Thursday, June 30, 2016

Snakey snakey

I am pleased to report that I have achieved one of my life goals. I have successfully taken a picture of a rattlesnake.

Northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus

Strange goal, I know, but I have seen SO MANY rattlesnakes during the course of my job (and occasionally while hiking) and I have had no tangible proof of it up until yesterday. Usually I'm moving in the opposite direction too fast to stop and take a picture.

Yesterday, though, I was out in Gilliam County looking for wetlands along Rock Creek, and this two-and-a-half-foot long guy was hanging out on a log near the stream.

He was very calm and just sat there; didn't move at all or even rattle at me. So after my initial high-pitched yelp when I came around the tree trunk and almost stepped on him, I carefully backed up a long step, pulled out my camera, and snapped a picture. I still had the goosebumps from that visceral frisson of fear, but I had evidence at last!

Then I high-tailed it back to the other side of the stream, trying not to think about how there were likely plenty of his buddies scattered across the rest of the project area. I did scare up another big one from under a sage bush about 10 minutes later, but he rattled at me and coiled up... so I was moving too fast in the opposite direction to stop and take a picture.


PJ said...

Holy Cow....what a great 'catch'!!! specifically, a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake...GORGEOUS!!!

Rachel said...

cool -- good sized one! it must be that time of year. last year I got my first photo of a rattler. it wasn't quiet and started to get annoyed with me but it was a little one. i'll always remember what my first wildlife boss told me. you shouldn't be concerned with rattlers....if you get bit, either you are allergic and you die and nobody can do anything about it...or if you aren't allergic, you'll be fine. that was classic Bill!

Anne said...

:-O. Great careful out there.....