Rattlesnake ID

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KichiMark
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Rattlesnake ID

Post by KichiMark » April 29th, 2015, 8:49 am

Hi everyone, been a long time but I have a questions for you guys. A member on one of the other forums I frequent posted this picture of a crote in the Pasadena area in L.A. county. I find it strange since it screams like if it is ruber to me and the only rattlesnakes i have seen in this area have been helleri. Would you say it is a ruber as well? Image

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Fundad » April 29th, 2015, 9:09 am

I appears to be a ruber to me as well, though hard to tell for sure because the color seems off and it is out of focus some. A close up would help.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Speckled Rosy » April 29th, 2015, 9:29 am

Looks like a ruber to me..

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » April 29th, 2015, 9:49 am

Don't the bands on a Helleri's tail typically go a lot further up then that (like usually extending at least twice as far up the tail then shown with this one)?

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » April 29th, 2015, 9:55 am

That sure is no helleri, and certainly looks like a ruber. If it were indeed found in the Pasadena area, that would be a huge range extension. Frankly, I doubt that this is where the snake was actually found.

Can you please post the link to the thread in the other forum? That way, we could check who posted the photo, and see what others have said, etc.

Robert

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by KichiMark » April 29th, 2015, 10:23 am

It is not on a herp forum but on an off topic firearm forum…not sure if people can view without an account but this is what the guy said:

"Please feel free to use the picture! It also looked to me like it should not be where I saw it (especially because of the black and white tail bands); I was wondering if maybe it had been someone's pet. The snake was on a very well-used trail in the "Lower Arroyo" park, about 4 blocks due west of the Tournament of Roses house, south of Colorado Blvd. and the 134, across the wash from the archery range. Lots of joggers, dog walkers, etc."

Fundad- Not sure if the guy has another picture of it but I can ask.

Just wanted to get a confirmation since even though I was 95% positive I have been tricked before haha. Thanks guys.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Fundad » April 29th, 2015, 10:51 am

This wouldn't be the first example of a Ruber being found in habitat that it is not native too. If it came from that area, it is likely a release of some kind and most likely not native.

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Post by craigb » April 29th, 2015, 11:11 am

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » April 29th, 2015, 11:43 am

I am familiar with the area where the snake was found - it's walking distance from Nick's school. If I tell him there is a ruber out there, he'll never go to class again :lol:

But seriously, we might just take a look down there this weekend when temps come down. I agree that if the snake is indeed there, it must be a release.

Thanks for sharing the additional details.

Robert

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » April 29th, 2015, 12:00 pm

Here's an edited picture of the Pasadena ruber:

ImagePasadena ruber by robertohess, on Flickr

I checked the location on GoogleEarth and now have a pretty accurate idea where the snake was photographed. That section of the trail is right near a public dirt parking lot, suggesting that the snake was released somewhere near the parking lot (the easiest place to do it). We will check the place Sunday morning.

Robert

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Post by craigb » April 29th, 2015, 1:01 pm

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » April 29th, 2015, 2:14 pm

If captured and turned in... it will be uthanized, unless an educator with a salvage permit can be found.
Perhaps Forever Wild in Phelan???

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Post by craigb » April 29th, 2015, 2:22 pm

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » April 29th, 2015, 2:28 pm

craigb wrote:Sorry everyone, the word is euthanized.....
thanks craig... usually go back and correct typos/misspellings (? :lol: ) but a bit fried right now having just worked 6 hrs in the desert sun... (if i was a horse, i'd have no name :crazyeyes: )

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » April 29th, 2015, 3:13 pm

Please can someone educate me - if it's a release, couldn't this be an atrox? If not, how can you tell?

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Brian Hubbs » April 29th, 2015, 4:09 pm

Craig: The word is "too"... :lol:

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » April 29th, 2015, 4:44 pm

If we find it, we'll just voucher it and enter it into the database as a likely release.

I see no reason to try to capture it and release it back into its native range. Chances are, the snake is doing just fine where it is. Helleri live there, and so can ruber, I would think. Ruber are pretty adaptable when it comes to habitat. Eventually, it will die, of course, as it would have anyway, and that's that. Since it's not an invasive threat or anything like that, there is no ecological reason to remove it. Kind of like the many parrots that live in Pasadena. They don't belong there, either, but they are doing fine and appear to do no harm (though some might disagree).

