Just like any other day: Wake up, combat the yellow jackets while you make breakfast and clean-up, hang out, work, catch up on things, etc. Today we worked together on a little project; the hinges for the solar. We had to drill holes in the hinges, cut them so they weren't so long, sand them down so they weren't so rough up against Joon Van, spray paint them due to the sanding and then attach. We took everything over to this big log where we could work and J' could attach the hinges to it to drill the holes, kind of like a vice. It worked quite well.
[caption id="attachment_869" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nice vice![/caption]
We worked over in this space for a good hour, maybe more and when the sun got a little too hot for my liking (with jeans on), I moved back over to the shade.
[caption id="attachment_870" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Cuttin' loose[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_871" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Creeped out just looking at this picture[/caption]
Some time later, maybe an hour or so Savannah was hunting, like usual, in the bushes right where we just were (in the 1st pic above, just above J's hands is where she was standing). I always keep a close eye on her because she's my baby, she's small and just like a kid if you take your eyes off of her for one minute, she disappears. I saw her standing on this rock right at the edge of the bushes (where I was just sitting on the log) and saw her kind of back away at the same time hearing a very strange noise I had never heard before. It took me a minute to process it...didn't sound like a bird, a chipmunk or a squirrel...that sounded like a baby rattle! I told J' what had I heard and he said, "We might have a rattlesnake, did it sound like that?" I told him I had no clue what a rattlesnake sounded like, so he went over to investigate. J' went over to the rocks and bushes and jumped back and said, "Whoa, that's a rattler alright." He asked me to keep an eye on it, as I slowly started to freak out.
[caption id="attachment_872" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The log I was just on and the nice big snake right underneath it[/caption]
He went and got the gun and came back, at this point I think I was about to faint, I was so scared. He aimed, he fired and boom got it...although what seemed like one really huge snake turned into two really huge snakes! Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes to be exact!
[caption id="attachment_873" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The first one, the smaller one[/caption]
It actually took us both a minute to process that there were two instead of one. One got hit dead-on in the head and stayed where it lay, while the bigger one slithered under the bigger part of the rock we were standing on.
[caption id="attachment_874" align="aligncenter" width="300"] That's a big mamma jamma[/caption]
After rigging up a "spear" we were able to locate it and get it out from under the rock it was clinging to...he (the snake) was pissed, he was hissing at us...not a happy camper. Little did we know he got the better half of the bullet & had half of his side blown out.
I was an absolute mess, I was crying, shaking, sobbing, panting. J' kept saying, "Would you stop!" But it just kept coming. There were lots of emotions I was going through: 1- I had never seen or been anywhere near such a deadly poisonous snake in my life. 2- Savannah was barely a foot away from both of them and she could be a lot worse off right now. 3- I have been around and shot guns before but have never been near someone using a gun for protection or to kill something. 4- We just killed two animals of nature...are we horrible people!? 5- I was just plain ole' scared and thought they were still gonna get us. 6- How many more of them are there, are we on-top of a nest? And he's telling me to calm down! haha Silly Brave Man! These snakes were about 3 1/2- 4 foot long and about 5-6 inches in diameter, as thick and snaky as you can get baby. I still shudder with the creeps. The whole Rattlesnake Round-up lasted about 40 minutes, it took us a while to make sure they were actually dead.
[caption id="attachment_878" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Captured[/caption]
Even after we thought they were in Rattlesnake Heaven, they were still twitching and moving around, we both thought it was just nerves but then the one that J' got in the head was still breathing. I was looking at them a little closer and taking pictures and that thing hissed at me...that lil F*er is still alive so I (of course) screamed and jumped away and told J' and he investigated further and yep...still alive and kicking!
[caption id="attachment_880" align="aligncenter" width="300"] He may be missing 1/2 his head but he was still pissed off & hissing![/caption]
So J' had to take the head off of that one too...then the tears came again, I just felt so bad. I guess I shouldn't feel bad for being alive, because they can kill you almost instantly, but I just believe that everything has a soul and is here for a reason and who are we to interrupt something else's life cycle? I guess it's just the circle of life...but I still feel bad. We walked over to SoulRaven's camp to warn him that these critters ARE around and one of the gal's, Jenn, that has recently joined Bob's Flock was over there with him. We talked to them about the whole sha-bang for a minute, we didn't want them to worry about the gunshot (they didn't even hear it, good thing we weren't over there dying!) Jenn had a little bit of experience with handling and cooking the snake so she took them off our hands to make a meal out of them and keep the skins...we asked her to save us a few bites!
[caption id="attachment_882" align="aligncenter" width="300"] It's what's for dinner[/caption]
We took the rattlers though and will most likely make them into jewelry or something.
Being the people we are, we came back and looked up the symbolism of rattlesnakes and that made me feel even worse...go figure. Most of the articles we read all said about the same thing: If you come upon a rattlesnake you are going through a major transitional period. The rattlesnake's message is change and renewal. We also found a site that had 18 Omens of Good Fortune (and YES, I do believe in stuff like this). Believe it or not, we've had more than one of these happen in the last 2-3 days, here they are (the one's we've received): When your ears start to itch (the other day J' would not stop talking about his itchy ear and just the day before I had the same "problem"), A butterfly flies into your house (or van, which is our house), Meeting up with a Cow (just happened yesterday), and Meeting up with a snake. Sorry but something great is bound to happen here! Although it also says to never harm or kill a snake (and there were two) due to its spiritual presence, the more poisonous the snake the better is the good fortune. Dangit! All we can keep thinking and saying is that they were way too close to camp only about 12 feet from the van doors, they could have killed Savannah or one of us and we would NEVER go out of our way to harm a snake or anything else for that matter.
[caption id="attachment_881" align="aligncenter" width="225"] A little too close for comfort[/caption]
But it still makes me sad and I hope the Universe goes light on us for it. Happy to still be here together and with our pup and may we enjoy the light, love and peace of another day.