Friday, October 03, 2008

Two Shots This Time

I've been home the past two days with the creeping crud. Periods of shivering under blankets alternating with hot flushes, sore stomach muscles and throat from coughing and reduced to being a mouth breather because the ol' sinuses are plugged. Yeah, we've all been there and done that fer sure.

So, my regimen includes sleeping until the call of nature forces me from the sick bed, as it were. I stepped out earlier today and I could hear this sucker singing off in the distance. The cicadas (or chickadees as they are known as around these parts) were carrying on as well. Their tune is a brash and happy melody, broadcast from high places at high volume. Rattlers, well hidden in the tall grass, can just barely be heard, the buzzing wafting over the breezes through the trees and weeds.

I can hear fairly well when things are quiet, but if there is background noise..... Too many noisy tractors and trucks with straight pipes have damaged my hearing. If I can pick out a noise from over the ringing of tinnitus, I can usually use the triangulation our Creator gave our hearing. However, when the wind is up, not so much.

I know better than to hunt down the vipers in their home territory. So, when I hear their menacing warnings floating on the breeze - I figure it's time to leave them to it. It's just when they practically move in with me that I get upset.

The trip outside after the long distance serenade revealed it's presence next to the porch, coiled and quite unhappy with me. So, I took care of business, went inside and got the little lever action Henry. This time, I spent some time lining up the sights. This snake was further away than the last one. Of course, I missed the head shot. You can see I ventilated his body, coiled under his head at the time.

He (or she) had been pretty well focused on me already, but now the head was pointed right at me, elevated from the ground and dead on. If the malevolence and hatred in those eyes could have driven laser emitters, I'd have been toast for sure. The head was now a more difficult shot, too.

I lost patience and just snapped off the shot, popping it in the head, and killing it instantly. I've found my snap shooting is generally more accurate than the carefully aimed shots, particularly if I'm been practicing. The less thinking, the better.

This example is quite a bit darker than the last one, as well as bigger. Babs was under the porch steps at the time, and she didn't appreciate the shooting much. She won't be "talking" to me much for the rest of the day. Oh well, she won't be running into this sucker inadvertently, either.


Anonymous said...

That's a big snake. I'm glad Babs was left alone. :)

Feel better.

Jerry in Texas said...

Two snakes in two months? It's time to move.

Dad Bones said...

Having tried with no success in shooting snakes I probably would have beat it to death with a spade. Shooting it seems more elegant. Congratulations on a clean kill.

Unknown said...

Those are very nice rattles, they seem to get broken off most of the time when they get that big. In the short time I've been home we have killed three or four already. They say rattlesnake is pretty good on the grill - but I don't know if I could stomach it...