April 15, 2011


By this guy...

The weather today is just amazing, warm and clear with a light breeze coming off the ocean. A great day for taking the spinning wheel outside to finish plying hand-spun sock yarn #4. I'd moved the spinning wheel and supplies outside and was just getting ready to move the lawn sprinkler before I sat down to ply some sock yarn.  And then, out of the corner of my eye I noticed this snake in the planter next to the lawn, headed for the patio. This is crotalus ruber, a red diamond rattlesnake, and this is a big one. While I don't see them all the time, this is the species of rattlesnake I see most often in our yard, driveway, etc. I like that they're doing their part to keep the rodent population in check, but I don't especially care for rattlesnakes hanging out near the house. Its like an accident waiting to happen.

This particular snake was well behaved, and started to head away from the house once he'd caught wind of me. But I didn't want to take any chances, so I asked Ryan to bring me a push broom and a 30 gallon trashcan while I kept an eye on the snake. For once, Ryan didn't say, "just a sec." to one of my requests for his time. Once I had my "tools" I had Ryan go back into the house for the camera. By now the snake was near the back edge of the lawn area.
The snake is, I think, between 3 1/2 - 4 feet long.

I put the trashcan on its side on the ground ahead of where the snake moving. Snakes like hiding in dark places, and so he went right in. Or, maybe I've caught this snake before and he remembers the drill. Either way, it works.

Normally, at this point I just tip the trashcan upright, but this snake seemed kind of big, so I used an telescoping pole to tip the can up. And normally, I just pick up the trashcan and head for the property line so I can dump the snake into the sage brush on the other side of the fence, but as I really, seriously respected this snake's size, I slipped a big black trash bag over the top of the trash can. We couldn't find a lid.

He is a very handsome snake. I hope he stays out of the yard for the rest of the year.

Oh, here is the spinning that I never quite got to;
It's looking like this when its plied;
And here are the socks I working on when I have knitting time. The yarn Plymouth Happyfeet DK, and is left over from a little girl sweater I knit last summer. I think there is just enough yarn to make some ankle socks, or maybe footies, something that will be nice to wear during spinning.


  1. Yes, that is a beautiful snake, but I like it FAR better on my monitor than I would ANYWHERE in my vicinity! I've lived in Texas and So. Cal.; no poisonous snakes are one of the many reasons I prefer this part of Oregon.

    BTW, at first glance, I thought you were knitting a bikini top when I first saw that pair of socks! hee

  2. Quite a beautiful snake. I really like that you a) know what it is and b) acted responsibly, respectfully, and cautiously and set it free once more. I've seen only two rattle snakes, once in Elfin Forest years ago, and one on my porch many years ago here in Taos (and that's a story I'll tell you in person some time). PS I'm with Michelle...I, too, thought you were knitting a bikini top! :0)

  3. Yeah, I like them, too. From a distance. Not in my backyard, though.

  4. Hee hee! My dad kept teasing me about the sock beginnings looking like a bikini top too. But my bikini days are long since past. Although, I'd consider trying to knit myself a bra. At least that way I'd get the fit I wanted.