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Natural History/Field Observation Field observations of corn snakes, field collecting, or just general topics about the natural environment they are found in.

Rattlesnake, 03-28-2022
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Old 03-29-2022, 01:36 AM   #1
Rich Z
Rattlesnake, 03-28-2022

Connie and I went to take our usual walk around the path today. I was looking up at the peach tree blossoms up ahead when a noise started up that at first I couldn't place. At first it sounded like a cicada, but yet... Connie yelped right about the same time I realized what I was hearing and yanked me towards her, away from the source of the noise to the right of the path. Eastern diamondback rattlesnake just laying coiled up and sounding off with the rattle alongside the path. Not within striking distance, but close enough to have potentially caused a very bad day for me had I wandered over in that direction while my attention was on the peach tree blossoms.

Of course I didn't have my camera with me, so Connie offered to keep an eye on it while I ran back to the building to get my Nikon. When I got back, it hadn't budged an inch. So I took a few pics. But I really didn't have a good lens on the camera for this particular subject. I have a zoom micro lens that I use nearly all of the time mounted on that camera, but I tried to do the best I could with it. Connie says, are you taking video? Well, no.... Duh. So I ran back to the house to get the camcorder, and ran back with it. That camcorder has a reach of 600mm so a LOT better to be using for a rattlesnake that seems to have gotten out on the wrong side of the bed. Honestly, by then, I was getting pretty winded, and was thinking, sheesh, I wonder if Connie is going to have to tell people I got killed by a rattlesnake. Not by the bite, but from dying from a heart attack running all over the darn yard carrying cameras. I tend to do a lot of yard work for exercise, but running? Nah...

Anyway, the snake kicked up a ruckus the entire time we were watching him. Raised up a few times in warning when it felt we were too close, but never actually struck out at us. After I was done taking video, I wanted to just scoot him (just a wild guess on the sex) away from the path and into the woods, so I picked up a long pine branch and tried to usher him along his way. He wasn't having any of that, and seemed to prefer just sitting there keeping an eye on us. Never struck at the branch at all, just seemingly curious about what was going on, and didn't really feel like leaving.

Anyway, Connie and I continued along our walk along the path, but keeping a closer eye on where we would be walking. Where there is one rattlesnake, there is always a chance there might be more. Had me thinking about being out in the back yard the other day cutting up some tree branches and small fallen trees with the chainsaw so I could clear away the smaller underbrush more easily. Of course, I never gave rattlesnakes a thought then. This time of year with everything leafing out and putting out flowers, we tend to look UP into the trees a lot more often while walking than we look at the ground at our feet in front of us. I guess we will be looking more often and more diligently at the ground now while taking our walks and working in the yard.

Coincidentally enough, a friend of mind told me about a week ago that he had almost stepping on a rather large rattlesnake in his yard. He is in a more residential area, and isn't quite as kindly feeling towards snakes as we are, so that snake's last view of the world was down the business end of a shotgun. With ours, we just left him be, figuring he was probably just passing through. Oh, another coincidence. My friend counted the rattle segments on his rattler and it had 13 of them. Well I counted them in the video and this one has 13 rattles too. Maybe it means something..

Anyway, when we completed our path walk about, the rattler had moved a bit into the woods, but not by much. Which got me to remembering something. About a year or two ago Connie saw a rattler in about the same area while she was hauling branches and debris to a pile we had made back in the woods off of that path. She said it rattled the entire time while it crawled off into the woods, so I guess it is possible it is the same one. Usually when we find rattlers around here, they don't normally strike defensive posture or even rattle. I guess this one is just a bit more high strung than most others. Not that we find a lot of them, maybe every couple to few years. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least to learn we had dozens of them around here. The terrain is prime habitat for them, I think.

Anyway, the video:




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3OvLMubyCc

BTW, if you watch the video via a smart phone, you are missing a lot. It was recorded in 4K 60 fps and looks pretty darn nice on my 27 inch PC screen. That Panasonic camcorder I have does a real good job of taking video, IMHO.
 
Old 03-29-2022, 02:37 AM   #2
hypnoctopus
Those little eye stripes honestly make him look super cute! It's a good thing rattlesnakes have their characteristic rattles because otherwise they blend into their environments so well. In the zoomed out view, I couldn't even spot him right away.
 
Old 03-29-2022, 06:14 PM   #3
blacktip
What a cranky snake. It doesn't look like you were even that close to him. Anyways, that is a beautiful video Rich. Thanks for sharing.
 
Old 03-29-2022, 11:01 PM   #4
Frank Pinello
Beautiful snake. Looks like a bit of scale damage on the bottom lip. Should have rubs some ointment on it....haha
I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same snake Connie saw a while back. My first home was up against a natural pine forest that had a dirt trail. About a quarter mile in there was a large pile of logs and tree branches about 20’x30’pile along this trail where this huge diamond back hung out along the edges of. For over the 3 years I lived there I would look for him every time I took a walk to this pil of debris and he was found by me almost every time.
They tend to hang out in the same area if it’s to their liking.
Funny thing was he would only rattle if I brought someone along to see his guy. That made it a bit more thrilling for my visitors.
 

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