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Western diamondback rattlesnake, one critter you'd rather not see in your Wild West backyard; photo by Tom Spinker.

A rattlesnake loose in the living room tends to end all discussion of animal rights. ~ Lance Morrow

Ah, wilderness.

The area we live in is largely undeveloped and the landscape uncultivated, filled with mesquite, yucca, and desert grass.

View of the Organs just beyond my Wild West backyard. Everyday it’s alive with roadrunners, rabbits, and coyotes, and other critters that are mostly harmless. Some are them are sort of cute.

But we’ve got rattlesnakes, too, the most common poisonous snake here in New Mexico.

Not so cute.

Can’t blame snakes for coming out to enjoy the warmer weather. They’ve got to get from point A to point B just like we do.

So what to do when you meet one?

Local acquaintances, long-time residents of the area, have offered well-meaning advice:

  1. See a snake at your front door? Go out the side door. Or the back door. Or order in.
  2. Never stick your hand under a rock without first overturning it with a stick.  (Duh!)

And I read on Wikipedia that rattlesnakes ~

  • “will generally avoid humans if they are aware of their approach,” and
  • “rarely bite unless they feel threatened.

But is going around all day shouting with both hands up truly the best way to go about avoiding them?

Ahhh . . . . . no.

So, in the end,

This is how we tamed our Wild West backyard:

We had a stone wall built as a barrier.

It’s high enough to discourage the rattlers.

Yep . . . it's high enough! Checking out the new Wild West Backyard wall.

Our new wall, built from “rainbow rock” – a stone from local (Mesilla Valley) quarries.

Yet low enough for us to keep our view of the mountains and the wild animals that occasionally come over them ~ like bobcats and cougars – from a distance!

What boundaries, physical or otherwise, could you set up to enjoy life more?


Featured image, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake by TomSpinker.