Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,612 Member Since:27/07/2011

#3 [url]

Feb 2 17 7:01 PM

Can we start telling snake stories? Come on, I'll go first.

About 30 years ago I got to go on a rattlesnake hunt with an old school snake hunter (this is when there was a bounty on rattlers) who called up one of the local TV stations to videotape him in action. I was working part time for a newspaper as a photojournalist and decided to tag along so I could get some close up snake pictures. The snake guy, along with the on-camera talent, videographer and I climbed up a steep hillside where there was a known den. The snake guy had some long stick-like things with hooks on them so he could reach inside the den and yank the snakes out. The first one he grabbed was a really big one and it got tangled up on the snake guy's long hook. In an effort to free the snake, he ended up tossing it over to about three feet from where I was standing. Well, I've never been that close to a rattlesnake before and I was pretty sure this was not a particularly good position to be in, but I just kept taking pictures. I think this is often why you see photos of things where you have to wonder what the photographer was thinking, "why didn't he get the hell out of there?". Sometimes being behind the lens gives you a sense of omnipotence, or at least a false sense of security. I can't remember what happened next, but I think the snake guy pinned the head of the snake down and regained control of the situation. I got some good pictures that day, although only one or two were used with the story. I also got an adrenaline rush that lasted until about midnight.

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Gold Finger

Posts: 541 Member Since:04/02/2011

#7 [url]

Feb 3 17 8:49 AM

Ok William, I survived some loughs again...but about more snake stories? Why not(nothing to do with you John) tell some?
My father was some kind of a snake-freak. When I was 4-5 years old he caught two vipers, one brown with the saw-side and the other black. He made a terrarium for them and so the two vipers lived with us at home. They were not so scary behind the glas. I remember once a whole primary school came to see them and my father took the terrarium out to the front of the house for that occasion. The kids went slowly past in a long row. The boys had caught tiny frogs and brought them in paperbags. They were thrown in and the snakes grabbed them in no time. My mother obviously did not share the same fashination with my dad and pretty soon the terrarium had to dissappear and the vipers were set free. My understanding is that the vipers in Finland are not that poisonous, but could kill a child or and older person with a bad health though.
Anyway, when a snake was spotted, usually my dad was called to take care ot it. I once saw him in action. He only had a bottle and a cane as equipment. He would toss the bottle beside the snake the hole close to the snake`s head and temp with the cane. The snake would go into the bottle and he would close it. Then he would take the snake to a safe place to be let free. He did not like to kill them, because he regarded them useful against harmfull rodents. Many years later I asked him about it and he explained that when feeling threatend the snake tries to escape into a safe opening or hole, a heap of rocks or likes and the bottle represent such. That`s why it goes into the bottle. My father spend many years in East-African countries and once when I visited my family in Tanzania, he had a big puff-adder in a cage, not in the house though, but in the yard. Puff-adders are nasty, because they do not escape like snakes normally do, but like to attack. A bite on your leg or arm results in an amputation, if you want to survive. If it is the hand, you may get away only loosing the hand. But the snake would not eat anything offered, wheather rodents or frogs or anything and as weeks went by, my father went to ask advice from a "snake man" who played with poisonous snakes without the snakes ever harming him at the local market place. The answer my father got was strange, but he then followed that. He gave the snake corn-flour and in no time the snake swallowed that. I cannot remember if the snake started eating normally after that or if it was just released. I believe these animals cannot take the captivity at all. 

Esa Tervala

Last Edited By: panman Feb 3 17 5:50 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,323 Member Since:29/01/2011

#8 [url]

Feb 3 17 9:22 AM

the only snake story i have is seeing one eat once. a live mouse. it was horrifying. i don't have any particular affinity for mice, but you gotta feel for the poor little fella, cowing in the corner while the snake takes his sweet-ass time coming to the table. c'mon, that's an awful way to go.

don't like snakes, no sir, not one bit. 

i think spiders are badass though. kinda want a pet tarantula.



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Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,185 Member Since:22/01/2011

#9 [url]

Feb 3 17 10:40 AM

At about age 9 my cousin and I used to sift through the salvaged remains of a very old hotel which my grandfather had strewn on his back lot. It was a wonderland of junk for young, curious minds, and one of my uncles would pay us a dime per square nail we could pull from the piles of wood scraps. My uncle would take the nails and sell them at flea markets for about a buck apiece, but we didn't know we were being exploited--a dime was a lot of money in 1966!

Anyway, we pulled a large strip of tongue and groove paneling back to reveal an annoyed rattlesnake. Fortunately it was early spring and the ground was still cold so the snake was sluggish. I can still call up the slo-mo mental picture of that snake striking at me--near full body extension, mouth wide open, fangs glistening. I don't remember much after that as I was setting a new land speed record for running back to the house screaming.

