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