A while back, we told you about a method we'd heard of to force snakes off the trail by
throwing sand in their eyes. We have tried this method 3 times and will now give you an
update regarding its effectiveness.
Whenever we see a snake, the two of us resemble Marlin Perkins and the trusty Jim Fowler
of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Jim of course had all the skill and did all the work
wrestling wild animals and Marlin cowered behind a bush and made generally unnecessary
I, of course, am playing Jim in this scenario.
Oh, all right, I am not playing Jim, but only because by the time I catch up with Scott,
all the good roles are taken.
Here are the actual encounters:
Name: Declined to state-we will call him Snake 1
Size: Big guy
Situation: We were hiking through shady forest when suddenly,
there on the trail was a large rattlesnake coiled up. (At 7200 feet-I'm always surprised
to see them up in the higher elevations-you get lulled into a false sense of security.)
There was plenty of room to go around, but Scott wanted to try out the dirt tossing
technique. The snake and Scott faced off. Scott threw some dirt. The snake ducked his
head into the coil and then popped back up. Scott tried again and the snake ducked again.
The snake appeared to be enjoying himself as if it was a great game. This pattern
continued. I said, "I'm going around." and did. From my new vantage point, I watched
Scott's efforts turn the snake entirely brown. Finally, defeated, Scott also went around.
We left a lump of brown dirt with a little tongue darting out back on that trail. I sure
hope no one stepped on him.
Name: Snake 2
Size: Medium guy
Situation: This one was lying by the side of the
trail stretched out in the leaves. They blend in so well with the leaves and duff that
it is really easy to step on one. Apparently undaunted by his last failure, Scott took
up the dirt challenge once again [The first guy may have been an outlier. -Scott]. He
threw some dirt. The snake lay there. He threw more dirt. The snake lay there. (Watching
golf on TV may be marginally more exciting) Finally Scott tossed him into the bushes with
the hiking pole. The snake got caught on a branch and got jounced around. It was a great
day for the snake when he met us.
Name: Snake 3
Size: Small guy
Situation: Scott almost stepped on him, thereby accidentally
kicking dirt on him. Lucky old snake. Once again, no movement.
As you can see, this technique isn't working for us. It may stop a snake that is chasing
prey, but as snakes don't hunt humans, I guess we'd better stick to other methods.
Snakes everywhere thank us.
Copyright © 2000-2001 Amy and Scott Rigby