Thursday, September 5, 2013

No rest for the weary

It was about 5:30 Wednesday evening. I had been sitting in my desk chair all day, catching up on work and eating jello, 
and was looking forward to a nap. I climbed into bed and turned on the nightly news. For about one minute. 
The sounds coming from outside were not good. I was hearing my sister shout things like, "SMOOCH NO!" 
then, "JOHNNY!" then "SMOOCH!" I figured Johnny and Smooch had gotten into some sort of altercation. 
Not so. Sister was just shouting out all the names she could remember watching Johnny do his arched-back 
Halloween cat impression as he came head to head with a rattlesnake in the front yard. 
<Spoiler alert: story ends well, don't panic, but don't look either if snakes give you the heebiejeebies.>
So much for that nap. I took one look at the guy and knew he would have to be removed from his present location. 
I fetched the snake pole and snake box, showed my sister which button to press on the camera, and went to work. 
Some chores are best not left to the ranchsitter.

Me: You're getting this, right? My readers will want proof.

Of course this was the largest, fattest rattlesnake I had ever seen. 
Johnny and all the chickens were accounted for, so he must have had rabbit for dinner.

Just as I slipped the noose around his neck and took my death grip on the rope at the other end of the pole, I recognized 
the error of my ways. This was no ordinary rattlesnake, and the ordinary snake box was significantly too small to contain him. 
My mouth is agape here, so I must have been shouting something on the order of "go get the trash can,"
with a few expletives added for emphasis.

Sister found the trash can. I did a test lift, determined that the snake was under the 30-pound limit of my activity restrictions, 
then proceeded to wrangle the snake into the can, confident that my doctor wouldn't object.
Just as the lid was snapped tightly on top of the can, we heard hoofbeats.

Alan: What in the hell is going on here?
Lucy: Are you all right, mom?
George: Did I miss dinner?
Hank: Let me through! I've got everything under control.

I'm not sure what made Hank and his herd finally snap and come to our aid. A very large and angry rattlesnake 
in a trash can does make a lot of noise, so perhaps the sound drew them out of their food-induced stupors. 

Anyway, we strapped the can of snake into the Ranger and drove him down to snake-release point.
We stretched out the snake pole, hoping to get a full-length picture of him next to it when sister kicked the can 
and he slithered out. No such luck. At some point, you have to put safety ahead of blog fodder.

Sister put some sort of snake ninja moves on him and he finally got out of the can.

I made him promise not to even think about returning until mid-October, when the last ranchsitter goes home.


  1. I DO believe my heart skipped a few beats reading this blog today....I admire your courage and all but.....I would probably found a way to kill him....won't he come back with a vengeance? Good to see you back on the ranch !! dont get crazy on us and hurt yourself jeanne in SC

  2. The excitement never ends. (And they had you working 1 week after all this started !!??!! Even if it is sitting in your own chair).

    At least Mr.R.S. timed his visit well (AFTER your returned home).

    So, do any of the cute Docs know you have a blog?

    M in NC

  3. Yikes! I don't know about you, but it would probably take me a week to relax enough for a nap after that! I'm glad no one was hurt and all's well that ends well. Now you've saved the ranch, go back and lie down. We all want to see you hale and hearty, not back in the ICU.
    P.S.--Sister didn't shout expletives? I'm impressed!

  4. Sorry, didn't mean to be anonymous. I've never commented before, so am woefully ig'nant of protocol.

  5. Nice of the critters to give the city sister the full NM experience ....she gets bonus points!
    Lisa G in TN

  6. Oh dear Lord. Thank goodness you were there and able to take control. I'm sure your sister could have handled the situation but that guy looks big enough to have eaten anything he wanted if a mistake were made. You may want to give her snake pole wrangling lessons. Here's hoping the rest of your recouperation is eventless...except for all the animal cuteness.

  7. Just when you thought it was safe to recover from major surgery... ;D That was a very sturdy rattler!

    I recently heard about an startling increase in the number of silent rattlers, due to their "safer" rattling brothers and sisters being killed off in great numbers - reverse natural selection I guess.

    I admire you for your voluntary snake wrangling - it's the right thing to do when possible. I relocate the grumpy cottonmouths in our neighborhood, though not anywhere near as stylishly.

    Glad you made it home!

  8. HOE.LEE.COW!!! Looks like your buddy there is a Diamondback! Long and fat. I'd guess he's at least 4 ft.+ long. Terribly aggressive critter. So glad it has a happy ending!

  9. Never a dull moment at 7MSN! I'm thinking if your Doc is now following this blog he may be proud of the fine surgery he performed that's making you recover so well. Either that or he's shaking his head muttering "crazy"!

