Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rattlesnake Photo Shoot

It was a cool, cloudy day, so I sat on the porch to read.  I looked up to see purple flowers on our Jacaranda tree.  I went inside to get my camera, and on the way back out onto the porch, I looked up to see this:


The wasp kept re-positioning itself as I moved around it taking pictures, so it could keep a close eye on me.  Creepy.  I didn't need a wasp's nest above my head when I sit on the porch, so we had to get rid of it.  I  walked down the back steps to get a picture of the purple flowers on the tree...

Then I heard a knocking sound and got a picture of this bird pounding away at the one saguaro cactus in our yard...

On my way up the back steps, I spotted this...

 Here's a picture of the Lantana in relation to the steps...

The rattlesnake was almost all the way out from under the Lantana when I was walking down and up the steps.  It could have easily bitten me.  Because every spring I almost step on a rattlesnake in that same spot, I've gotten into the habit of looking around the corner before stepping off the bottom step.  However, because the purple flowers were to the left, I sailed on around the corner without checking to my right, which is the direction I usually walk in.

It froze in the same spot for quite some time, so we went inside the house to give it a chance to move along.  I happened to catch it crossing our back drive.  It was about three feet long.


Pretty tail...

Snakes prefer to hug walls so that they will be less likely spotted by predators...

Seven rows on its rattle...

It kept slithering into holes in the rock wall, and then turning around and coming out the same hole...


See how well it blends into our rock wall?  If you aren't paying attention, they are hard to see.


It held still and looked at us while we followed it, but it never coiled up or rattled at us.  I was making my presence known, hoping to discourage it from hanging out around my place.  Last I saw it, it was headed toward the house that's up for sale.  I suspect that when someone moves into that place, they'll find a lot of rattlesnakes, because they like to go where it's quiet.

8 comments:

Dreaming said...

Tney are as beautiful as they are scary! Love you Lantana. It is one of my favorites.

TeresaA said...

holy crow- how big is that wasp?
the snake is lovely too but it would make me nervous. I know that you get used to it.

Cheryl Ann said...

There are some lizards as large as snakes up at the horse ranch and when they move, I always jump! I did find a snake skeleton last month, and showed it to the owner and she has seen a sidewinder's telltale print once, but with so many dogs and horses, snakes really don't stand a chance up there!
Cheryl Ann

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, I wouldn't have stuck around to take pictures. They scare the hell out of me. You're very brave. I guess living out west you get used to them but I wouldn't. Beautiful flowers and cactus. Love the big saguaros.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I mainly wanted to keep an eye on it to make sure it didn't go into my barn, garage, or under my porch. I have an excellent zoom on my camera, so it seems like I'm a lot closer than I am. I know of someone who was recently bitten by a rattlesnake. He was in intensive care for a week and his hospital bill was $300,000, so I certainly don't want to take any chances.

achieve1dream said...

Wow you photos are so amazing!! I love them!!!!! Beautiful wildlife, even the snake, although I'd be terrified of getting bitten after the comment about the guy in the hospital for a week lol. Be careful!

Janice Grinyer said...

The ones i run into out in the forest can be very funny - like hiding your head in a yucca plant even though I can still see your three foot body lol. Or the one that slithered up to me and looked at me like I was a painting in an art gallery, then sidled on by to look at other things. IMO This one found you harmless lol

I still would be very careful though with your snake - that living arrangement is too close to me!

Katharine Swan said...

And of course there is the horse at my barn that was bitten by a rattlesnake last October, and had to be trached in order to breathe...

The wasp pictures are super cool! I can't help but think that there's more going on in that tiny little brain than we give them credit for.