Rattlesnake at the Gate

Rattlesnake at the gate

Gnats have made it nearly impossible for me to stand being outside at my potting bench for very long.

Yesterday I did the little bit of work I needed to do at it while trying not to breathe so the pesky little buggers wouldn’t go up my nose. I pretty much needed to close my eyes too, because they wouldn’t stay out of there either.

So today when the wind picked up and it looked like it was going to rain, I went outside to see if that helped get rid of the gnats. It did!

Much much nicer to work with a storm approaching and no gnats. It never did rain, just cooled off nicely.

When I went to check the mail later, at the gate I saw the rattlesnake. It was stretched out and heading across the driveway.

Badger stepped on it!

Badger never even noticed it until the snake coiled up and started rattling, AFTER he’d stepped on it. Then he backed away good and got a really sheepish look on his face. It never even struck at him, though.

Then Turbo came along and saw it and barked and barked it and stayed way clear.

It’s so amazing how instinctive the warning of a rattle must be.

I let him go. I wasn’t dressed for snake dancing anyway. Flip flops… I got close enough for good pics, but not so close he could reach me.

He never tried to bite us, just wanted us to let him go.

Rattlesnake eye
Snake eye


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming

Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

2 thoughts on “Rattlesnake at the Gate

  1. I have enjoyed looking at your pics and reading about your snake, flood, and all. I can relate to most. Our terrible Sept. 2013 flood here in Colorado is still in recovery with the rebuilding and repairing in places and even major state highways up into the mountains and into Rocky Mnt. Nat’l Park, especially. We got major damage here from all four of our big rivers in the northern part of the state. My husband and I have a 3.8 acre lot we own in the mountains, northwest of Fort Collins, an hour away from our Loveland home and it too received damage. The ground was so saturated that it brought out snakes in hiding a few weeks after and our dog, Maggie was bit by a rattle snake on our lot when my husband was trimming and cutting down trees on our lot. He had to rush her down the mountain and road to the CSU veterinary hospital so she could get immediate attention and anti-venom injections to save her and build up immunity. She survived and healed quickly which we were very thankful for. We had a huge amount of rain this last spring and more flooding, but now is drying out so much they worry over wildfires starting as that is another problem in our part of the state, the mountain and forests areas. Hope you can revive and rebuild your business and get back to the things you love with nature, Madison. The thing we learn is that nature can destroy things and land in its furry, but not our spirit. 🙂 So, we pick up, start over and get moving again. Take care.

    1. Hi Joyce, Wildfires would be terrible. They happen every summer out here on a small scale, nothing like y’all get out there. That would be terrifying to me.

      My business will be alright. it’ll just be next year before I get started with the plants again. Once we get our driveway repaired and I’m done with this book I’m working on, I’ll go back to the market with books and home-roasted coffee beans. For now, though, I’m pretty much land-locked at the house unless I take the 4-wheeler a long way around through to the gate where the truck is parked. That’s almost 1/4 mile. A pain even for just hauling the animal feed and my groceries home, so market can wait.

      Yep, we just do what we can, take it in stride and keep going. I’m taking advantage of this time to be a hermit-writer.

Thoughts, info, or feedback to share?