Nature Wildlife

Rosemary, Rabbits and Rattlers

Clump of Rosemary at our Arizona house

This story starts with a large clump of Rosemary. It has apparently become the home of an Arizona Cottontail Rabbit – or I think that is so, since I have seen it (the rabbit) bolt from there on a number of occasions.

Arizona

A Cottontail Rabbit

It is a very handsome rabbit and except for it’s fondness for the leaves of my Torch Glow Bougainvillea, it isn’t what I’d call a pest.

Rosemary leaves

I would have thought the Rabbit would eat the rosemary leaves too, but if it is so inclined, it isn’t making much of dent in the rapidly spreading foliage!

Yesterday, a new dessert occupant appeared on our patio. At first, I thought it was another non-venomous gopher snake. We see them relatively frequently in our yard. However, when the snake finally decided to slither away, I realized that the pointed end of its 3 foot body was suspiciously rattler-like.

I have to admit that I was startled when The Car Guy pointed out that the snake had chosen to come within 15 feet of where I was quietly sitting and reading. It was only 8 feet away from where The Car Guy had been walking back and forth as he worked on a construction project.

The Rattlesnake (probably a Diamond Back) eventually headed into the clump of Rosemary. I don’t wish to think about whether a rattlesnake and a rabbit can enter into a relationship where the rabbit doesn’t become dinner.

The curious thing is, seeing a Rattlesnake on my patio made me want to pack up and head back to Alberta. It’s highly unlikely that there has never been a Rattlesnake on my patio before – it’s just that I’ve never seen one there before. That makes all the difference.

Today, there is NO rattlesnake on my patio, and I’ve ventured out into the yard to do all the spring gardening tasks that need to be done before we head for our Northern home. Of course, I’m extremely more cautious than I was a few days ago. I’m also hopeful that the snake will chow down on the wood (pack) rats that inhabit parts of our yard, then move over to the neighbour’s yard and never visit my patio again.

Question of the day – what would you do if you found a Rattlesnake on your patio? (I went inside and got my camera, of course…)

 

 

Categories: Nature Wildlife

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18 replies »

  1. Dang! I’ve lived in AZ nearly my whole life and I’ve yet to see rattlesnake or scorpion near my home. Too far into the city, I guess. Glad you thought to grab the camera!

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    • Our place is just a short walk from a large nature preserve, so I’m not surprised by the wildlife! We have friends who live only a few blocks further away from the park, and they say they’ve never seen rattlesnakes or scorpions. To be honest, I’d rather not see either, but they hibernate most of the time we are here, so I can’t complain.

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    • We have rattlesnakes in southern Alberta too, but fortunately not as far north as we live. I think if I had to watch for rattlesnakes there too, I’d pack up and move even further north…

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  2. My parents live in AZ outside of Scottsdale, and their rattler stories never seize to make me laugh. One of them inevitably runs for their pistol, and the snake rarely get shot, but hysterical stories ensue. I’ll throw in there that they both wear glasses and rarely have them on when trying to rid AZ of one more rattler.

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