A walk among the rattlesnakes

During the last several decades, wolves have been reintroduced into certain parts of the United States, including Yellowstone National Park.

And while we all know that wolves can be dangerous to humans, just as bears can be, we can still think of wolves a bit benignly because, after all, they are fourlegged, furry relatives of our pal, the dog. So their reintroduction, while concerning to ranchers in the states where they were settled, didn’t cause our hairs to stand on end. We’re not sure the same can be said for a plan by Massachusetts to reintroduce a less-than-charming beast to the Quabbin Reservoir: Our friend, the rattlesnake.

The idea is to bring 150 rattlers to an island in the Quabbin with the understanding (although perhaps not with the snakes) that they won’t be silly enough to swim to shore (oh, yes, they can swim) because they would presumably die in the winter if they can’t find their way back to their nests. And, rest assured, said the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, rattlesnakes are (and this is the cute part) shy creatures that will only bite humans if they are threatened.

So, assuming this plan comes to fruition, we have this advice for those traveling to the Quabbin: If you hear any rattling, do not assume it’s a bouncing baby playing with a plastic toy. Just stand very still and see if anything that resembles a tree branch starts moving along the ground. They stand even more still. Really, though, we like this idea. Sure, rattlesnakes are scary, but they, as is the case with humans, are creatures of nature, and we give them this vow:

We will not come to your island if you do not come to our house. Did you know there’s a Rattlesnake Island in Lake Winnipesaukee? And there are rumors of rattlers in Milford quarries. Nature: Always fun, especially when man gives her a little help via wolves and rattlesnakes.