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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Every now and then you meet someone who acts on this advice and sustains three more bites while chasing and attempting to kill an angry snake. It can make the difference between a single dry bite and massive envenoming.
    Grant, you're right, and failed to consider my experience growing up with and handling venomous snakes with that of most people, have not handled venomous snakes. Even the most mild-mannered snakes, it's not a matter of if they'll bite you, but when, so you always assume they will every time you handle them. For non-venomous snakes, precautions include keeping a tetanous shot up to date and washing any bite wounds immediately with soap, water, and alcohol (kills the worst of the worst germs).

    My consideration is that most people cannot take pictures with enough clarity to distinguish between similar snakes, at least not without getting close enough to simply use a shovel. Shovels take very poor pics, but they're pretty effective at decapitating a snake.

    With the current prevalence of decent cameras in mobile phones, advice is moving towards at least trying for a good picture before setting about the snake. Then you can e-mail the picture to the emergency room while you're travelling, and arrive to find the antivenin waiting.
    I concur that at least trying to get a good pic may be preferrable, provided you don't get too close. Of all the snakes you're likely to encounter here in the U.S. 6 feet is about as close as you'd ever want to get, and never take your eyes of it, as some, such as the water moccasin, can be very aggressive during mating season, and can cover ten feet in about 3-4 seconds.

    Sorry, Clop - the "sheesh!" was over the top, and no offense was intended. I removed it.

  2. #92
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    So it sounds as if I'd need to carry a six-foot long shovel.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Grant, you're right, and failed to consider my experience growing up with and handling venomous snakes with that of most people, have not handled venomous snakes.
    By the way, I'm having trouble parsing this sentence. Are you really suggesting that I failed to consider your experience (which doesn't seem relevant to my remark), or is there a word missing somewhere?

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #94
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    Grant, Mugs, what's wrong with shooting the darn thing? Worked every time I tried it. Never had to get closer than twenty feet either. You have to take them just behind the head. Decapitates them without exploding their heads. You don't want to do that because then you run the risk of somebody or their dog stepping on a fang w/attached gland. It happens, believe it or not.

    Yes, I hated doing it. Yes, I let big rattlers live whenever possible, but sometimes it's not possible. (plus they only rattle about a third of the time when they are threatened. They are adapting to humans.) My brother and friends got caught in an "emergence" of Pacific Diamondbacks once. I missed that trip, darn the bad luck. It's a good story though.

    And before Grant can say it, let me reply first.

    "What do you mean "not have a gun?"

    [UncleJimboMode] "I understand all the words, it's just they don't make any sense put together like that! [EndUncleJimboMode]

    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  5. #95
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    Yeah, well ...
    Setting robust masculinity regretfully aside, the standard advice is not to try to kill the snake. Most snake-bite victims are less well equipped and less adept than my esteemed discussants.

    If a snake feels threatened, it is more likely to bite, and it will envenom on second and subsequent bites.
    Transporting an apparently dead snake and handing it to medical staff is not without quite demonstrable risks.
    Newly dead snakes can bite, and the bite will envenom.
    Newly severed snake heads can bite, and the bite will envenom.
    Many parts of the world offer venom-testing kits, which can quickly identify the snake using a swab taken from the bite.
    Many parts of the world offer polyvalent antivenins, covering all the venomous snakes in the area, which are used if identification of the snake is not possible. The additional risk of anaphylaxis from such polyvalent vaccines is small, and it's treatable.

    If you have the skills, by all means kill the snake and ensure it's dead before transporting. But for all the reasons listed above, that's not the standard advice.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yeah, well ...
    Setting robust masculinity regretfully aside,
    Now Mr Grant, I'm sure a man of your intellect could learn to be a fair marksman in less time it takes to train a pimply teenager during war time. Takes them about eight weeks. No robust masculinity needed. Plus my ex, who isn't masculine in the least, can put a bullet through the chest of a man's sihoullette at 300 meters with iron sites. Six out of ten times in rapid sucession! I can't even see a man sized target at 300 meters.

