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On my property there are plenty of rabbits, which means there are also plenty of rattlesnakes.   Eastern Diamondbacks love baby rabbit snacks and are sure to be in the area when there is plenty of food.

There are a few things you should know about rattlesnakes, besides that they like to eat rabbits.  First, they get pretty big.  The other day I found an average size snake in the bushes—average meaning 4 feet long.  Some people claim lengths of up to eight feet for Eastern Diamondbacks , but the largest I have seen is 6 ½-feet. It was really the dog that found it, but since the snake was sleeping at the time, we all got along just fine. I called the dog off and took a closer look.  You might have thought the snake was awake—just laying there staring, but you have to remember that snakes have no movable eyelids and can’t close their eyes.  I guess some people think it is creepy the way they stare and stare, but that is just the way snakes are.

Once a rattlesnake decides a place is favorable, they don’t move around much.  They don’t need to drink much water and can just lay still and wait for food to come along. For the most part, snakes are peaceful and lazy and don’t go out of their way to pick a fight.

While I usually leave the snakes to their peaceful ways, sometimes I just can’t resist taking my snake hook and pulling one away from its hiding place to take a closer look. It is hard to get a real close look at a snake otherwise.  By pulling them out I can check their health, count their rattles and get an idea of how the snakes in the area are doing generally.  Boy, you can tell when I’ve made one cranky, because they sure set those rattles shaking—a distinctive buzz that resembles a bee more than a baby’s toy.

After a while observing the snake I let him go back to his chosen spot and the dog and I returned to a cup of coffee with another good story about a rattlesnake.