Friday, August 5, 2011

You Looking At Me?

While wandering in the New Jersey Pine Barrens looking for a rare orchid (we found it) friends and I decided to head down a road we'd never traveled. This road took us through an open gate, and while we didn't realize it, onto private land.

In time we came to a second gate. This one closed. And locked.

I had gotten out of the car to check said gate. On my way back to the car, Ro, one of my traveling companions, yelled, "snake!". And there on the side of the sand road, working on it's tan, was the beauty seen here.

We first took some pictures from inside the car. I then got out and took some shots. I had only my 100 mm macro lens, I was shooting flowers after all. I approached slowly.

I learned later that rattlers can strike approximately one body length. I think I was right on the edge.

The snake paid me no never-mind. It didn't move, didn't rattle, the entire time I was shooting. We wondered if it was alive. So I gathered a few twigs, and Ro tossed them in the direction of the snake.

After I got back in the car.

She missed. So I got out and gathered a few more. And one finally landed close enough to garner a reaction.

The snake flicked its tongue a few times. That was it. But it was alive.

Once home I read that no one had every died of a rattle snake bite in New Jersey. And that the snakes are quite docile, preferring to retreat then to engage a human. Apparently the only people who get bit are those who try to handle the creatures.

This was my first encounter with a venomous snake. We both survived. Pretty cool.

A few days later there was a story in the local paper about a gentleman who had been bitten by a rattler. Not far from where we had our encounter. He claims he found the snake in the road and was trying to move it off, to keep it from becoming road kill. Foolishly, he attempted to pick it up.

Not a good idea.

He got bit.

Alas, his attempt to win a Darwin Award was not successful.


Anonymous said...

goes to prove to me that there are no bigger risk takers than flower photographers. - A scary Bunch!

JSK said...

Aren't they gorgeous though? And generally docile unless you step on them or pick them up.

Chesney said...

I am going to have nightmares tonight! But I have to admit...those are great images!