    Yeah, our divorce was amiable.

    Back on topic now.

    Where I live we have these long black snakes. I don't know what species they are, maybe six foot plus. I've only seen them three times, all in my immediate neighborhood, and all were in the talons on our local nesting red tailed hawks. A startling and breath taking tableau each time I saw it I might add.

    I hike regularly through all the local areas and never see them. Means they are alert and smart.

    On the other hand we have these light grey brown snakes about five feet long that, upon capture, are very alert and tirelessly aggressive, biting every opportunity and striking through glass. Never tried to catch one of these myself. I have like minded friends who wander around and catch stuff too. Some aren't as empathic as I am though.

    I've seen three caught and all three escaped their confinment the first night, never to be seen again.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Now Mr Grant, I'm sure a man of your intellect could learn to be a fair marksman in less time it takes to train a pimply teenager during war time. Takes them about eight weeks. No robust masculinity needed.
    Don, I wasn't speaking to you.
    I was speaking to that Uncle Jimbo character you were channelling for towards the end of your post.

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #98
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    Character from South Park, Mr H., Stan's uncle.

    I'm not that bad actually. Except for the odd venomous snake I've eaten every animal I've shot since my late teens, barring the ones with the weird internal boils. Dad didn't approve of shooting animals just because they were there. I don't either.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  9. #99
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    Oh! I accidently shot a pond turtle last year! I was plinking maple leaves floating in a pond at the bottom of a old quarry with a scope and mistook him for a floating piece of bark.

    I was utterly aghast when the "bark" spouted crimson and turned into a turtle about seven inchs across. (I even glassed everything else I hit to make sure there weren't any other "friendly fire" incidents.) Spent the rest of the afternoon shooting pinecones out of trees with a pellet gun.

    Back on topic:

    I saw skunks catching mice the other day!

    First time I ever saw that. I was watching them from my parents kitchen window at about two AM. Couldn't see what they weredoing and thought they were "stamp dancing" something I read about as a kid. No, chasing and catching mice. I could see them zipping about after my eyes adjusted.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  10. #100
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    BD you bring back a traumatic memory from my youth. We had a turtle living in our back yard for years. My Grandpa raised with the understanding that if we left it alone, it will stay but if we scared it, we will chase it away. The only one who failed to listen was my mother as she accidentally ran it over with the lawnmower . I don't think I can ever fully forgive her for that.

  11. #101
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    Well I'm sorry I did that then. Or doubly so now.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  12. #102
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    Growing up in the South, I saw a lot of people using water turtles for target practice. One of my saddest memories was the day I found a dried up pond with dozens of dead turtles lining the bottom, each with a bullet hole through the shell.

    Maybe this will be a small consolation, BigDon. Chances are you nailed a red-eared slider. Out here in California, that is a non-native invasive species which is out-competing the native species. It would be like killing a bullfrog.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  13. #103
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    Might have been a fish (or fishing) pond at one time ABe. Turtles are pretty efficient at catching and eating fish.

    Just saying.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  14. #104
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    Yesterday, I was working on my deck when I heard the sound of a bird's wings about 15 feet over my head. I looked up, expecting to see a Mourning Dove and instead saw a Cooper's Hawk land in a tree about 30 feet away. I've seen them before in my yard, but they are usually overhead and rarely land in my tree, but it is always enjoyable to see them.

  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    Yesterday, I was working on my deck when I heard the sound of a bird's wings about 15 feet over my head. I looked up, expecting to see a Mourning Dove and instead saw a Cooper's Hawk land in a tree about 30 feet away. I've seen them before in my yard, but they are usually overhead and rarely land in my tree, but it is always enjoyable to see them.
    Oh wow! that thing looks really cool; a bit sinister, even, with those red eyes.

