Rattler Ranch.

(Noah in awe of a very old and very big oak tree at the Leonis Adobe in Calabasas this week)

All things have been quiet here on Milagro Ranch as of late. We seem to have nipped the earwig infestation in the bud, encouraged the spiders to set up shop elsewhere, weatherproofed and weatherstripped the centipedes and beetles out and willed away the scorpion sightings (*we hope*). Other than the rats taking up residence under the hood of our white Volkswagen golf (which requires diligent old fashion nightly rat trap settings by Dean and lots and lots of peppermint oil), we have been living virtually *spotted* pest-free within the confines of our cozy little canyon cottage and it has been glorious.

Then comes yesterday . . . *da, da, da, dum*.

We had been enjoying the kind of day that brought us to Malibu in the first place--an early afternoon beach birthday BBQ just yards from the ocean surf followed by another birthday bash, poolside, at the glorious shore-side home of Dean's boss. Clad with a fabulously authentic looking "real live" Snow White, Jack Sparrow and a bouncy house large (and pest free) enough for Dean, myself and Noah to rent a room inside of, the party was fabulously fabulous. We partied away our Saturday in true Malibu style.

We arrived home mid-evening. Dean was retrieving our tuckered out tot from the car while I unloaded the mountainous load of gear that we had been schlepping along from shindig to soiree. When at the front door, out of the corner of my left eye, did I spy, a dark, long, rattle snake sunning against the rock wall of our brick patio. Here's how things progressed from there:
  • Noah and I ran quickly inside via the backdoor
  • We called Suzanne, the land owner who lives just up the mountain
  • She called the Fire Dept.
  • Dean remained on the patio at a safe distance to keep a watchful eye on the rattler's whereabouts
  • Noah and I watched things unfold from the safety of the bathroom window
  • Suzanne appeared, and chatted with Dean about the reptile's remarkably dark color, long length (4 feet!) and large rattler
  • The Fire Dept. arrived within 10 minutes--with three strapping firemen and a huge shiny red fire engine they managed to squeeze and maneuver down our rough, long and rural mile long driveway
  • With a long pincher pole, one of the firemen grabbed the snake just behind its head
  • The snake, incredibly loudly, hissed and rattled while thrashing its angry body violently from side to side
  • After the first fireman wrestled the snake to the ground, a second chopped off its head with a shovel
  • The third fireman took the head and placed it in a safe location on the firetruck and gave us the still moving body to dispose of
  • After the firemen gave Noah a brief light show and firetruck tour, the heroes of the day backed down the long mile-drive with the venomous head of our unwelcome visitor in tow
  • Suzanne convinced Dean to remove the rattler from the snake's body before carrying it down to the trash
  • Removing the rattler from the tail of the still thrashing snake gave all of us quite a scare
  • Noah and Dean carried the snake body wrapped up in a grocery bag, to the safe confines of the trash can at the end of the mile drive
The rattler now sits on our kitchen counter (and soon, in Dean's studio to be used as a percussion instrument) as a reminder--a reminder that we can never let our guard down here on Milargo Ranch. Though we may not be seeing as many critters and creepers and crawlers, they're always here, around somewhere. And, that's just the price we pay for living among the beauty of nature--it's rural, raw and wild--very, very wild.


Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Oh my! My mouth is dry just thinking about it. You are a braver woman than I :)

j o n i said...

uughh...i am wondering what the limits to my "braveness" will be? all that's left on the deadly list of critters out here is tarantulas. and i am sure it's just a matter of time...

but you're an aussie, right? lol! the meanest critters on earth reside there...oie!


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