Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SSSpiders and SSSnakes (March 27: Day 24--Sanderson, TX

We do stay in some of the most.....unusual places.  Our stay in Sanderson, Tx was at the Oasis Hotel.....not only did I find this nice big, ol' toenail on the floor of my room when I first walked in.....{{gag}} (Too big to be Mary's)
But the woman also collected albino animals, including a cat with lavender eyes, named Charlie.

She also had a room full of venomous snakes and spiders right next to the Registration Desk, and a shed next to the laundry area was also full of the poisonous lovlies. Of course, I went in and browsed.  I am not normally creeped out by this sort of thing, but I have to confess that I did get the heebee-geebies--especially when the things were striking at me!  However, for the education of my readers. I snapped a lot of pictures and even videoed a rattlesnake shaking his bootie....that is, rattling his rattle.  I have only seen this on TV, thankfully, so it was quite interesting.  The rattlesnake is shy, as snakes go, and only rattle when threatened and are unable to retreat.  There is actually nothing in the end of their tail that rattles.  Each time the snake sheds, it gets another rounded end on its tail, called a button.

These buttons are hollow, and empty, and as the snake shakes his tail in warning, the buttons clang against each other making the 'rattle' sound. "There are numerous subspecies and color variations, but they are all positively identified by the jointed rattles on the tail and a triangular head. Rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths are all pit vipers--snakes with two pits under their nostrils to detect heat, which enable them  to hunt warm-blooded prey. The pits are so sensitive that the snake can determine the size of the warm-blooded animal and can even detect prey in complete darkness. Rattlesnakes also give live birth (ok--remember your 4th grade science--reptiles lay eggs). These snakes carry the eggs inside their bodies, and once hatched, the live babies emerge.  The baby is about 10 inches long and has a small horny button on the tip of its tail. They have venom, short fangs and are dangerous from birth. In fact, they are more pugnacious than the adults. Although unable to make a rattling sound, the youngsters throw themselves into a defensive pose and strike repeatedly when disturbed. But enough information.....though fascinating, it was way more than I wanted to know.... and by the way, I refused to hold the tarantula.  Enjoy the pictures and the link to youtube, where I have a video of a rattler rattling.
More Rattlesnake


I also saw buffalo while riding today.....

Gotta run!!  Dinnertime.......

54 miles

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sue. Glad you're posting again! A few things:
    1. Holy buffalo wings there are a lot of animals in this post!
    2. Did the albino collector ask to add you to her collection :)
    3. I once wrote a song about buffalo. When you discover my secret identity I will sing it to you.
    4. Really interesting about the rattle snakes. I always thought they just had little rocks stuck in their behinds from crawling on the ground all day. Good to know the truth.
    That's all. Keep smiling!
    -your secret friend