Saturday, November 16, 2013

The 2013 Walnut Label Runoff

A top view of the forest sharp-tailed snake showing the red-brown line down each side, spine-tipped tail, and blunt nose.  
The 2013 walnuts have been harvested and I've cracked the first batch.  They're yummy as usual.  But I can't make the 2013 Dipper Ranch Walnut label yet because there is a tie between people's favorite snake to go on the label. So I figured I would share a few more photos of the two remaining contestants: #2 the forest sharp-tailed snake and #9 the crenulated rattlesnake from the springbox.

Seeing the forest sharp-tailed snake in hand reveals how small this snake is. This photo also shows the distinct black and white contrasting bands on its ventral side.   

The northern Pacific rattlesnake waiting in a pillow case for us to relocate it away from the springbox. In contrast to the sharpie, the rattler's head is triangular shaped with a narrow neck. This close-up by Debbi Brusco shows the fancy scalloped edges on the 'diamonds' on the midsection of this snake. Mesmerizing, no?  
The rattle on the crenulated rattlesnake as it travels off into its new home. This rattle-string consists of two segments - the No. 2 rattle next to the body, and the 3-lobed button at the end. Photo by Debbi Brusco.  
If you haven't voted for the 2013 Walnut Label, please do so by clicking here to get linked back to the last post where you can scroll down and comment on your choice there.  Someone is going to get the first batch of shelled 2013 walnuts out of this.

First batch of cured and shelled 2013 walnuts waiting in the freezer for a label and shipment.   
So what will it be:
#2 - a blunt-nosed, red-sided, spine-tipped forest sharp-tailed snake, or
#9 - a triangular-headed, fancy-blotched, rattle-tailed northern Pacific rattlesnake?
Northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
Forest sharp-tailed snake, Contia longicaudae

Snakes in Question, The Smithsonian Answer Book. Carl H. Ernst, George R. Zug. The Smithsonian Institute. 1996.

Rattlesnakes: Their Habits, Life Histories, & Influence on Mankind. Abridged Edition. Laurence M. Klauber. University of California Press. 1982.


  1. I'm going to go with the rattlesnake, because its rattle is somewhat walnut-like in appearance.

    1. The rattle, especially on this young snake which has only shed twice, is kinda rounded and bumpy like a walnut. Under the 'doctrine of signatures' Greek philosophers and later Renaissance physicians believed that foods that looked like parts of the human body should be included in one's diet to cure ailments and to promote overall health of that body part. Walnuts were thought to be brain food and also to assist other parts of the male's body which they resemble. Current research shows that the oils and other nutrients in walnuts may help memory and learning skills in mice . . . um, so what does that have to do with the similarities between rattlers' rattle and walnuts? Well, maybe the rattlers hanging out around the barn eating the rodents eating walnuts behind the barn means . . . um, that the rattlesnakes are smart?

  2. Eileen still goes with the rattlesnake

  3. I'm going with #2, yet again, the forest sharp-tailed snake

    Brooke Miller

  4. Love the beautiful rattler, but "forest sharp-tailed snake" is just such a cool name that the sharpie gets my vote again.

  5. forest sharp-tailed snake -- for its elegant simplicity

  6. I like the forest sharp-tailed snake too! There is something succinct and to the point about its name.


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