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I'm Bummed, Sad story(18 posts)

I'm Bummed, Sad storyrwbadley
Jun 7, 2002 8:16 AM
Yesterday I was heading home after a nice ride. I made my way down the north side of Windy hill, and was coasting along about 18-20 mph when I happened to see a fairly good sized snake at the road edge. Very colorful creature.

He/she was about 3 ft long, and maybe an 1 1/4 diameter, curled around himself, basking in the sun.
After a mental exercise of about three seconds, I decided it would be a good idea to turn around, go back and shoo him off the road.

I made the turn, and headed back. Three cars were in the process of passing the spot where he lay. As I approached, I found I was too late. In that very short time it had happened. It seemed to me the driver must have been asleep, or gone out of his way to damage the poor thing. I said a little prayer and moved him back into the green area to finish his experience.

I know this is a small matter, not to compare with other, larger atrocities.

But still,
Life in all forms is precious.
Tread Lightly.

Remember to Hug your Kids.
Thanks for listening.

Ronald William Badley
our reptile friendsgtx
Jun 7, 2002 8:23 AM
yes, very sad, and I see this all the time, too. I always stop to shoo snakes and lizards off the roads and trails. They just get so happy when they find a nice warm place to bask and don't realize they are in grave danger. Just make sure you know the difference between a harmless snake and the poisonous variety!
Probably intentional.the dad
Jun 7, 2002 8:24 AM
Lots of people have unrealistic phobias regarding snakes.

Several years ago, I lived in a subdivision which backed up to a creek. We had lots of snakes in our back yard. My next door neighbor, among others, went on a crusade to rid the neighborhood of snakes. They were successful.

The next year we were invaded by lots and lots of moles. My next door neighbor, who was a lawn and garden fanatic, got what he deserved.
Poetic Justice for the neighbor.UncleMoe
Jun 7, 2002 8:34 AM
I hate ignorant idiots.
Probably intentional.frankamo
Jun 7, 2002 8:39 AM
a co-worker told me last week about seeing his neighbor in the backyard throwing large stones at the ground for several minutes. When he went over there to see what the heck he was doing, his neighbor told him he was trying to kill a snake.

a 12 inch garter snake.

Maybe he was looking out for the welfare of the local crickets?!
I always try to remember-rideslikeagirl
Jun 7, 2002 8:46 AM
That creatures life is as important to them as mine is to me.

(makes it impossible to kill a spider anymore!) :)

Sad story- You tried to do the right thing.
unfortunately ...tarwheel
Jun 7, 2002 8:48 AM
A lot of people go out of their way to run over snakes and turtles (and even cyclists!). I have seen huge turtles before that cars have flattened. It's really sad because a turtle that large could be 50 years old or more. A big sport in the rural South is to try to hit a turtle just on the edge of its shell so it spins like a top. Most people really freak out about snakes and will kill them whether they are poisonous or not. I had a friend who's mother was so terrified of snakes that she had taped together pages of a nature photography book in their living room, so the pages with photographs of snakes couldn't be opened. I don't get it myself. I used to work as a biologist and spent many hours in the field, tromping through swamps and fields and floodplains, and never came close to getting bit. I've even stepped right over rattlesnakes and they just slithered away. I have heard that almost all snakebite victims get bit on their arms from reaching into a place where a snake is hiding; it is very rare for a snake to bite someone on the leg.
unfortunately ...mr_spin
Jun 7, 2002 9:15 AM
How do you know you never came close to being bit? All you really know is that you didn't get bit. Snakes could have been poised to strike everywhere you went, but you moved at the last second. Kind of like the Roadrunner always seems to take a step right before the safe/anvil/piano crashes into the spot where he was standing.

I'd hardly recommend stepping over rattlesnakes!

