A few months ago, we noticed our calico cat Berry was acting strangely; she was sitting very still except for her tail, which she twitched excitedly. We discovered that she was focused on a large rattlesnake curled up next to a pot of ivy on our deck.
It was a stand-off. She stayed about fifteen feet away from the snake. It was raised up in the striking position and its rattles were buzzing a soft warning to her.
We are always prepared for snakes, since we live several miles out of town. Usually, though, we see copperheads. This rattlesnake was kind enough to wait while my husband loaded his shotgun and went out to get a bead on its head.
“Do you care if I destroy your flower pot?” he asked me. I assured him I would gladly sacrifice the pot to get rid of the snake.
His dead-eye aim proved accurate, and he blew its head off. It writhed around for about thirty minutes, a gruesome sight. I took the picture after it finally decided to be dead. The snake had nine rattles.
The flower pot survived, but the deck has a dent in it.
The National Geographic web site has an interesting snake feature, at this linked site. You’ll see a fascinating photo essay with enough scary snakes to make you want to look under your chair.