  10. WOW, that sure is one BIG snake! Looks like a lot of "buttons" on his tail! What an adventure for your homecoming, and again, yet another ranch adventure for your sister.

    Very glad that everyone is present and accounted for eh!

  12. Never a dull moment is there? Good heavens, you snake wranglers, you! Great team work that ended well.

    (C in WI here...It wouldn't let me enter under open ID today for some reason...said OpenID url is missing. Who's url?)

  13. Holy cow! he's huge!! now back to bed!!

  14. THAT is one big-ass rattlesnake! Not sure I approve of this sort of thing one week post-surgery, but what are you going to do? I sure hope your doctors are following the blog.
    Hope you will comment today so we know there are no aftereffects.
    Too bad you're still on the soft diet. Rattlesnake steak is supposed to be a delicacy.

  15. Any blog entry containing the phrase "can of snake" is a keeper! Thanks for the morning excitement - from far away :)
    Hope you continue to recover - this will either set you back or jump-start the recovery!

  16. First, I can't believe you were already putting in a full day of work at the PC, but second, I can't believe you could be this active so soon after surgery! Be very careful you don't overdo! Blasted snake!

  17. Thank you! I needed that hilarious post today! Honestly, I am not into killing anything but I think this snake should have been turned into some boots (size does matter). Be careful, feel better and take care.

  18. Looks like he had something for dinner. He's a big guy. Glad nobody ended up in ICU with a snake bite. A snake lasso has come in handy so many times in a place called Nowhere.

    Best always,

  19. Never a dull moment!
    That is one heck of a big, mama-jama snake! Yikes!

  20. LOLOL Those are SOME Ninja moves, Sister! All's well that ends well, hope all the snakes decide to give you a break and stay out of the yard for a month or so. Nice to see up up and around, though!

  21. thanks for the spoiler alert. I could not have read this post otherwise cause I think June disappeared like that. Johnny is a great cat. and your are so courageous! you deserve a big rest!

  22. Oh My DANG!!! I admire your courage but can we say DEAD SNAKE??? That's what he would have been if it were me. Only good snake is a dead one and I aim to prove it every time I see one!

    Glad to see you are doing better. Don't overdo, now!

    Grace & Peace

  23. That's a big one! Mikey would be proud of you for snake wrangling when you are just out of the hospital.The equine crew are pretty funny, they did look concerned.

  24. So glad you re-homed her. Snakes that size are getting harder and harder to find. You should be proud that she graced you with her visit. In most cases, they won't return if traumatized, unless you are on their migratory path. I would have been getting way too close to this beauty.

    Glad your back to yourself, saving the day for all

  25. Of course when you can lift anything over 30 lbs, the biggest, baddest rattler has to come pay you a visit. Glad all ended well!

  26. I hope he keeps his promise to stay far far away - and makes it permanent, not just until mid-October!
    Your sister will sure have some stories to tell when she returns home. :)

  27. Such great comments from the other 7MSN Ranch fans! I have only a few to add .. you *do* realize that the bad-a** rattleskake was coiled in the last pic? Hope you took that w/ a long-range zoom!

    And .. speaking from experience (from someone who had minor gut surgery, compared to yours, less than a year ago), 30 lbs sounds like a LOT of weight to be lifting so soon after your ICU stint w/ the cute Drs! Are you sure they said "3" with a zero behind it?

    HUGE kudos to Johnny Cashcat and dear Smooch; they sound like quite the tag-team! And kudos to your city-slicker sister, too .. I'd have been running for the hills in record time the second I heard "snake"!


  28. That sure is one big rattler! I sure hope you are releasing him at least 7 miles NORTH of your place. Have I mentioned how much I HATE rattlesnakes???

  29. Carson, you are my hero! (heroine) I was just going to write to tell you how proud I was that you were home and recuperating, had sis for help, didn't do too much (probably), and thinking of what a wimp I am after surgery of any kind...when I hit the blog button.

    Nay, (neigh) are better than I ever thought you were! I must make the snake pole. I have promised myself but now I must do it. Thank you for your catch and release policy. We killed a 5 foot (plus) Timber rattler 4 years ago and felt so wrong, but he was just too close to the house digesting a bunny in the sun. The snakes and I are even since I lost my "Bubba" cat to a rattlesnake bite on the tummy two years ago.

    It is now time to find a lovely grey rat snake and bring him home to keep the rats and mice under control.