Anyway, we probably won't find the ruber anyway. We are pretty much going to give it one shot, that's about it. It's really of no scientific interest whatsoever. It's just kind of fun to look for ruber in Pasadena.

Jeroen: I can't tell you exactly which features distinguish a ruber from an atrox, but it's definitely not an atrox. The markings, color and head are all classic ruber (though it looks more like a lighter desert phase to me - my guess is it was collected by someone roadcruising in the desert, the easiest way to collect a snake, especially a crote). If you take a look at photos of the two species on Californiaherps.com, you will see what I mean.


Robert

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Post by craigb » April 29th, 2015, 6:51 pm

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » April 29th, 2015, 8:24 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Please can someone educate me - if it's a release, couldn't this be an atrox? If not, how can you tell?
Jeroen... mostly color, as the tail markings are almost identical in the two species... Atrox will typically have blk/wht/beige/brn in a complex pattern... Ruber... red on red with wht markings... ;) the blotch pattern is typically different as well... with ruber having more rounded (as in the 1st and last thirds of this snake) blotches as compared to more diamond-shaped blotches (like in the middle of this snake) in atrox. pattern a little off in this one, but overall gestalt screams Ruber.
Temperment could be considered a secondary identifying characteristic, with Ruber typically docile and atrox notoriously irascible... hopefully Robert will get a chance to make that determination... yuk yuk... :D

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by nightdriver » April 29th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Based on the chain-link fence behind it, it appears to be a pretty young snake. This would probably increase the likelihood that someone brought it home because it was cute, then his wife freaked out because of the kids, and he let it go so he could get rid of the screeching from the wife.....stuff like that happens....or so I've heard.... :roll:

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » April 29th, 2015, 10:03 pm

it appears to be a pretty young snake
I hadn't noticed that before. Thanks for pointing it out. It helps to know whether you are looking for a 4-5 foot snake vs. only 2-3 feet.

Robert

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by daniel » April 29th, 2015, 10:21 pm

Speaking of released/escaped herps, I just saw a savanna monitor wandering around in the creek bottom in San Timoteo Canyon, Riverside County :shock:

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » April 30th, 2015, 12:24 am

Could it be that some examples like this are the last generation of an old and nearly gone population; Survivors of urbanization? I can't imagine that people have been keeping comprehensive track of this kind of information for very long time.

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Post by craigb » April 30th, 2015, 4:39 am

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by AndyO'Connor » April 30th, 2015, 10:17 am

Why wouldn't the appropriate (though hard) thing to do here if it's seen again be to capture and euthanize the snake? What if the snake is disoriented due to being relocated and sits by the parking lot of the trail edge and bites someone? Another example of snakes being the villain to the public with the added bonus that some "snake person" let the snake go there? I know that is a long shot, but I feel like it's not impossible to imagine a similar scenario... Just because the conditions are favorable to similar reptile species does not mean that snake is going to do ok there, it might die a slow death as it is not familiar with the area and might not successfully find prey, water, cover, etc.

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Post by craigb » April 30th, 2015, 10:33 am

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by KichiMark » April 30th, 2015, 11:00 am

So let me get this straight. I post a picture for a 100% I.D. of a rattler which more than likely was dropped off by someone who wanted it as a pet and I am seeing other herpers wanting to go out and kill it because it might not make it anyways and possibly might hurt someone (might as well kill every other rattlesnake for that matter)?.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by El Garia » April 30th, 2015, 11:37 am

KichiMark wrote:So let me get this straight. I post a picture for a 100% I.D. of a rattler which more than likely was dropped off by someone who wanted it as a pet and I am seeing other herpers wanting to go out and kill it because it might not make it anyways and possibly might hurt someone (might as kill every other rattlesnake for that matter)?.
Hi Mark, When it comes down to it, I doubt that any herper would attempt to capture, relocate, or kill the ruber. Any ruber, for that matter. There's a "zero take" on ruber In California, and thus, they are protected by law from such acts. So unless someone is willing to get in deep doo doo, they're not going to risk losing their herping privileges, incurring fines, etc.

