close call

I might be dead or dying right now if things had gone differently. I didn’t expect it in the chicken coop. I wasn’t being observant. I was more intent on just dumping the bucket of chickenfeed, cabbage, and carrot shavings into the chickens’ feeding tray. I didn’t see the snake. I was lucky. It rattled and I jumped back several feet.

Folks have been saying the rattlesnakes aren’t rattling these days. They just strike first. This one didn’t. Good thing, because this was a Mojave. There’s no anti-venom. It’s certain death if one gets you.

This Mojave is dead beneath a pile of sharp rocks. I stoned him. I’ll move the body tomorrow when I can see he hasn’t moved.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Blind Lemon Jefferson performing “That Black Snake Moan”


14 Responses to “close call”

  1. 1 Michael
    August 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Move to the city Dan!


  2. September 1, 2011 at 3:49 am

    You are a very lucky lad mate. Just take care of yourself we don’t want you shuffling off this mortal coil yet – we have a lot of work to do. Got your latest (“Wanna Bite Back”?). Will be in touch over the week-end. Cheers. £ance.

  3. 4 Gloria
    September 1, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Thank God it didn’t get you. Take care Dan, (I hate snakes)

  4. 5 Siggi
    September 1, 2011 at 5:40 am

    oh Dan, we would miss you!

  5. 6 matt
    September 1, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Time to buy a Jack Russell to guard the hen house.

    • September 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Matt, I’ve been talking with a friend about trading one of my assault rifles for a handgun. I had called the gun shop earlier in the day to learn if snakeshot is made for this caliber of handgun, and it is. So I’m making the trade. When I get that gun, I’ll call it “Jack Russell.”

  6. September 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Very glad you didn’t get stuck, but let’s not get too dramatic. Mohave venom is more toxic, but there is an anti-venom and “contrary to popular belief, fatalities are uncommon.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohave_rattlesnake. In fact, with Mohave bites, later-stage administration of anti-venom has proven more effective than with bites of other rattlers. Certainly no reason to be complacent, but a Mohave bite is usually not even close to the “automatic death sentence” that some assert. The cost of the treatment though, may make you wish you were dead if you lack insurance . . .

    • September 1, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Offgrid, the problem with anti-venom is access. I am simply too far away in distance and time. Here a Mojave bite would be fatal.

      • September 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm


        Snake bite anti-venom works best if administered within 4 hours of the bite, although with Mojave bites there has been some success with even later administration. Serious symptoms take several hours to develop from the time of the bite.

        You are one hour away from the Alpine hospital (if you drive, or have a friend drive you, or have the Terlingua EMS take you). You are a couple hours away from the Midland hospital by LifeFlight, if the local EMS believes that is warranted. The probability of dying if you proceed as quickly as possible to a hospital is very small . If you were in remote wilderness without a way to call for help, and facing a wait of many hours or days to get to a hospital, it would be a different story. But where you are is an hour or two away from several hospitals.

      • September 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm

        I have been told that Alpine does not, or does not always, have the anti-venom, but happily I have never had to test this information.

        I have rather relaxed ideas about death, so what I would do if bitten is not predictable and not dependent upon whether anti-venom is one, two, or more hours away. I am certain that when my time comes by any means, I want to die in this place and not in the custody of the System–health care, penal, or otherwise.

        Live free or die.

  7. 13 Gloria
    September 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I know is nothing to do with this post but wanted to let you know the humanity displayed from New York toward childrens during the hurricane Irenes .

    Childrens left behind in the cells of Rikers Island prison. Riker’s Island is home to 12,000 people. Of these people, at least several hundred of these are minor children. Some have not yet been convicted of a crime. Riker’s is also home to non-convict homeless and mentally-retarded adults. The NYC Department of Corrections has refused to offer any help during times of natural disaster or terror. Please demand that Mayor Bloomberg create an emergency evacuation plan for Riker’s Island.


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  8. September 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Danny –

    Did you save the skin ? – Skin it and hang it around the place – it will help the other brother snakes
    to remember not to TREND ON YOU ! It is also good eaten.

    We eat a lot of snake up here in the South Dakota territory.

    Hang in there pardner – Dusty

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