GA -- Fort McAllister State Historic Park -- Redneck Snake-Hunting Safari:
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Description of Pictures: Now, try to imagine. This guy from Texas is wandering through the Fort McAllister State Historic Park when he hears a rattlesnake in the distance. Instead of staying on the trail, he walks 20 or 30 feet to an old wood pile and starts poking a stick into it. Sure enough, there's a rattlesnake. So he hustles to the ranger station, tells them there's a rattlesnake, and they decide to kill it.
Keep in mind, if this had been a national park instead of a state park, killing it would have been prohibited unless it was a unavoidable. (In fact, I asked the ranger at Fort Pulaski and he said they had killed a rattlesnake when it got into the fort itself, got stuck underneath the flooring, and got ticked off. It couldn't get out, they didn't have the correct tools to remove it, and, after a long day of it, they put it out of its misery because they knew it was going to eventually get out and bite someone.) Not so at a Georgia state park.
So, I join this eight-person redneck safari -- several rangers, several other rednecks, and their wives -- and we take a golf cart out to the wood pile. There's a pistol in the front seat but they're going to use a hoe to smack him. They keep quoting that idiotic Australian safari guy ("Croikies!").
The snake's in the wood pile. It seems like it wants to stay there. In my mind, this is a good thing. No, they decide to burn up the wood pile and scare him out. Needless to say, half of the people have cigarette lighters so a healthy (so to speak) fire starts burning. It's not happening quick enough for the Texan so he's pushing sticks in whenever he hears a rattle. Texans...
Eventually, the snake starts to come out and the ranger whacks him with a hoe. He breaks the snake's backbone just behind the neck. The Texan brags that the snake could still live another six hours. I ask the ranger if they're not going to kill the snake and put it out of its misery. The ranger takes out a hatchet and proceeds to behead the bug ...More...
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
SNAKE_030826_04.JPG: You can see he's already been hit -- there's a red blood line about four inches behind his head.
SNAKE_030826_24.JPG: Here's the snake-hunting group. The Texan who went out of his way to look for the snake is standing with his back toward the camera. The ranger on the left actually did both the initial blow with a hoe and the final kill with the axe. The fire on the right was their way of dragging the snake out of the bush.
SNAKE_030826_29.JPG: The bloodied hoe is on the left. The snake's head had already been cut off using an axe on the wood plank between the snake and the Texan, who, being a Texan, has a need to pick up the snake. He's wearing the Michael Jackson glove because the snake's venom can still be painful even after the snake has died.
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2003 photos: Equipment this year: I decided my Epson digital camera wasn't quite enough for what I wanted. Since I already had Compact Flash chips for it, I had to find another camera which used CF chips. That brought me to buy the Fujifilm S602 Zoom in March 2003. A great digital camera, I used it exclusively for an entire year.
Trips this year: Three-week trip this year out west, mostly in Utah.
Number of photos taken this year: 68,000.
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