    You would have loved the traffic jam (out here it is three cars)I caused while chasing a blacksnake out of the road. Car #1 was full of laughing driver, passenger and children. I'm sure there were some angry drivers behind me, but I saved his hissing, tail rattling, striking little life. *lol* (note to self: need empty metal can)

  30. Holy cow!!!! That is one big rattlesnake! Glad to see everyone is okay.

    NE Oklahoma

  31. I do believe I'd have done something else with your rattle making friend. The less snakes the better ..

  32. Forget the rattlesnake. The whole time I was reading was thinking "wow those movements must have really been uncomfy after surgery". Your sister is learning so much about life on the 7MSN!

  33. Just another day at 7MSN ranch. Thats one nice thing about living in Minniesnowda , , ,no bad ass snakes! Not much else either, lots of lakes and fish.

    Cheers for your sister and the good snake removal team you make.


  34. I hope snake-release point is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy far away from Johnny.

  35. Do you think your sister will ever return?

  36. That snake is HUGE! I don't think I would have done a catch and release...No not me. You are very brave. Point and shoot next time.

  37. Wow want an adventure that Im sure your dr.s would have preferred you skipped. So glad none of the critters got bit. Love the pic of Hank taking charge. Horses often do a good job of stomping them when threatened, I wonder how the donkeys would react? Glad he/she was safely moved away from everyone and you didn't kill it. Now take a nap and let things heal. Cheers!

  38. ehhh....I don't know how you do it. Creepy creepy snake.

  39. You can't shoot them in NM? The sss rule applies.

  40. We should have just shot the darn thing....

  41. Carol in N. Colorado9/5/13, 10:46 AM

    Mr. Rattler would not have made it far where I live. It would not have been relocated. Glad you were able to remove it without damaging yourself and you had you sister there to help with her ninja moves. Hope you eventually got your nap or went to bed early. No more adventures for you for a few more days.

  42. Holy smokes. That was one hefty snake-dude.
    Sure glad that's out of the way. I'd hate for something like this to happen, say, tomorrow... :-)

    The pic of the herd charging to the fenceline is AWESOME And Hank's steadfast belief that he's running the show out there always makes me giggle.

    Loved Kathleen's ninja moves. Looks like they helped, too. :-)

  43. Holy Macaroni! Like some of the other commenters, I wonder if your doctors read your blog? I'm sure they wouldn't approve! But I'm proud of you - and proud of Sis for her part in releasing the dreaded giant rattlesnake. I do like snakes and have picked up many, but would not want to be close to a poisonous one! Now, stay quiet for a while!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  44. Holy crap that's a big snake!

  45. OK that's it. New Mexico is off the retirement list. I don't mind snakes, but I would be the idiot that would walk right into/on one.

  46. OMG OMG OMG and welcome home to your ranch

  47. That's really the last thing you wrangle a huge rattlesnake! I'm totally thankful that your sister was there to help. I get serious whim-whams just looking at the snake. I would have had a total heart attack in its actual presence...and no way could I have 'touched' it with a ten foot pole. You are one brave woman. Continue to heal, and may all the dangerous creatures stay away from the ranch for the time being!

  48. Anything dangling off the end of a pole, at arm's length, weighs a lot more than you think it can.... just sayin'... and... also just sayin'... doctors always think folks do a whole lot less than they imagine, especially those living on an acreage!! Really....they haven't got a clue!

    Be careful.

  49. ps.... that was a DAMN big snake!

  50. I met my first bull snake a few weeks ago and thought it was a rattlesnake. I wasn't getting anywhere near it. My hat's off to you. That was one big, granddaddy of a snake!

  51. Final image is great. The snake looks lavender.

  52. Michelle from BC9/5/13, 5:01 PM

    I'm with Denise ... do you think your sister will ever return???!!! You should introduce us to your sis, pics and bio and then she can tell us stories about you! You know the kind....the ones sisters have locked in the vault.
    Glad to see your strength is coming back.
    You're my super hero, someone should make a movie about you and your adventures.

  53. Carson & Amazing Sister: Thank you for not killing the snake. It wants to live just like we all do.

    Snake: Thank you for not killing or harming anyone at the 7MSN Ranch. And move along, move along.


  54. Seriously, Carson? You just can't make this stuff up! Great post and all's well that ends well.... Although the PT in me is worried about the strain on your abdominal wall.... But I digress..... One of my most favorite parts of this post is that it has a link to Miss M's and mine favorite post.... You know the one :-)

  55. UNBELIEVABLE!! You are definitely Superwoman! Or Mighty Isis. Or Catwoman. Or Wonderwoman. You are a Superhero!! Get some rest already!

  56. You are amazing. I would have been back in ICU but this time with a heart attack! Hats off to sis!

  57. OMG~Carson, you gave me a heart attack. Um...I don't think this is on your list of things your doctors want you to do!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~