    Well I'm sorry I did that then. Or doubly so now.
    I hope you know I was being dramatic

  16. #106
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    We've had some wildlife on our place from time to time. Janet blogs about it at http://www.tikiacres.com/

  17. #107
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    Okay, closetgeek, here is a critter I found in my backyard this year.

    So many bugs, so little time.

  18. #108
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    ABR. Is that a Praying Mantis? I don't think I have ever actually seen one but that thing looks like it's praying. How cool, thanks

  19. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Might have been a fish (or fishing) pond at one time ABe. Turtles are pretty efficient at catching and eating fish.

    Just saying.
    Some years back, I was working as a project engineer in a chemical plant. I was given the responsibility of running the waste treament area. After being treated, the clean water went into a final holding pond before being discharged into the river.

    I decided that we should demonstrate how clean the water was, so I caught some small fish in a local creek and put them in the holding pond. They thrived and after a couple of weeks there were three distinct schools in the pond.

    Then, they disappeared.

    I restocked the pond, the fish thrived, and disappeared again. I was afraid our water wasn't as clean as we thought.

    One final try. They thrived. One day, as I was looking at the fish swimming in the pond, I saw the reason they were disappearing.

    Turns out I was feeding a turtle.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  20. #110
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    I remain serene in the knowledge that, no matter the situation, humans will be able to justify killing whatever it is they just killed.

  21. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    One final try. They thrived. One day, as I was looking at the fish swimming in the pond, I saw the reason they were disappearing.

    Turns out I was feeding a turtle.
    If you fill it, they will come.
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  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    ABR. Is that a Praying Mantis? I don't think I have ever actually seen one but that thing looks like it's praying. How cool, thanks
    They are even cooler when they want to be scary.

    Pic
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  23. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by clop View Post
    Hehe ok a few more from my garden.

    The underside of a live Badge Huntsman spider. These things grow to 4" across and like to invade people's homes and car ventilation systems, a trait that causes several car accidents every year.


    clop
    Hey Clop,

    This guy didn't Like the AC/DC we were playing...



    And this one went crazy over some chicken eggs...


  24. #114
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    I don't have a picture, but a flock of semi-wild (might have been Canadian immigrants) geese flying directly in front of my window in formation as I opened it in the morning was cool.
    Yeah, I live on the fifth floor


  25. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog_ View Post
    They are even cooler when they want to be scary.

    Pic
    He looks like he is smiling with his hands in the air.

    I wish I had a camera this morning; I almost hit a gaggle of Peacocks

  26. #116
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    I've been hit with the claws before, and I once got a slow squeeze from one that wanted to stay in my hand a lot more than it wanted to go with the 6 year old neighbor kid, but I've never seen one actually pose like that.

    I'm not sure I'd like to. He might be smiling, but he's not happy.

    We had a guy that used to raise peacocks here. There was at least one that used to get out a lot and display to cars passing along the main road. This was in the very center of the Salt Lake Valley, where it's not uncommon to get several inches of snow overnight. A peacock on the side of the road flashing cars was a serious Wednesday-Thursday-Friday moment.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  27. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    Okay, closetgeek, here is a critter I found in my backyard this year.

    I don't know, that might violate our restrictions on religion.

    Maybe we could call it a meditative mantis?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  28. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Maybe we could call it a meditative mantis?
    We could use a homonym and call it a Preying Mantis, which is appropriate considering how it obtains its meals.

  29. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    I remain serene in the knowledge that, no matter the situation, humans will be able to justify killing whatever it is they just killed.
    Well yeah, otherwise it would be wrong. Oh! You want us to run the idea past you first! Okay, what's your E-mail address. I'll consult you first before I shoot anything.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  30. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I don't know, that might violate our restrictions on religion.

    Maybe we could call it a meditative mantis?
    I guess it's a good thing I didn't post any mating-insect pictures, then....
    So many bugs, so little time.

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