America's Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake


#1

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#2

Found a dead coyote pup in my creek / canyon below my place yesterday, no doubt a rattler got’em. Rattlesnakes have been residents of that canyon for some time now. The one positive service that the snakes provide is that nobody is crazy enough to go spend any length of time there, not even the coyotes. Nice and quiet around here.


#3

There’s an old East Tennessee ghost story about a fiddle player who could charm rattlesnakes. I realize the part about how he died–he dropped his bow in the middle of a bunch of rattlesnakes, reached down to pick it up, and they all struck at once–isn’t plausible but it’s still a fun story.

My favorite part is that on summer nights you can still hear him playing his fiddle for the rattlesnakes. Kind of his way of saying “no hard feelings”.


#4

Surely this is America’s Snake:


#5

I’m kind of surprised there’s no mention of one of the main (anticipated) benefits of these snakes: preventing Lyme disease.

A major part of the tick’s life-cycle is feeding from white-footed deer mice (source. I’ve heard that their populations have really increased, and may be traced to the nigh extinction of rattlesnakes in the new england states (couldn’t find a source for this quickly, sorry).


#6

Site does not seem to exist; the domain’s parked.

Crotalus Horridus is a beautiful snake that is not aggressive towards humans.

However…

The venom of this snake is highly variable… Wikipedia says that four distinct types of venom have been identified so far. The nastiest one is neurotoxic, myokymic, proteolytic, inflammatory, paralytic, necrotic, natriuretic, simultaneously haemorrhagic and thrombogenic, and unsurprisingly extremely painful and deadly.

Therefore I don’t want any on my property. We get along fine with the garter snakes and northern water snakes and I actively encourage the black snakes, but any copperheads, water moccasins or timber rattlers can expect a sincere apology shortly before I lop their heads off with a garden hoe.


#7

In 1680, a Massachusetts hunter could earn two shillings a day killing timber rattlesnakes, and beginning in 1740, Massachusetts chose one day each fall for a community-wide hunt, called a rattlesnake bee, which took place in towns across the state.

Wait, “Whacking Day” was actually a thing?


#8

Is.
Is a thing.


#9

We love Timber Rattlers in Massachusetts. We’re dedicating an island in one of our main reservoirs for them as a habitat. What could possibly go wrong?


#10

That’ll be the island you all want to go to when the Zombies hit.


#11

Well, they can swim…


#12

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