If You Hear This Sound in Your Yard, Run Away
Spending time outside in Arizona has its own set of challenges. The sun can be a brutal, so wearing long sleeves and a hat it always a good idea. The heat can really get to you fast. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a very serious concern, so it's good to make sure your outdoor clothing can also breathe.
Which brings me to hydration. If you're a true Arizona, your refillable water bottle is always close-by. Those metal, insulated bottles are my favorite because even in the heat of the day, with a few ice cubes, they manage to stay cool and ready to go, no matter how long I spend outside.
With all of these challenges, it's a wonder any of us choose to go outside at all. We tend to pick the early morning or late afternoon, since the punishing sun is usually a little more forgiving.
Humans aren't the only desert dwellers who think this way. Which is why you should be careful when you're outside, no matter when you're out and about.
What's That Sound?
I was outside in my garden one afternoon, trying to decide whether I should add another raised bed or just rework what I already had. I have herbs on one side and vegetables on the other.
Naturally, I have to have netting over the plants to keep out the birds and insects who stop by to nibble on my hard work. The netting doubles as a sunshade because the sun can be unkind to growing things, too.
My dog was nosing around nearby, enjoying an afternoon of exploring while I worked. He put his nose near a bucket that was sitting near the side of the house. The bucket suddenly moved a little and Fargo leapt backward.
That's when we heard it: the unmistakeable tsssssssstttttttttt sound. The rattle of a diamondback. Thankfully Fargo had the good sense to back away, but I managed to grab his collar and move him further backward, outside of the bite zone.
We both ran for the house, and I called the fire department. They put me in touch with our local snake guy, who managed to safely remove the rattlesnake before he could harm anyone - or any dog!
Don't Hurt the Snake
A lot of people are tempted to injure or a kill a rattlesnake, but they're an important part of the ecosystem. A good snake removal expert will capture and relocate the snake for you, and many don't charge for it. Which is why it's a good idea to offer them a substantial tip.
When you factor in the possibility that they just saved you a ton of money on veterinarian or ER bills, Zelling them 50 bucks or so is a real bargain!