Derek

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » April 30th, 2015, 2:11 pm

craigb wrote:That just makes to much sense Andy.
I was going to bring it up in my original post, but I wanted to see the journey of the thread to get there. As violent as it may seem, a shovel blade behind the head might be the safest and most sane solution.

I have restrained and euthanized by injection, but it is dangerous. The restraint is also stressful to the animal in most cases. I was fully trained, and had euthanized hundreds of animals. It's not a "happy" job. I did it from 24 to 39 years old. It was all part of the animal control job.

I have been a school teacher the last 17 years.
Cutting off the head is in no way a kinder death (in my opinion). Especially if the situation only affords you the crudest of tools to do the job with. It is not myth that the head and body have life in them (sometimes for hours) after separating the head. I don't know if they feel pain when it happens. But, the head tossing and biting would suggest to me that there is at least some agony. I don't think it's more likely to be uncontrolled twitching, as it is to be a response to pain.

I'm not nearly as well learned as I am sure many here are. But, I have had to take the head of one once myself. Seen it done another time (and help bury the head to where the families dogs that were present couldn't dig it up). And seen twice the results of vehicle strikes to a snakes head that had healed over (one was a large helleri with the meanest temper I've ever seen in a snake and understandably so). From my own limited experience, taking off the head or crushing it...it's not humane.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » April 30th, 2015, 3:04 pm

Interesting point that Ruber are protected throughout their range (except from killing, on personal property) this snake is not in it's range, therefore 'introduced', and possibly exempt from protection (like S rubber boa from tulare co) In cases like this... WE know better than the law... and should have the balls to do what's right... get the snake into the hands of herp education educators with salvage permits... they NEED Ruber to be able to say 'these are protected... no touch, no kill, no collecting'. Ruber has a good life in captivity... folks learn about them... State won't prosecute cause ideally that's what they would do, rather than euthanize, since they can't re-release. :shock:

That's what I would do... but then again... that's me. never scared of doing the 'right thing'... ;)

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Post by craigb » April 30th, 2015, 3:07 pm

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by daniel » April 30th, 2015, 7:44 pm

how far outside of the current known range for ruber is the snake? 25 miles? less? this isn't a bullfrog or some invasive plant, its a rattlesnake. its in an area that, according to the OP, supports helleri, which are sympatric with ruber over much of their range. that people feel like it needs to be euthanized is just weird.

it is incredibly irresponsible and often harmful to release or otherwise spread (not to mention, often illegal) non-native flora and fauna. however, it is wrong to think that just because something is found where we don't think it "belongs", we should kill it.

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Post by craigb » May 1st, 2015, 4:43 am

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by KichiMark » May 1st, 2015, 6:17 am

craigb wrote:Rattlesnakes don't belong in parking lots.

If this pic was taken even 3-400 yards off of a path near appropriate cover this point would be moot.
When fools release animals near populated areas the public welfare has to be considered.

So yes you are correct. We are just exploring all possibilities. Having options and knowledge in the field can only be a benefit.
Yeah I understand that and how big idiots are for releasing any animal BUT the original person who I got the picture from sent me the GPS coordinates of the location so I can enter it in the database with his permission shows it is not near any parking lot.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Fundad » May 1st, 2015, 9:51 am

Yeah I understand that and how big idiots are for releasing any animal BUT the original person who I got the picture from sent me the GPS coordinates of the location so I can enter it in the database with his permission shows it is not near any parking lot.
If you do record it, please send me the record number, and we will make sure the USGS knows. (Normally the USGS is assigned to invasive species)

In fact, for everyone here, anytime a non native is located, it should be brought to my or Lawrence's (Conservation officer) attention. We are working on a early warning/indicator system for this, but is not yet in place.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » May 1st, 2015, 10:31 am

Although I'm a little late given the rate this thread is growing, thanks for the elucidation to Robert and Jim.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by RobertH » May 1st, 2015, 10:34 am

it is not near any parking lot.
I am sorry for assuming, or guessing, that the snake was found near the parking lot. Based on the OP's description (across the wash from the shooting range), the location looked (and still looks) to me to be within a few hundred feet or less of the dirt parking lot above the wash.