Many snakebites are "dry" bites. In other words, no venom. You surprise a snake and it strikes instinctively. It doesn't have time to generate the venom, so it's not usually deadly. But that's one reason why it's best to be on point when hiking or mountain biking. The first one through wakes up the snake, the next one gets bit!
well ...tarwheel
Jun 7, 2002 11:17 AM
I say this because I have seen quite a few rattlesnakes and copperheads while out hiking, camping or working in the field. On occasion, I have gotten quite close to rattlers and they generally slither away or coil up and rattle. Twice I have stepped right over rattlesnakes and didn't know it until I saw them moving away. The only time I have actually seen a snake strike was when someone actively taunted a snake by poking at it with a stick or fishing pole. Somewhere, admittedly a while back, I read some authoritative information on snakes where the data clearly showed that most snakebite victims get bitten on the hands and arms. I don't say this to mean that people shouldn't use caution around poisonous snakes, but to make the point that snakes are not the aggressive creatures they are often perceived to be. However, some snakes are more aggressive, such as cottonmouths.
ok, that one hit home.theBreeze
Jun 7, 2002 10:15 AM
Re:taping together the pages of the nature book.
I admit to paper clipping the snake pages of a Sierra Club desert wildlife book. Yes, I have an extreme phobia of snakes and accidentally opening to those pages caused such an extreme adrenaline-charged reaction...well it was embarrassing in front of my kids. This is not to say I in ANY way advocate the killing of snakes. Cooly back-tracking while my heart rate is maxing out is how I handle encounters with the critters. My fear is completely irrational, I have tried to figure it out for years; it is a visceral reaction over which I have very limited control. My biggest fear mountain biking on steep terrain was not biffing and injuring myself, but having a snake in my path and just freaking out, endoing right over a cliff or something.
re: Identifying with road-kill.dzrider
Jun 7, 2002 9:24 AM
One of the startling realizations midway through a long tour was that I'd begun to identify with road-kill. Riding southern roads with no shoulders I felt like I could be the next possum or armadillo and felt a sense of loss for each dead critter. Almost made me a vegetarian!
Jun 7, 2002 10:36 AM
It has always amazed me the way some people will go out of their way to harm some born animal just because it is not of the warm and fuzzy variety. I have spoken with people who admit to purposely running snakes over just because they are snakes. I have tried reasoning with them but it does no good, the fear is too deeply ingrained in them. So, I do my part and spend a good portion of my rides in June and July moving the snakes and turtles off the roads. In fact that is how I got my handle, my wife used to say that I was always going out on turtleherding rides. It just stuck.
re: I'm Bummed, Sad storypaulw
Jun 7, 2002 10:41 AM
I've saved numerous animals but I have to admit having killed a couple also.

On the reptile front, my wife and I were looking at a new house going in our neihborhood. They had a concrete pool put in and a snake had fallen and couldn't get out. It was a 2' garter snake and tried to bite me when I picked it up. So, I got a branch and got it up on that. I then proceded to chase my wife for 20' or so with the snake since she's afraid of them (that was fun) and then put the snake in the woods. Also, I once stopped (while driving) to carry a 14" diameter snapping turtle who was trying to cross a busy road. Other cars were just going around it. It was less convenient to chase my wife with that one so I just carried it over.

On the other hand, I've had a few squirrels run under or into my wheels when riding. They really seem like stupid creatures.
re: I'm Bummed, Sad storyMiklos
Jun 7, 2002 1:33 PM
Reminds me of a snake about that size that hung around in my horse pasture. He would just lay there sunning himself even when I was mowing the fields. I would always have to stop the tractor, get off and move him to a safe place before I could continue on.

Another I'm Bummed, Sad storymmquest
Jun 7, 2002 2:36 PM
Last night I worked late. As I was leaving, the sprinklers were on and I was paying attention to them (to not get soaked) and not where I was walking. I felt my left foot slip a little and thought that was weird as I was trying to avoid the wet (i.e. slippery) spots. I turned around and was confronted with the flattest frog I have ever seen. I think I stepped right on the poor little guy with the ball of my foot. It still kills me to know I snuffed him out last night. At least it was quick...
A crispy critterrwbadley
Jun 7, 2002 8:10 PM
Sometimes we inadvertantly cause the problem.
I once took a tiny frog home for my (then) small boy to check out.
I left said frog in a box overnight, the next morning he was dehydrated to a crisp, a perfect little dessicated frog the size of a quarter.
The next morning, son looks for frog, gosh he must have hopped away!
Well, I'm glad to hear that all of you...Ahimsa
Jun 7, 2002 4:08 PM
...have some compassion for other living things. All too often I am confronted with the opposite reaction or worse, the complete apathy and sense of human entitlement that most people have. Glad to know you are out there.

Personally I think we would do well to have a world with droves of snakes and 2/3 less people.

A. (Misanthrope...partial Jainist...Never seen a bird kill out of hate, or a lizard steal for kicks)
re: I'm Bummed, Sad storymickey-mac
Jun 7, 2002 8:31 PM
I've seen hundreds of dead animals on the road, but about a month ago I saw a squirrel that had just been run over by a car. The car tire hit its back end, and it was still alive, with its front half flopping around on the road. I thought about doing something to put it out of its misery, but the thought of running over a squirrel with my bike or hitting it with a pump in full view of drivers and pedestrians didn't seem like the best option at the time. It's surprising how something like that can affect an otherwise jaded person.