Friday, October 03, 2014

one of my earliest jobs

I  was about 7 years old and I was at the side of the road.  I was certainly looking for something but it isn't what you would think of, like a cool rock or something like that, I happened to be looking for a bit of a clearing.  Even at my age I knew that it's best to have a clearing to stand in then a lot of brush around your ankles.  Now I was ready.

All along one of my other sisters was on the other side of the road quickly doing the same thing.  My dad is busily looking over a snake that was spotted in the middle of the road.  At this point the van is parked in the road with it's flashers on and by the headlights and the setting sun my father is identifying the snake.  My sister and I are ready for our task.  As my dad puts the snake down he readies his camera and starts to shoot photo after photo.  Our job you may wonder?  Well that is to make enough commotion on each side of the road so the snake stays where it is. That makes it much easier to photograph.  There is also a strong possibility that he may need it as a specimen. He can then re-catch it and well, kill it.  Those go in the drivers foot well.  Mmmm, I can smell the hot rotting carcasses as I type.  This time it was a poisonous one. They usually were.  So after the photographic session, he would pick the snack up and whip it onto the pavement over and over again until the snakes body would be crushed inside.  We were not expected to cry, it was part of daddies work. That was one of my earliest "jobs."

It just came with the territory of being a Herpetologists daughter.  I don't wont to paint every experience as a tragedy.  Man, I saw a lot and experienced more than so many have, but with the good came the bad.  Remember showering in the rain.  Fun.  Many times the snakes we would run into was a Fer De Lance.  Basically a very poisonous snake that kind of acts like a rattle snake with out a warning rattle.
Fer De Lance

Often times on our journeys the specimens in the foot well of the van turned out not to be dead.  That is an entire different story, but it did cause a slight panic when the specimen was missing and it happened to be one of these or one of the other countless poisonous snakes.  k~ 

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