HOWEVER: Even if the snake was or had been found near the parking lot, this does not mean it's more of a threat - or threatened - than any other rattlesnake. Lots of rattlesnakes live near parking lots and other public spaces. And there is plenty of dense cover all around, perfect for both ruber and helleri.

Now that you, Mark, have already entered the snake into the database (good), Nicholas and I won't really have to bother with finding it again. But if we do, we'll let you know. It couldn't hurt to add a second sighting with a first-hand voucher to your existing record.

Robert

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » May 1st, 2015, 11:53 am

I don't think there is a humane way to deal with it. My meaning (which I failed to put across, I suppose) is that I don't think a shovel behind the head is kinder than euthanizing. I think any alternative to either of those two that is kinder requires enough forethought, time and resources, that an alternative to killing the animal could have been found for the same effort.

I think that amongst field herpers this is probably just on the spot common sense. And, unless one has a job (like working for animal control?) where policy might demand that they put an animal down more often then they feel is truly necessary (I don't know if it does or not. But, most jobs would have an employee eventually doing something they don't agree with). Or they find themselves taken by surprise with the situation. And, ill-equipped to deal with it any other way (i.e. no herping equipment on them, a dead cell phone or no one answering, pets or children at risk)...unless it's something like that. I don't think any of us would want to even consider killing the animal as an option.

But, the average person going about their day to day might see killing the animal as their first and best option. I've heard guys around here talking about seeing a snake on their property and doing as much as blowing it's head off with a firearm a couple of times over the last 5-6 years. None of them were herpers. And, none of them have likely even ever heard of these forums. And, so they are not likely to know any different at some point.

In every town and city around me there are post boards for people to put their flyers/adverts on. A lot of it is something like wood or trash hauling. Or yoga in the park. Or a band that will be playing. Never seen one that talks about a snake relocation service, a lecture, or class on snake identification/wrangling/relocation. So, I can't help but think that unless this line of discussion ends in seeing said flyers (maybe not exactly that but I think the meaning is clear) that it's something of a circle jerk between people who already know not to do that if at all possible.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Fundad » May 1st, 2015, 5:36 pm

Mark/Robert,

It is a great idea to search the area to see others can be found easily. If you go keep me posted.

Fundad

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » May 1st, 2015, 6:24 pm

Helleri wrote:
In every town and city around me there are post boards for people to put their flyers/adverts on. A lot of it is something like wood or trash hauling. Or yoga in the park. Or a band that will be playing. Never seen one that talks about a snake relocation service, a lecture, or class on snake identification/wrangling/relocation. So, I can't help but think that unless this line of discussion ends in seeing said flyers (maybe not exactly that but I think the meaning is clear) that it's something of a circle jerk between people who already know not to do that if at all possible.
In large cities, people do it for a living... in (some) smaller communties like where you used to live in the Victor Valley... our FB pg, Hi Desert Wildlife has like 30 relocators all across the High desert. with over 6000 members (who tell folks they know) I think we do a pretty good job. ;)

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » May 2nd, 2015, 1:59 am

hellihooks wrote:
Helleri wrote:
In every town and city around me there are post boards for people to put their flyers/adverts on. A lot of it is something like wood or trash hauling. Or yoga in the park. Or a band that will be playing. Never seen one that talks about a snake relocation service, a lecture, or class on snake identification/wrangling/relocation. So, I can't help but think that unless this line of discussion ends in seeing said flyers (maybe not exactly that but I think the meaning is clear) that it's something of a circle jerk between people who already know not to do that if at all possible.
In large cities, people do it for a living... in (some) smaller communties like where you used to live in the Victor Valley... our FB pg, Hi Desert Wildlife has like 30 relocators all across the High desert. with over 6000 members (who tell folks they know) I think we do a pretty good job. ;)
:shock:

For a tri city area (Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia) 2% of the population (6,000/300,000) being capable of identifying, capturing, and relocating (or putting to educational use as you suggested) animals in a risky situation isn't bad (although if we include places like Joshua tree, Bakersfield, Barstow, Lancaster etc. As part of the high desert it probably looks closer to 1%)...for a regional area. But, California is the most populous state in the union (and the 3rd largest state). 6000/37,000,000 leaves us with very few people across the state who can competently and responsibly, respond to, and deal with such situations.

