Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Dog, Barkley!

Barkley doesn't bark at every little thing, but it's not unusual to hear him barking out here in the country. When it goes on for a while, I usually think "What the hell is he barking at?". That happened this afternoon. I happened to voice that thought to my hubby, who went to investigate. What he saw was Barkley barking at something on the ground. That is never a good sign.

If he's barking at the trees, it could be a buzzard or a squirrel, a raccoon or even a opossum, depending on the time of day. On the ground, it's normally a snake. I have a healthy respect for snakes. They do a lot of good out here and I like what they do. Especially the eating rodents part. I try to leave them alone. So when we see a snake near the house, we do try to identify it (from a safe distance) before acting. If we're lucky, it's a nonpoisonous snake and we just get the dog in the house and the snake goes it's merry little way.

Today, it was a cottonmouth! We've never had a cottonmouth up close to the house before. At least not in all the years we've lived here. I heard my hubby in the closet (he was getting the shot gun) and asked what was wrong. He told me that Barkley was barking at a poisonous snake. I yelled at him to let me get my camera, but he didn't hear me (or didn't care to wait) and I wasn't quick enough. He shot it before I got there. We are not some of those people who believe that the only good snakes are dead ones, but we do indeed kill a poisonous snake if it's in the yard and we happen upon it. The last thing we need is to get snake bit by a poisonous snake!

I didn't get to see the snake alive. In fact, this was the first cottonmouth I've ever seen except for in water at a distance. Hubby said his mouth was white and his fangs came from a folded up position each time he opened his mouth. He also hissed and had been coiled up like a rattler. Even shaking his tail like one. He definitely had the puffed or triangular head shape too. When I carried it to throw it over the fence, I looked at the patterning on it's stomach, it looked like it had a diamond pattern like a rattler on the underside. The top was just dark. I wish I had seen it with it's mouth open, so I could be better prepared in case I ever run in to one again, but just the same, I get chills whenever I think of it. Hubby killed it on the bottom stairs to the deck.


Madelaine said...

Darn! You should keep your camera in your pocket! lol That would have made a FABULOUS shot!

Sharon said...

Yes, it really would have. I'm trying to make sure I have it downstairs when I'm downstairs now.