Our citizens have been positively abuzz with what the flood waters wrought in Richland – snakes!!
From the Tri-City Herald…
Richland officials say they’ve found five rattlesnakes in Howard Amon Park, theorizing they may have been flooded from their homes by the unusually high Columbia River. City officials issued a warning to visitors at riverside parks, and signs were posted around the park Friday and on the door at the Richland Community Center, where one snake was found on the patio and three were found in the garden.
It gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I think about it. So, in an effort to conquer my fears, I took a walk through the park yesterday.
and it was a snake-free zone, thankfully!
The expert interviewed in the article went on to explain this unnatural phenomenon –
“The snakes, they’re not trying to do anything disruptive on purpose, they’ve just been displaced because of the high water,” said Tim Werner, the city’s parks and facilities resource manager…Werner said he hasn’t seen rattlesnakes at Leslie Grove and Howard Amon parks in the more than four years he’s been with the parks department so he thinks they’re getting swept downstream from their homes. “I think what’s happening is that farther on up the river where the habitat is the water line is higher, so snakes will climb on brush or debris that’s lying on the land,” Werner said. “As the water gets higher, the debris starts to float and they get caught up in that and come downstream.” No rattlers have been spotted in Kennewick’s parks, officials said. The Western rattlesnake is common in Eastern Washington and typically found near its den, generally in rock crevices exposed to sunshine, according to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. But it has been a strange weather year and it wouldn’t be unusual for the high water levels to sweep rattlesnakes away from their natural habitats, officials said.
The water IS crazy high, as you can see from this photo –
Normally you’d be able to walk right up to that tree, and sit down under it to read a good book. Not today, not for a while, actually. I say go for a walk in the park and bring a book, anyway…but find a bench to sit on, okay?