Kentucky’s Largest Venomous Snake Is Also a Good Swimmer [VIDEOS]
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, as they say. That's how I feel about snakes in a roundabout way.
First, I don't want them CLOSE to me at all. I'd prefer we didn't live in the same state, but that's impossible. I'm actually INTERESTED in snakes; I'd like to know where they are so I won't be there.
My sister has another take. Since she is seriously terrified of mice and rats (I'm not exaggerating), she has no issues with snakes at all. HER motto is, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." We approach serpents from wildly different directions.
THIS SNAKE CAN REALLY SWIM
One thing we BOTH love, however, is swimming, but I don't think even SHE wants one swimming up next to her:
Imagine splashing around in Kentucky Lake and THAT thing approaches. Well, you'd want to get out as fast as you can. Regardless of how different we all are, you don't have to convince anyone to stay away from rattlesnakes.
Look, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that snakes can swim because they ARE reptiles and it would seem like that ability would fall within their portfolio of talents.
BUT TIMBER RATTLERS DON'T LIKE THE WATER
But timber rattlers don't like the water. They'll swim if they need to but they don't like it. I guess that's like people who hate to drive but know that it's necessary.
And, really, there's something about seeing a snake swim that amplifies its creepiness a hundredfold.
For a snake that doesn't like swimming, the timber rattler sure has been caught on camera a lot. But they ARE called TIMBER rattlers, which gives you a clue as to their natural habitat. The University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment clears that up here:
Although once found statewide, Timber Rattlesnakes are currently restricted to heavily forested areas in Kentucky. Populations are not known to occur in the Inner Bluegrass Region and northern Kentucky. In addition to forests, these secretive animals prefer rocky outcrops, ridgelines and bluffs, especially on south and southwest facing slopes. In Kentucky, Timber Rattlesnakes hibernate individually in stump holes, abandoned mammal burrows or rock crevices.
That rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will leave you alone if they aren't bothered is only MILD comfort for yours truly. And I take NO comfort in THIS interaction at all:
It's called "establishing dominance"...or as I like to call it, a NIGHTMARE.
Yes, I'm kidding. I actually find this fascinating. As I mentioned before, snakes are endlessly interesting creatures. And timber rattlers are particularly unique in their behaviors.
And I am happy to leave them to it.