Posted by: notsofancynancy | May 11, 2013

Snake Season

5/11/13 Update……Well it is sake season in the high desert so I must bring back my “Snake Season” post and a picture of this years snake. Well the first of the season although I pray there are no more it is an unrealistic hope. This one is in my lilac bushes 10 steps out the front door. Thankfully hubby saw it and told me about it later, then even later shared the pic with me. When he told me the story the first time I did not realize it was so close. Man they scare me! But here is how notsofancynancy deals with a snake when home alone.

Kind of like that ground hog they come out to tell me it is Snake Season! Yikes!

Kind of like that ground hog they come out to tell me it is Snake Season! Yikes!

It is snake season in the High Desert. I hate snakes! I know, I know, why live in the desert? Well that is another story. Living in rural desert can have its drawbacks,one of them is sneaky snakes.

Snake I wrestled Can you identify this snake? Can you tell the difference between this one and the last in this post?

I have had way too many encounters with them. There are so many I cannot remember the exact number we have had to deal with. I try to block those memories out of my mind. I just realized I should have been carving numbers on my really big stick. My Hubby took the knife away from me when I tired to cut off my finger though.

I had a Jack Russell, named Sydney when I first moved in to this house in 1997. I have an acre and a half of land two miles up a dirt road. I only have neighbors on two sides of me. The other two face untamed desert. Sydney and I were going in the house one day and she found one next to the front door. I saw her get bit. The snake was just a baby, but to me it was huge. After she was hit I grabbed her and got my big dog, Boy Dog in the house. I then had to deal with the monster outside of the front door.

My heart was beating so loud I could here nothing else. I grabbed a shovel, a big rock, and a Valium. I felt like I needed one of those suits that they dress dog trainers in to teach them to attack, including a helmet, cause can’t snakes spit?

What I consider a snake suit

Click here to learn more Military Attack Dog Taining

The snake was still there when I went outside to face it. Every time I looked at the snake I scream in a loud girly voice I did not know I had. Sccrrreeeaaamminnngggg like a girl I put the shovel in front of my legs so it would not strike me, they can jump right? I raised the huge rock I had picked up above my head and threw it. You have to understand in my mind I did not think the rock would actually kill the snake. But it did. Squished it, dead. It was a rattlesnake, a baby.

Back to the dog, it only seemed to have taken 10 minutes for me to deal with the monster in the yard but the dogs face was already five times (OK only two or three) its normal size. That was the day I learned where the emergency vet was. A thousand dollars and two days later I was able to bring her home. I thought or I should say I prayed that it was just a fluke and there to be no more, but I was wrong.

This snake is eating a bird. From our yard.

Sydney got bit two more times. Once by another baby rattlesnake and she would corner a four foot gardener snake under the shed and have a stand off with it for over three hours until it bit her and she finally came out. That first year was the worst. I believe now that the house had been empty for so long they were breeding somewhere in the yard. My husband and I were dating long distance and he was only here on the weekends so I had all week to worry about snakes. I am a rock collector so I have a lot of rocks around the yard. The week after the first incident any time the dogs went out, I went out first with a really big stick and hit all the rocks. Did I mention I have an acre and a half? I had to start 20 minutes before the dogs needed to go out. I lived in fear for quite a while, well I still do

I researched how to keep snakes out of the yard and came across a piece of advice saying that if you piled all your dog poo up against your fence it would be like marking their territory, and they snakes would not to cross it. Did I mention I have an acre and a half of land? I got more dogs. A total of five and I would rake that poo against the fence. Did it work? I never had another adult snake in my yard, now that I think about it my friends stopped coming around that time too.

I have had plenty baby snakes in the yard. I have to assume baby snakes are not very wise. Two things you need to know about baby snakes. One, they are dumb and do not know what dog poo is and two, when they strike they will give the victim their whole load of venom in the first strike. An adult snake learns to conserves his venom in case it needs it to strike multiple times. I really hate that I know this.

Same snake eating a bird, from our back yard

Then there was the dry year. I had four snakes within two weeks then another two that summer. This was the year I learned to snake wrestle.

Of course it always seems like my husband is never home when I find a snake intruding on my land. Here is my technique.

1. Locate said snake before the dogs find it. This is the most important part, but it can be done.

2. Do not panic when you see the snake, keep your emotions under control and calmly get the dogs in the house. In a high sweet voice call the dogs, make it a game so they will not catch on. Once they are safely in the house lock the door, and lock the dead bolt. (I just know the little devils can open doors.) Don’t forget to close the doggie door. I did that once and the dogs came running out like we were playing a game.

3. Take a shot of booze if you drink, or Valium if you have them.

4. Breathe

5. Grab the Gofer thing

6. Put on the snake gloves (there is no way in hell I am touching that snake)

7. Put on the snake boots so it will not bite your ankle, with the really thick socks.

8. Take another shot….. Good thing I don’t drink, breathe!

9. Grab the snake container. Which is a large plastic tub.

10. Locate the offending snake.

11. Scream like a girl now that the dogs are safe. And jump around like a fool.

12. Get the grabber and the snake box ready.

13. Scream like a girl and do more of that freaked out girl hopping.

14. Grab Snake, throw in box, drop gofer thing, and use both hands to keep the top on, so said snake does not get out, they have super powers right?  Do in one fluid motion while screaming like a girl, and jumping like a fool.

15. Take the snake and container and put it out in front of the garage with a huge rock on the lid so the snake cannot get out (because they DO have superhuman strength.)

