Today is the Fourth of July. Another hot day, following a week of them. In the 80s and 90s both day and night for a week. Avid bicyclists started climbing the hill early, pedaling by before 7 a.m. And I was out gardening and sweeping before the sun got too high in the sky. As I came around the house and started walking across the patio, I saw it, a spotted rattler camouflaged with fallen leaves. Not a huge one, but not a tiny one either. It was resting, not going any where, and was oblivious to me. What to do.
Usually when I come upon snakes, they decide it is time to leave. I quietly got a little closer thinking it might decide to take a hike. But no. I went inside and exchanged my bare feet and Birkenstocks for thick socks and sturdy leather clogs. I put on the leather gloves I just purchased yesterday. (yet another wildlife story*) And thought about a time many years ago when I rolled the refrigerator out to clean and discovered two large alligator lizards underneath. I solved that dilemma by getting a large empty box, putting it over them, sliding a flat cookie sheet underneath, and taking them outside. This might work with my snake. And it did! only this time I used a plastic dish pan. This probably confirms your notion that I am crazy.
I took the cookie sheet and dishpan with snake inside down the driveway, up the fire trail a ways, and let the snake slither away into the chaparral without so much as a single rattle. Happy Independence Day!
* And then there are those leather gloves. They are a necessity when encountering thistles and berry vines, and I have had several pairs in the past. But sooner or later I forget to take them inside and leave them on a table or railing outside. Invariably they are gone by morning. I finally figured out why. Early one morning, I saw a coyote trotting down the driveway with one in its mouth.