I just got the CR@P scared out of me!!! Let me explain.
My husband and I were out at our land in the country transplanting some grass. He was doing all of the work so I asked if he would mind if I walked along the fence to check for dewberries. Due to the drought last year, we weren't expecting many berries, but I still thought there might be some there.
So I decided to hike over to the back fence, about 600 feet back from where my husband was. He told me to take a piece of rebar with me just in case I encountered a snake. I made it all the way to the back fence and nothing, absolutely no berries in sight, so I decided to trek back. When I made it back to where my husband was, he said he still had some more work to do, so I told him that I would check the front fence. I had seen a few berries on the front fence last weekend, but they were still green then. I tossed the piece of rebar thinking that there was nothing to worry about and made the 300 feet hike over to the front fence.
There is a dirt pathway where the electrical company trenched to place the underground electricity. Apparently they didn't pack it down after they trenched it and after a heavy rain at the beginning of the year, some sections of the middle part of the pathway had caved in.
I was walking along the side of the pathway and got to the fence. I had just started to look for berries and was sweeping my bucket along the vines and all of a sudden I heard a noise that I had never heard in person before - a rattle - two feet away from me, coiled and ready to strike was a huge rattlesnake! It all happened so fast, one minute I had the bucket in hand and before I knew it, I had screamed, thrown the bucket at the angry rattlesnake (in hindsight, probably not a good move), and jumped back as far as my legs would allow. The snake was huge and it sounded so angry! I was freaking out and running as fast as I could. My husband had heard my scream (it must have been loud too because he was upwind of me and heard it). He looked so worried as he ran up to me. I was trying to yell that I had not been bitten, but I don't think he could hear me (upwind remember). I met him about halfway and told him that it was a rattlesnake. He ran back to where he was to get the shovel as I tried not to hyperventilate.
Let me explain something too, although I live in the city now and this story is really making me sound like a city-girl, I was born and raised in the country. But the only rattlesnakes I had ever seen were the ones that had already had their heads shot off by my Dad! This was the first one I had come across that had almost bit me.
Anyways, so he got back with the shovel and we started walking along the dirt pathway (the one that I was telling you about earlier) and he was telling me that we really need to watch out since it had partially caved in, that would be the perfect den for a snake. Not as soon as those words came out of his mouth, I heard that dreadful noise again! Yes, another rattlesnake! This one slithered back under the dirt path, but we could still see its body. He didn't want to try to get it out, so he called my Dad to bring his gun. Dad made it out there and got the snake, and so we went over to see if the other one was still there - the one I threw the bucket at. Unfortunately it wasn't there anymore. What is really scary is that I had passed the second snake when I was going out to find the berries and then I passed it again when I was running away from the first snake and it was only the third time that I was going past it, when it made its presence known.
I just know that I am going to have rattlesnake nightmares tonight!
We are going to go back out to the land tomorrow so he can get some more work done, and if the snake that no longer has a head is still out there, I will take some pictures so you can see. Oh yeah, and we both agreed next time we take a trip out to the land, we are going to bring the gun and the camera!