While we were outside the other day (saying goodbye to visitors–Hi, LaDawn!) my children spotted a small snake near the edge of the driveway. He was small, so we thought he was a young snake. I got my camera and snapped a few photos so we could find out what type of snake he was.
Imagine my surprise when we discovered this is a Western Pygmy Rattlesnake!
He was a tiny little guy. See those twigs? That longest one is only about four inches long. According to OKSnakes.org, this guy is probably full grown.
And, yes, he’s venomous–all rattlesnakes are venomous. No, we never heard a rattling sound. This is a very small snake, with a very small rattle–hard to hear in most cases, and I’m glad I didn’t let any of my children get close enough to try to hear it!
Once I had identified the snake, I was quick to explain to each of my children that this snake could hurt them. I’ve been trying to give them all a healthy respect for wildlife. I don’t want them to get hurt through ignorance or naivety.
How safe are your children? Do you know what kinds of snakes and spiders reside in your neighborhood? Check your local library for books on snakes, spiders, and other forms of wildlife. Learn to identify the more common critters. Teach your children to be safe and keep their distance.