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Snake scare

While I can understand that the woman on Rattlesnake road, who called 911 because of a snake, may be among the legions of people terrified of snakes, her reaction was excessive.

Initially, I wonder if it was a rattlesnake at all. Gopher snakes look and even sound similar to rattlesnakes, and they are entirely beneficial. Calling 911 to have a deputy respond resulted in a gross misuse of our overstretched peace officer resources.

We are not dealing with black mambas or king cobras here ” just a snake that will not bother you unless you bother it, and will usually give fair warning before a bite. The best way to handle rattlesnakes is to make a snake stick.



Buy a four-foot piece of stiff metal rod, mold a “J” about four inches across at one end, and use it to pick up the snake at its midsection. Put the snake in a trash can and release it in a nearby area, away from any houses. You will see an angry snake, but you will not be in any danger.

And our neighbor can do a favor for our dark skies: Please ” please! Forget the outdoor lighting.




Harry B. Wyeth

Grass Valley


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