I have a very healthy respect, bordering on controlled terror, of snakes. I am occasionally called upon to remove one from our country estate--despite my wife's protestations, I won't kill a non-poisonous one, just take it way out in the woods for relocation. A couple of cottonmouths, an ill-tempered ground rattler and a copperhead have met their makers at the point of a shovel, though.

"Kerry fixed the stereo, and now it doesn't work." (My six-year-old sister)

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,186 Member Since:23/10/2013

#10 [url]

Feb 3 17 10:43 AM

Lookup cats and cucumbers on YouTube.

Kinda amazing how ingrained the fear of snakes is, probably even when an animal has never seen a snake.


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Posts: 103 Member Since:13/02/2011

#12 [url]

Feb 3 17 12:24 PM

I spent a couple of years in a jungle village in Gabon (French Equatorial Africa) when I was in the Peace Corps. I remember several urban myths (though not really urban - more properly rural):

1) Man gets drunk on palm wine, passes out propped up against a tree trunk. Wakes up with a python having swallowed one leg - coudn't get any farther when it got to his crotch.

2) The Gaboon viper, a huge, short, fat, sluggish snake, is called the 3 step snake. When walking single file along a jungle path with the snake lying across it, the first man to step on it wakes it up, the second makes it mad, and it bites the third man to step on it.

My only experience there, besides walking through the jungle with the mambas slithering through the trees, was when driving through a sanannah area we saw ahead what looked like a palm tree lying across the road. As we got closer, it slithered out of the road and into the bush. We jumped out of the truck, grabbed the shovel and the ax and ran after it - a python skin makes a nice souvenir. Luckily, we didn't find it.

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Diamond Forever

Posts: 21,221 Member Since:08/01/2011

#13 [url]

Feb 3 17 1:23 PM

I posted this once before, but…

About three years ago, I had done a bunch of laundry and hung it out on my clothesline to dry...my "solar drier," no electricity costs.

Halfway through the afternoon I checked it, and some was dry, some not.

I took the dry things off of the line and put them in a plastic laundry basket, leaving the basket there outside under the line.

Just after sunset, dusky dark, I went back, didn't even look at the basket, and took the rest of the clothes down, putting them on top of what was already in the basket.

I took the basket into my bedroom, dumped it out on to the top of the bed, and then ran back up to the studio to finish mixing.

About midnight is when I went in to sort the clothes; I switched on the light, and there was a 6 to 8 foot boa constrictor coiled up sitting right on top of the pile of clothes!

Obviously he had crawled into the basket, and I had carried him into the house unawares.

I knew I couldn't take my eyes off of him or I could never sleep in that room again! He started slithering around and wrapped himself around the intricate iron metalwork of the bedframe.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a small baby blanket in the corner that I had had there for some friends who had been recently visiting with their child.

Cautiously keeping my eye on the snake, I slowly moved across the room, grabbed the blanket, and waited as he slithered around. Finally he was free enough of the frame, and I leapt on his head with the blanket.

What a fight! He was so strong I couldn't believe it. But finally I had him all in the blanket, struggled to the front door, took him outside, and flung him into the empty jungle lot next-door.

I didn't go to sleep for about four more hours…

Last Edited By: compasspnt Feb 3 17 1:25 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Gold Finger

Posts: 931 Member Since:05/02/2011

#16 [url]

Feb 4 17 12:14 PM

wow, what an adrenalin rush that must have been!
I would have been more likely to choose cleaning up the mess and filling in the bullet holes.

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,145 Member Since:23/01/2011

#17 [url]

Feb 5 17 11:28 AM

compasspnt wrote:
...About midnight is when I went in to sort the clothes; I switched on the light, and there was a 6 to 8 foot boa constrictor coiled up sitting right on top of the pile of clothes!...

This story probably scared ww nearly as much as the idea of a new Steely Dan record!!

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,876 Member Since:29/01/2011

#18 [url]

Feb 5 17 3:28 PM

I don't have any snake stories, which is strange- I'm the only person I know of who spends any time hiking/biking in the mountains around here, as I have been for nearly 30 years, who's never come across a rattler there.
That includes my son who has ridden his mountain bike over at least one.

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Gold Finger

Posts: 543 Member Since:07/02/2011

#19 [url]

Feb 7 17 11:54 AM

Can't compete with Terry's story, but in high school I spent a summer volunteering in a remote Mexican village. One day my partner and I decided to try and hike up one of the mountains nearby. He was about 20 feet in front of me on the path, when suddenly I heard him yell and saw him streak by me in the opposite direction, shouting, "snake!" I turned and ran as well, though I never saw the creature. After traveling a safe distance and calming down, we resumed our hike and didn't encounter that, or any other, snake.

Later we were discussing it with the old village guys, who asked for a description of the snake, and casually said something like, oh, yeah, you would have died if you'd been bitten by one of those. It was a beautiful hike though!

I've also witnessed snake feeding time, as a good friend used to keep a ball python as a pet, and like Morespaceecho I did not find it to be a pleasant experience.

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