|What is it?|
Curiosity got the best of me, I had to go look and, of course, I brought my camera and a broomstick with me. It WAS a snake and it was dead. Good thing, because it was a western diamondback rattlesnake! I snapped a quick photo and then decided to move it out of the street, before we both got run over. I used the broomstick, I may be a bit crazy, but I'm not insane. I'm not going to touch a rattlesnake, not even a dead one.
I've always been sort of a tomboy and am quite curious about all sorts of critters. Once I got it out of the street, I could take a closer look. I have no idea how it died. It was not squashed, so it hadn't been run over. Maybe a roadrunner got it (yes, roadrunners will kill snakes.)
|Roadrunner looking for food|
I measured it and it was just over 2 feet long. They can be as long as 7 feet. After I took photos, I made sure it was out of the way, so any curious children wouldn't find it and came back inside to work on this story.
I went back out this morning to see if it was still there, and there was nothing left, except some scales and the rattles. I don't know what happened to the rest of it. Perhaps an animal hauled it off over night, or maybe an early morning walker took it for its skin, all I know is it's gone.
The rattles are made of keratin, they same stuff our fingernails are made of. The snakes gain a new rattle each time they shed their skin. Rattlers can shake their rattles 50 times per second and continue it for several hours! And we thought Parkinson's tremors were bad?
I hope it's at least 10 more years before I see another one, at least one that close to home.