"The one I didn't see"

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Posted by Al Bagley on September 20, 2000 at 07:32:34:

In Reply to: Stories Wanted! posted by Ken Haas on December 10, 1999 at 15:22:23:

Dear Ken,

I'm gonna try this again because I lost it all yesterday.

I'm an ex-pro who used to milk when he was young and stupid. I consider myself fortunate to be old and grey. Watching Steve Irwen makes me want to vomit. Tell you what, one bite and he'll never handle them the same way again.
I've had the pleasure of working with most of the scientific community in the NE US and have had the opportunity to hunt most of the western hemisphere and get paid for it. I've got loads of stories and while I've never had, or seen an accident in the field, I've had more than a few close encounters of the scariest kind. It's like being on the road, the more you're out there, the more happens.
Well, I met this certain young lady, who was a photographer for a certain newspaper in Hartford, Ct. I gave an indidgenous venomous lecture and as I was bagging specimens for the road she snuck in and got a front page shot of me and four and one half feet of very cranky rattlesnake. I was not happy seeing myself candidly, when I thought I was alone, behind locked doors and called the paper making lots of noise about lawsuits. Her employers sent her on a mission that had nothing to do with photography. After she got me calmed down, we got talking about one of my first loves, Timber Rattlesnakes.
So here I am, telling this pretty lady tales of how you can see Timber Rattlesnakes in numbers at certain places and times of the year. Her response is call me, I want to do a shoot for a Sunday edition. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
Gravid Timber rattlesnakes begin to arrive on the hibernaculum as early as late August in Ct. The females congregate in the same small area year after year to give birth to their broods. I suspect they are imprinting the young to the den.
I went and had a look 1st week of September, sure enough, gravid females and babies everywhere! Called "Pam" and made arrangements to go the next day. Seeing babies on the very edge of the hot spot, I stepped back to look for mother underneath an outcropping and WHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never saw the fat old lady in the low bush blueberry. The only reason she missed is because she was blind as a bat and this was a defensive strike from an uncoiled position.
I said "OH ****" about 100 times as I sat on a rock, chain smoked and shook like a leaf for half an hour. She got her great shots and I have an experience I'll never forget.

P.S. UPS arrived with a package a month later. Enclosed was a framed 12x14 photo with a note on the back. The shot is of the mother I stepped back to look at. Tucked under her is the baby I never saw. I'll send it when I can.

Best Regards,
Al Bagley

: I would like to start off by saying that in no way am I going to publish or even consider publishing any stories that will have a negative impact on reptiles. This publication will be geared towards the enjoyment of reptile enthusiast and not the general public.

: I need short stories pertaining to reptiles such as field collecting, reptile encounters, does and doníts, learning experiences, etc. All stories will be reviewed and considered. Writers of the stories that will be used will be notified (by mail or e-mail). Again all stories will be read and considered so donít hesitate to send them (size of the stories should not exceed one and a half pages.

: If you have any questions or would like to send a story you can contact me at the addresses or numbers below. All stories must be fact and confidentiality depends upon the request of the writer. I will need a signed letter along with the story waving all rights and allowing me to publish the story (pictures are also excepted). There will be different categories so please specify at the top of the story (python, iguana, venomous snakes and so on). Stories should be exciting, informative or have some relevance to reptiles in general.

: I have collected, breed and educated the public on reptiles for over twenty years. My main goal in life has been to reach out and convince the general public that reptiles are not the evil creatures that most people believe. I continue by educating them on the values and advantages of keeping these dedicated mousers and delicate animals around for future generations.

: A percentage of the proceeds from this publication will go to a charity involved with nature (save the rainforest etc.).

: I still need photos of pit vipers from North America for another publication that is almost finished. I will either purchase the pictures or other arrangements will be made between the photographer and myself at the time of exchange.

: Thank you in advance,

: Ken Haas

: Jungletrail@uswest.net

: Jungletrail69@hotmail.com

: 1106 W. Bell Rd. Apt. 1220

: Phoenix, Az. 85023

: Home # (602)548-6933

: Cell # (602)410-0130

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