[Cdt-l] Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 4

Patricia Mazzolini pmazzolini at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 6 14:11:00 CST 2011


Just my two cents on rattlesnakes- Snakes are blind just prior to shedding their 
skins when the spectacle which is the translucent scale that covers their 
eyeball turns milky during this time they remain quiet unless disturbed. Once 
the skin is shed they can see clearly and begin to move about again. Snakes also 
shed their skins on a variable schedule which varies with their food intake. 
Fast growing snakes-ie those who are ingesting alot of prey items-shed more 
frequently. Rattlesnake venom causes tissue necrosis, swelling and sloughing of 
tissue in animals as well as red blood cell abnormalities and low platlets which 
can lead to problems.The mojave rattlesnake adds in a neurotoxin as well, which 
is what the coral snake has. Most reptiles are the most active they will be 
during the mating season and after summer moonson rains. The aggressiveness of 
any individual rattlesnake is a function of its species and its body 
temperature. Most importantly rattlesnakes are not out to bite humans but are 
biting defensively if you inadvertantly place your hand or foot too close. Thank 
goodness they do rattle as a warning. I have had rattlesnakes rattle from a 
distance of 20 feet or so or as I almost stepped on one not seeing it but it did 
not strike. A cold diamondback youngster I encountered in November in a pocket 
of cliff did not even move much less rattle when I had placed my hand in a hold 
and drew up even with it on a bank on a cold day in Bandelier National Monument 
in NM. Rattlesnakes eat  tremendous amounts of rodents and are an essential part 
of the ecosystems they occur in. They are never out to bite humans except in 
self defense-Hollywood movies to the contrary. Plastic



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To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Sent: Thu, January 6, 2011 11:00:01 AM
Subject: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 4

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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 3 (Ellie Thomas)
  2. Heavy Snowpack in Colorado (Rich Brown)
  3. Fwd:  Heavy Snowpack in Colorado (ks1007 at aol.com)


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Message: 1
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 18:21:28 +0000
From: "Ellie Thomas" <sidselliott at aol.com>
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 3
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
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I was packing my tent in MT last year and turned around to find a black bull and 
cow literally standing 10 yards away staring at me.

The cow was more skittish, but the bull proceeded to pilfer my belongings until 
I "fussed" loudly...the devil!
Ellie
sidselliott at aol.com

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Subject: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 3

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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: Cdt-l Digest, Vol 39, Issue 42 (Brett)


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Message: 1
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 13:45:07 -0500
From: Brett <blisterfree at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Cdt-l Digest, Vol 39, Issue 42
To: "cdt-l at backcountry.net" <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Message-ID: <4D236AB3.3070607 at yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

On 1/1/2011 8:01 PM, Ed Kerr wrote:
Cattle are peculiar creatures, so different from breed to breed and 
ranch to ranch.  I have some cattle that are very wild and will run when 
they see you from a distance, and then I have cows that will stand there 
and let you ride or walk almost right up to them.  If you watch the 
movie, Temple Grandin, it does a good job in one scene where she lays 
down in the corral and the cattle dome up to her and gather all around 
her.  As curiousity kills the cat, cattle are very curious if they don't 
feel threatened.  That flight signal in them is very strong and seems 
more reactive to movement on "the intruder's" part than anything.  If 
you are still, or move very slowly you can approach are get very close, 
but a quick step, making noise, or even flap your coattail, it will 
cause a fast flight response in a lot of cattle.

On rattlesnakes:  Cattle are seldom bitten by a snake, but when they 
are it is usually in the head or neck, i.e. the grazing animal is slowly 
moving along eating and accidentally provokes an unsuspecting snake, 
which bites.  In my lifetime of being around cattle I have only two 
snakebit cows, but both cases survived although the swelling in 
their head and neck was huge and turned hard and they were along time 
recuperating.  A few years ago I had two yearling colts in the corral at 
my house, I never saw the snake but they both got snakebit in the nose, 
obviuosly their curiousity almost got them,  they must have both been 
curious not knowing what they were looking at and actually reached down 
to smell the snake and got bit.  They both survived but the one I really 
got worried was going to strangle from swelling in the nose and throat.

Now, rattlesnakes here are the most dangerous in August, because they 
are blinded after shedding their skin, so being blind most snakes will 
not rattle, but are listening to locate your approach, which if you are 
not watching, will result in either stepping on or near the snake which 
risks being bit.  The ones that don't do this, react by being very 
aggressive and start rattling when they first here your step....I 
appreciate those much more.  I never walk outside unless I am 
watching the ground where I place my foot.

Has there been much interaction on the CDT with rattlesnakes?

have a great day.

*Ed "Bim" Kerr*
*Kerr Ranch Tours*
edkerr52 at hotmail.com <mailto:edkerr52 at hotmail.com>
*575.313.2606*
*www.kerrranchtours.com <http://www.kerrranchtours.com/>


*
> I'd just spooked a bunch of cows in the draw
> before climbing up the ridge.  While I was setting up my pad and
> sleeping bag in the tent, seventeen of them lined up side by side about
> 50 yards away staring toward my tent as if to say, "What do you think
> you're doing here."  Sadly they wondered off before I got a chance to
> snap a picture.
> --Handlebar


It seems they do this whenever the light is insufficient to know exactly 
what you are and what you're up to. I've never witnessed this behavior 
in broad daylight; in fact it's the antithesis of the "every cow for 
herself" scattering that usually occurs by day. What's more, the cows 
will actually follow you sometimes, if you're night hiking, always 
maintaining a certain distance behind you, stopping when you stop, 
resuming when you move again. I imagine it's a genetic thing, dating 
back to a time when their wild ancestors encountered large predators in 
Africa and Europe, etc. It may yet serve them well, particularly in 
Arizona where mountain lion predations are sometimes a concern.

I'm curious as to whether rattlesnakes are a concern for cattle. Do they 
respond to the sight or sound of snakes? What are the consequences of 
snakebite in this case? The story goes that poisonous snakes evolved the 
rattle as a form of advertisement to large grazing animals, in order to 
avoid confrontation and the risk of being stepped on. But what are the 
odds of a hiker ever getting to find out firsthand how such an encounter 
would play out?

- blisterfree


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End of Cdt-l Digest, Vol 40, Issue 3
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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 04:27:07 -0700
From: Rich Brown <rkb1818 at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Cdt-l] Heavy Snowpack in Colorado
To: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Message-ID: <SNT123-W949505B1F670917775311B40A0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


Article and maps fyi.

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17021539

Bear Brown                         
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Message: 3
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 10:51:28 -0500 (EST)
From: ks1007 at aol.com
Subject: [Cdt-l] Fwd:  Heavy Snowpack in Colorado
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Message-ID: <8CD7BD0B6EB99D8-18F0-E85D at webmail-d025.sysops.aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

like I said - la nina is sending almost all storms north to CO - very little 
snow in the gila's


el coyote
Keith and Mary
Trail Angels
Deming, NM



-----Original Message-----
From: Rich Brown <rkb1818 at hotmail.com>
To: cdt-l <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 4:27 am
Subject: [Cdt-l] Heavy Snowpack in Colorado


Article and maps fyi.

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17021539

Bear Brown


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