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Life and death on the 8th hole

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v602/ringneck19/Snakes_zps63be7d11.jpg

 

I walked the front 9 of my home course this evening and came upon this scene right in front of the 8th tee box. That king snake (the black and white one) must've been really hungry to try to make a meal of the gopher snake, which wasn't more than 6 inches shorter than the king. This was very early in the process, as the gopher still had a lot of life in it.

 

I've been fascinated by snakes my whole life and have a lot of experience handling them, and I briefly considered separating these two because there's a very good chance the encounter ended in the death of both. It's all-or-nothing for snakes in regard to food, and if the king got the gopher three-quarters of the way down and then was unable to finish the job, it may not have been able to extricate itself. In the end, though, I reminded myself that it's not good to interfere with nature taking its course, and besides, I'd have been bitten numerous times. Not that that really hurts, as their teeth are extremely small, but its still not a lot of fun and there's a lot of hissing and carrying on. And the king, thinking it's about to get its first meal in a month or more, would've been really pissed!

 

If I'd had the time, I'd have grabbed a seat on one of the nearby grassy mounds and watch the whole thing play out. Now I'll always wonder about the conclusion.

post #2 of 15

Cool picture!

post #3 of 15
Wow!
post #4 of 15
This is so cool! I would have taken the time to watch though.. Not very often do you get to see this sort of thing play out!
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

This is so cool! I would have taken the time to watch though.. Not very often do you get to see this sort of thing play out!

 

I wish I could have, but when I took that photo it was less than a half-hour before dark and I still had that hole (a long par-4) and another one (a par-5) to get back to the parking lot.

 

However that ordeal with the snakes came out, it was long after dark before it wrapped up.

 

If the king snake was successful in closing the deal, it might not need to eat again until fall. That's kind of a bummer because it means it won't be consuming any rattlesnakes during that period, and there's a lot of them out there.

post #6 of 15

Cool pic.  Thanks for sharing.

post #7 of 15

Nice.

 

I came across a garter snake eating a frog years ago, I thought that was pretty cool at the time.

 

There was also a 4 or 5 foot long snake sitting in the middle of the cart path on a course I played about a month ago.  The funny thing was it was parked several feet in front of a bridge that lead to the next hole and there was no way around it.  I was riding with another single and we sat there for a minute to see if it would move along.  It didn't so the guy hit the gas and tried to keep it between the wheels.  Once we got passed it of course then it slithered away...

 

I really wish I had a camera for that because the positioning was great with the bridge right behind it and... needless to say I didn't look for any balls in the weeds for the rest of the round.

post #8 of 15

I'm not a snake fan. For some reason they have always given me the creeps. I few years ago, we were playing a new course in the Denver area. We walked up to the first tee and right in the middle of the tee box was a rather large coiled rattle snake. Freaked me out! One of our foursome had a ball retriever and used that, extended to persuade the snake to move along. I stayed quite a long way out of harms way while this was going on. I wouldn't have touched that thing for anything. Well maybe for an even par round.

 

cubdog

post #9 of 15
No gusta snakos....
post #10 of 15

Cool picture!   I saw a lot of snakes on home course this year.  For about a month, I ran into 1 or 2 snakes per round, rattlers included. Once I saw a king snake and one of the marshals told me that they eat rattlers for food.  He called it a "good" snake!  Another time, I was about 6 feet away from a big rattler, coiled to make a strike.   If it didn't rattle, I'd walked straight into it.  Another rattler was in a bunker and couple of marshals shepherded it away back to bushes (we sometimes hit out of there).  Others? I saw them usually slither their way in an out of taller grass.   Now days, before I walk into any tall grass area, I keep my eyes wide open. 

post #11 of 15

I'll pass on the snakes. Sure as hell wouldn't stick around to see what happens next either.

post #12 of 15
Hate snakes! They freak me out. Had little snake slither between my legs on fairwAy 1 time and I screamed like a little girl and jumped on top of cart. My buddy said it was a grass snake. I told him I didn't care
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by atxpkrgolf View Post

Hate snakes! They freak me out. Had little snake slither between my legs on fairwAy 1 time and I screamed like a little girl and jumped on top of cart. My buddy said it was a grass snake. I told him I didn't care

 

That is a Calif. king snake, attacking a gopher snake, both are very common here in Cali. If it weren't for snakes, we would be infested with rodents for the most part. Hawks, Owls and other predatory birds take a smaller portion of rodents. So, in the long run, we need snakes.

 

Even rattlers won't attack you unless You threaten them. I almost stepped on a solid 5' Pacific diamond back rattler, while it was sunning itself, as they need warmth to get them going. I could have easily killed it, but why..? It does more good than harm, and in the end, a Red tailed hawk will probably get it anyways. 

post #14 of 15

Snakes are just a way of life where I live. Various species of Rattlers, Kings, Bulls, and Red Racers are pretty common.  I have been on few golf courses where I have seen snakes. Up in St George Utah at the Muni  we saw what appeared to be a towel on the green . We hit our 100 yard +/-  approach shots that landed near the towel. When we got close enough, we saw that the towel was actually a 3'-4' rattler. We looked at each other, and said "par" and went on to the next hole. 

post #15 of 15
Very nice pic.

There are signs on most of the courses I play warning on this one kind of snake here in Japan that is poisonous, but I've never seen one. Usually there is no time to look for a list ball and the areas drop off VERY steeply as a general rule. But I have found a few places to go look when players back up. Incredibly easy to do more than walk in and walk out in less than 5 minutes and have a couple dozen or more balls. But I am always on the lookout for the snakes.
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