16. Wait for hubby to get home to identify and relocate snake.

17. Have a nervous breakdown and hug dogs whose lives you just saved crying tears of joy.

Another snake I wrestled

That is all fine and dandy until you find one five foot up in a tree. Yep! Scared the poo out of me and I might have wet my pants a little. I was walking the dogs and I noticed the birds were making a ruckus up one of the pine trees. I got real close and was looking up to where the birds were on the top of the tree. I then brought my gaze down and at eye level was a really big freaking California Night Snake, eye level, wrapped around the trunk. I remained calm until I got the kids (dogs) in the house and then screamed like a girl. Thank Goodness my hubby was home. I watched from the locked sun room while he dealt with it. I will never forget how big that thing was. Seems like it was six foot long and when hubby grabbed it, it kind of jumped off the tree trying to get away from him. Boy was I scared for his life and of course I screamed like a girl.

I think I am moving to Ireland, I hear there are no snakes there.

This one was seen on the street. You cannot really tell but that is a big sucker!


For now I will walk softly, cautiously, and carry a big stick.

The above is intended for entertainment purposes and in no way intended to be a guide to catching snakes. Do not attempt this at home. Snakes are dangerous, deadly and downright scary. I also do not condone killing snakes but I had to take the dead snake to the vet to be identified,  and there was no way I was going to the vet with a live snake in the car.

Copyright notsofancynancy 2012


  1. I’ve just had my dog go through rattlesnake aversion training and she also got the anti-venom shot. I am terrified that she will get bitten. You have made this a far more entertaining blog post that I ever could have – film it and you could be a YouTube star!! Didn’t think someone could make me laugh about snake bites. Thanks!

    • If you don’t laugh at them (or me) they become scary. That does not keep me from screaming like a girl though! lol

  2. Hopping around on tippy toes again with this post! Tried watching ‘Snakes on Planes’ in an effort to get over my fear but only made it 20 minutes into the film 😦 Good luck in keeping them all safe for another year!

    • Thanks! I can only dream this will be the only one.

  3. Son of a beeeeeep, that is one scary neighbourhood you are walking around in. I laughed but I’d still be running if I found a snake on my porch. Good for you for staying calm enough to drive to the Vet. I’m sure the dog poo is plenty stinking in the sun but better than snakes, holy crap Nancy!

    • Let’s see snake or shit? I am sticking with shit! I can’t believe I just said that! lol

      • in french, “oh, merde!!!” There, I’ve said it too LOL

  4. Great post! Poor little Jack Russell, getting bit by a rattler! The worst snake we have here is an Adder. My dog never got bit but I did once and had an interesting slightly trippy 3 days and could only eat chocolate….(any excuse!)

  5. Think my mom is still in Timbuktu… she saw the first picture and ran away…
    I’m glad we only have Blindworms and very rarely an adder.

    • Blindworms? Never heard of them but they sound nasty!

      • They are … but harmless….not as dangerous as the rattlers

      • Harmless is good!

      • ours are … yours not so much I think, I’m glad I never met one for real (except the “twolegged” rattlers)

      • I really wish I had never met any of them! lol

  6. We don’t know what kind of snakes those are. We don’t live in the desert but we have snakes in our yard. We mostly have king snakes and we know they are good ones so we protect them. Mumsy is not a great lover of snakes though and keeps her distance from them all. Hugs and nose kisses

    • I am glad you don’t have poisonous ones. They really scare me too!

  7. I’d hit the “like” button – but that just didn’t seem right.
    Nor does the pic of the snake eating a bird.
    shiver. shiver.
    makes me glad to NOT be you…
    sorry, just saying.

  8. Your post is hilarious. Loved it. 🙂 BTW…I’m one of those weird girls who love snakes, but I’m always a little freaked out when I walk up on a very large cottonmouth. They are way too aggressive for my taste.

  9. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy… Get a pet mongoose!!

    But baby rattlers are the most dangerous as you know. They are unable to properly control the amount of venom they inject so your Sydney was darn lucky. And you DO have a lot of juarachies to take them on! Please, please do not do it alone, though. You can get bit, stumble and break your leg or ankle and…

    But my oldest girl (now 30) was bitten by a baby rattler on Good Friday back in 1991. Like you described your little dog’s face, my girl’s leg swelled up to perhaps 33% larger – from the toes up to her knee before they got it under control. I was worried she would have permanent tissue or nerve damage but she turned out OK.

    You be careful, now… Hear?


    Jethro Clampett

    • Dear Jed Clampet,

      Can you send Granny over to teach me to shoot the varmots?


      • Blahahahaha! You sure can! But you CAN’T have Elly May!

      • Blar har har! You can keep Ellie and Jethro I’ll stick with the wise one! I know I had ancestors just like Granny!

  10. love your story but sadly mine doesn’t happen that way lol

    • Oh Dear! I hope you don’t have many!

      • I have snakes that pretend to be rattlers and I know they have a reason to be on earth but I have hundreds of acres around me they do not have to be in MY SPACE lol I have a cat for bothersome rodents and I love MY BIRDS lol God love you

  11. I’ve only had one up close encounter with a snake, a grass snake that found its way through a basement window. I found it on the stairs and fortunately my husband at the time was home and heard my girly screams…he finished it off. You are much braver than me…I would have hightailed it out of there long ago!

    • Oh you are lucky we deal with them every year. I found a facebook page for people here in the high desert and they assure me if I get another they will come and save me. I feel so much better now!

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