Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rattlesnake vs. Cub Scouts - who would win?

A few miles north of our apartment, there is a park with a paved running path around it. The south edge of the park borders on a wilderness area. As I was running yesterday, I noticed a snake on the edge of the path. I didn't check it out too closely; all that registered was it was a snake with a pattern I didn't recognize, and it wasn't moving (most importantly, it wasn't moving towards me).

On my second lap around the path, a young couple with two dogs had found the snake, decided it was a rattlesnake (I'm not sure I believe them - I may not be familiar with snakes in the vicinity, but I didn't see a rattle on the end, and I do know what those look like, having previous experience with them), and were directing people around it.

(WARNING - TANGENT: I should brush up on my Arizona wildlife: snakes, spiders, scorpions, and such. To take this tangent one step further, I read an article through the University of Arizona when we first came to Tucson which talked about the shortage of antidote for scorpion poison/venom/whatever it's called. What a welcome to Tucson. Fortunately, AZ was working out a deal to get more of the antidote from Mexico.)

Anyway, as a final note on the snake situation, whether or not it was a rattlesnake, I should have evaluated the situation a bit more carefully. It was good that the couple reported it and were keeping people away from it. There was an all-day Cub Scout activity in the park, and those boys were everywhere. My experience with young boys is that they would be a bit too eager to play with or harrass a snake, and that the snake might come off conqueror in a showdown.

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