Saturday, October 27, 2012


While on a recent plant geek field trip I spotted this on the side of the trail.

An oldster, having live to shed its skin at least thirteen times (unlike tree rings, the number of rattles does not directly correlate with age as rattles can shed multiple times in a year, and the rattles can break off).

The field trip was a well attended one, with over thirty of us out in the pines. I near the end of the line as we hiked along when I spotted this guy a couple of feet from the trail. Siting quietly as we paraded by, single file. That's when I yelled snake.

As this was prime habitat, we had been told to keep a weather eye out. And once spotted everybody wanted a look. All of us crowding around to see and photograph the snake prompted it try to moved away. But we had it boxed in. But not once did it rattle nor assume a threatening pose. It was more interested in retreat than attack, looking for a way out. And we parted to let it slither off in peace.

A bit later my girlfriend almost stepped on this one, saved by another friend who spotted it just in time.

Much smaller, this appeared to be a yearling, with no rattles on its tail. And it too wanted nothing to do with us, making a beeline for the woods. Of course we all crowded around to get images.

Two rattlers in one day, upping my lifetime total by 200%. Very cool.

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