I had so much intrest in the ramble about the snakes thought I might ramble on a little more….
I have always had a interest in snakes and turtles and such. Never got too interested in frogs though, however lizards and salamanders are of interest to me. I have had copies of the Peterson’s Guides for all categories for years and they are well worn. Back in he days before I married and owned my old fire engine red 1958 jeep station wagon. I always carried them in the back in a milk crate with flash light and several days worth of canned beans and a can of brown bread. The old wagon was the one vehicle love of my life. It was always ready to go ,two cans of gas and two of water. I had a small Armalite .22 survival rifle that came all apart and stored in the plastic stock, a good knife and axe. My sleeping bag was always there and a tarp. This old boxie wagon was fire engine red and on a whim I painted the wheels a bright deep yellow. On each door I placed decal of a American Flag and the American Eagle with spread wings cluching the Olive branches and arrows. Gun racks on the side window behind the drivers seat. A small offical tax payer card on the right windsheild. No one knew what I was but everybody thought I was somebody. My uniforme was usually green levies and a kaki millitary shiet launderied with the pressed pleats in front and back. I might add that at this time I was all of twenty-five years old and a little bit silly. All anyone had to say was lets go and I was on my way. Anyway I am rambling away from the snakes that are the them of this chapter.
Of course in my rambles I saw more snakes than the ones mentioned previously. But let me drift back to my younger day’s There was a Movie theater called the Roxy on the south side of the town square. On Saturdays it featured a early afternoon show for the kids at five cents, and it was always packed. This was where I first heard of and saw Frank Buck, known as Bring Them Back Alive Buck. He was a famous capture of wild animals for Zoo’s and Circuses. I watched him catch Python’s and Boa Constrictors, often wrestling them. Now I know most of that stuff was all staged with camera crews and people standing by. The other week I was channel surfing and hit TCM, they were showing a couple of the old Frank Buck Films, and I sat in for awhile for a trip down memory lane. They were not as impressive as when I was younger but still enjoyable. Once I discovered the Public Library I read all his books also. In one while catching in Burma, they had put a small pig in camp in a compound made by driving stakes in the ground six inches apart planning to have it for thanksgiving dinner. On waking one morning the natives were all excited. During the night a python has crawled into the pen and swallowed the pig. In doing so he could not pass back out between the stakes. So Frank lost his dinner but got a nice big snake.
I used to read stories and books by a Man named Dan Manixe. He was a animal buff and raised all kinds of exotic creatures. In researching snakes he discovered a woman in Buena Park Calif. Who kept Cobras, on visiting her she showed him how a Cobra could not strike a flat surface. She would hold her hand out flat to the snake and when it struck she would cause it to hit the flat of her hand and it could not stick it’s fangs into the flat surface. He wanted to polygraph her doing it, she consented but took of her glasses because she did not want to be photographed with them on. With her blurred vision the snake hit the side of her hand and injected the deadly poison. She died within thirty minutes.
I saw a series of pictures of a Rattle Snake swallowing a large Catfish someone had left on a river bank. It took a long time but the snake was three times the size of the rest of it’s body when through. I once saw a Rattler that had crawled into a chicken coop and had swallowed a Chicken. It was trapped as it could not crawl back through the wire. It was halfout and could go no father. It was very upset and I have seldom seen a creature That looked so evil as it hissed and bared it’s fangs at us. Needless to say it paid the price for it’s dinner Grandad killed it with a large corn knife by chopping it’s head off. Let me interject here with the mention of the catfish the largest Catfish I ever saw as when I was nine some one had caught one and put it on display in a nearby feed store. They kept it alive in a large six foot tub of water. It was a muddy yellow and weighed 109# and was six feet long with barbs almost 12″ long. To a kid who was just near five foot it looked like a monster. I refused to go into muddy water for a long time after that.
In my desert travels and climbing around the San Grabiel Mountains I have seen a number of King Snakes and a few rattlers, but have found that most of them try to get out of your way when they can. After all all they are interested in doing is finding something to eat and believe me there are none in our wilds that can swallow most of us.
So thanks for dropping in hope to see you soon ramblingbob.