Thursday, August 26, 2010
Maura and I went for a stroller walk before her nap one afternoon at Chautauqua. We headed down Bluff and crossed over the bridge. I wasn't paying any attention to what was in front of us and all of a sudden Maura says “Look mommy, a big snake!”. I proceed to jump, run, swerve, and scream. Dave Hagin was behind us in a golf cart. He stopped to look at it and said it was a rattlesnake. He said he was going to go get his gun which I thought was a great idea. He tried to run over it with his golf cart but it got away and Dave said it was heading for the woodpile. We walked on for a few minutes and then turned back around to see how things were going. When we got back John Bick had joined to help Dave. John was in the creek with a rake saying he thought Dave was crazy and there surely wasn't a rattlesnake. I chimed in that we saw it and mentioned to Dave that he saw it heading for the wood pile. They decided to get out of the creek to check the wood pile. They pulled off the tarp and immediately we could hear it rattling. They pulled the wood off section by section. MaryAnn Weyforth came out to see what was going on and contributed a shovel for someone to use. They cornered it out and used the shovel to chop off the snake's head. They buried the head since it still had venom and could hurt someone. Rick Mitchell kept the boysclub away until it was safe and then the boys came to check it out. After thirty minutes it was still moving on both ends. John then began skinning the snake. We could see the heart beating as he skinned it. Later he and Rick fried some up to taste it. Maura will forever be known as the rattlesnake spotter by the Chautauquans that were there that day.