Having an fb is good. So could be having a twitter, YouTube, sub-reddit etc. But, only if they are all deeply interconnected. Having it so activity on any single channel of social networking gets blurted on all the others. If 6000 strong membership are subscribed to a nafha YouTube, following a nafha twitter, friends on its fb. If nafha itself has that kind of presence as a thing. And, has it's members making sure the content keeps flowing...at that point your no longer reaching 6000 people or even them and an average of 1 person they know per person that is interested (12,000). Your having closer to a couple hundred thousand people seeing every bit of activity.

You could do live Q&A's on YouTube. Post up lectures. Instructional videos (safety, beginners tips, tutorials for using the online resources etc.) there could be a day class on how to deal with potentially dangerous encounters correctly. Could design how it goes and have members in every county host the class a few times a year on a schedule. Even just an awareness class that introduces people to herping. Basically regional (county) designated educators, that can teach sizable groups of locals.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » May 2nd, 2015, 10:34 am

Helleri wrote:


Having an fb is good. So could be having a twitter, YouTube, sub-reddit etc. But, only if they are all deeply interconnected. Having it so activity on any single channel of social networking gets blurted on all the others. If 6000 strong membership are subscribed to a nafha YouTube, following a nafha twitter, friends on its fb. If nafha itself has that kind of presence as a thing. And, has it's members making sure the content keeps flowing...at that point your no longer reaching 6000 people or even them and an average of 1 person they know per person that is interested (12,000). Your having closer to a couple hundred thousand people seeing every bit of activity.

You could do live Q&A's on YouTube. Post up lectures. Instructional videos (safety, beginners tips, tutorials for using the online resources etc.) there could be a day class on how to deal with potentially dangerous encounters correctly. Could design how it goes and have members in every county host the class a few times a year on a schedule. Even just an awareness class that introduces people to herping. Basically regional (county) designated educators, that can teach sizable groups of locals.
YOU could perhaps... but not I. hell.. i can't even WATCH videos on my computer... :roll: :lol: :lol: And it's not like we re-locators /rescuers don't have lives, already... to do all the stuff you mention, and be at the 'beck and call' is unrealistic unless someone can make a living at it and do it full time. In BIG cities they do... hell... some have reality shows about it... lol
At HDW... we do what we can, and save as many snakes as we can, and educate as best we can. It's more than most do... :? :)

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Helleri » May 2nd, 2015, 5:31 pm

I am not saying that members should become drones to a hive. And, it's understandable that a lot of the older people doing this probably only know how to go about it the way the have been. Many of them may not understand computer sciences well enough to actualize a true modern network. But, a good amount of the older people in it, probably have kids for whom this kind of stuff is second nature. And, when you get a network like that up and running. It can reduce your effort while growing your audience by a lot. Also, it can be very profitable. Between YouTube, sponsorships, patreon and the like...people who take a weekend off to do a lecture or something like that can actually get paid for their time.

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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by hellihooks » May 2nd, 2015, 5:40 pm

Helleri wrote:I am not saying that members should become drones to a hive. And, it's understandable that a lot of the older people doing this probably only know how to go about it the way the have been. Many of them may not understand computer sciences well enough to actualize a true modern network. But, a good amount of the older people in it, probably have kids for whom this kind of stuff is second nature. And, when you get a network like that up and running. It can reduce your effort while growing your audience by a lot. Also, it can be very profitable. Between YouTube, sponsorships, patreon and the like...people who take a weekend off to do a lecture or something like that can actually get paid for their time.
Actually... one of the admins at HDWG is the son of someone I grew up with, since kindergarden. there's other families that I've herped with 3 generations of... Carmen T. III, IV, V
Keep it up son... and somebody's gonna nominate you for (at least, regional) Education Specilist... :lol: :lol: :lol:

And BTY... just because your old man is horribly technically challenged... doesn't mean that most guys my age are... :crazyeyes: And...you ain't exactly a spring chicken yourself, anymore... :lol: :lol: :lol: I would venture that you're just about the median age, for this group... :|

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Brian Hubbs » May 2nd, 2015, 8:02 pm

Some old people even have a hard time walking...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkyfl7AaXM

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