there to help them run some water lines i saw 2 snakes under there.

Pittsoff said...

The Moth balls do work, ut like the previous poster said, if you can handle the smell.

Spreading some Lime around your property line will work as well.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if you have heard this but snakes hate the smell of garlic. They sell a snake repellent that you can spray around your property that will run them off. I believe they have it at Ace Harware or an exterminator could treat your property.

Jay Moreno said...

Thanks for the suggestions.