Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Practice makes perfect

You guys are the best. I asked you yesterday to contact the presenters of the World Championship Donkey Roping
asking them to cancel the event, and you did. You've shared the information on your own blogs and on facebook, 
and you've asked your friends and their friends to help us. Will we be successful? 
Anybody's guess. Alot can happen in the next 10 days. Stay tuned. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Smooch alerted me to yet another bullsnake on her porch. 
 This one was just a little guy, but a snake is a snake and I don't want them hanging out with Smooch. Or me.

Me: You've got the whole damn desert, for cryin' out loud! Why do you have to come here?
Snake: I've heard about the early bird buffet.

Truth be told, I was sort of glad when this one showed up because I wanted to practice my snake tagging technique. 
For my catch-and-release program to be successful, it's important to know how far off the ranch I need to move these guys 
so they don't come back. And the only way to know they're not coming back is to tag them, 
which is best accomplished prior to their release. So now I have a process.

Step One: Transport the snake to the official tagging station (now equipped with a big trash can, spray paint, and plenty of shade) 
and paint his tail whilst he is still under my command and control (a lesson learned the hard way).

Step Two: Release tagged snake into big can. Think of it as a snake time-out. He can contemplate the consequences of his actions while I can get back to work and deal with him later, after he's figured out that hanging out with Smooch in the back yard may not be such a good idea.

Exhibit A: Big can of whooped asp.

Step Three: Release tagged snake.

The process broke down at this point, however, as I was trying to get all artsy because I'm a photographer and a blogger 
and that's just what we do. The snake made a left turn and crawled right back onto the ranch, 
heading in the direction of Smooch's porch. Another lesson learned the hard way. 
One of these days, I'll get it right. Something tells me I'll be getting alot of practice.


  1. Your taggins skills have greatly improved! ;)

  2. "Big can of whooped asp" Awesome! :)

  3. That little snake looks like this years hatch. I'll bet you get visits from his brothers and sisters. :(
    Just remember, 3rd times a charm. Next snake and you'll have perfected the catch/mark/release.

  4. I can't decide if he'll be the laughing stock of the snake world, or whether his buddies will be jealous of his 'tat'!

  5. Love the tail! Sneaky little turd to head back to the house. Must be better eats on your side of the fence. :o)

  6. Estella from Co.6/13/12, 8:33 AM

    Thank you for a belly laugh this morning.....what a great way to start the day. Hugs to all

  7. Hope your followers keep up the pressure on the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce. Really got me on the article my daughter sent me stating that they use cattle prods until they can get the donkeys to run. Knowing donkeys first prod or two they will just stand and kick ..... hmmm, who else can we contact ........... Temple Grandin, Good Morning America, ABC's Nightline?????

  8. At least they are Bull snakes, and eat rattlers and mice!!!

  9. Now that is a snake with a fashion statement. Neons are very popular on the runway this season. Before I read the comment under your very artsy photo, I wondered if the sneaky snake was gonna pull a fast one on ya and sure enough. Yep third time should be it. Charms that is.
    Oma Linda

  10. Are they going after water on your ranch?

  11. Love the bright colors! A shame they don't make a glow in the dark paint, this way you could see them sneeking back in the dark.
    On a different note, how do I get the information on the article about not using donkeys for roping? I can't believe people would do such a thing, but then again you can't fix "Stupid".

  12. When snake sheds his skin, won't the tagging be gone, too?

  13. Very well thought out process. Good thinking on the shaded area. Poor Smooch. She wants to be out there so badly. Hope you praise and love on her when you go back in. She does a good job.

  14. I love these snake posts. You've gotten real good at snake wrangling :) Makes my whole day, reading this.

  15. Nice marking, but that color is so bright it gets rid of his he's a target for every hawk in the area (birds can see color very well, especially red/orange).

  16. At least you won't have to re-tag him when he returns to the porch....

  17. I was wondering the same thing; what happens when he sheds his skin?


  18. Maybe you could hire yourself out as a snake wrangler to earn some extra cash on the side. You're quite the expert at this. Scary.

  19. Love the idea of painting and monitoring the snakes, but FLORESCENT ORANGE! HAHAHA...stands out like crazy! Now every hawk in the sky will see him. He ran back to Smooches porch for safety! LOL Look forward to the monitoring census to see if this will work! :)

  20. I'm almost used to reading about snakes on your blog now. "Can of whooped asp," classic. When you are tagging your snakes, please keep in mind where its head is and whether it has room to come near you while you are doing your work.

  21. While I think this is a great idea! I was wondering if it would be possible to convince you to try an Animal Marking Spray Paint? (Safe for animals?) I'm not sure if the one you used is...but I figure I'd mention that it exists just in case! :)

    Also maybe use a color less visible to predators? :)

    Ugh, I feel bad writing this! I don't want to sound like a 'negative Nancy'...or like I'm lecturing you! Because I do in fact, love your blogs! And you are the reason I've decided to adopt a donkey (or two!) once I have some land! :)