A Little Closer Look

Several of you did see what I saw! Excellent. Now for a few more shots to help those that might have had difficulty seeing this beautiful canebrake (or timber, if you must) rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)...

A couple from the middle...

Posted by Picasa

And now the head and tail.

Posted by Picasa

The only reason I ever saw this particular snake was because she buzzed her rattle ever so gently when I stepped close to her. Upon hearing the buzz I looked down by my foot and there she was. She never made an aggressive move toward me and I observed her for quite a while. She was quite fat and seemed content with her place among the Virginia Creeper. Guess I could have shooed her out for a full body shot but it just seemed rude to do so. She was about four and a half feet long and wider across than my hand.


Woodswalker said...

Indeed, she is a beauty! And really broad in the beam! Is she just about to . . . what, lay eggs or give live birth? If she is, hooray! I've read that this species reproduces quite slowly. We have them way up here in the Adirondacks but only rare and isolated populations. One is on a mountain in Lake George. When I climb there I'm very careful to look where I put my hands.

Hugh said...

Oh that makes sense. I've never seen that subspecies, but should have been able to suss it out. She's a very pretty snake.

Kelly said...

...wow...incredible photos. It must have been exciting to see her!

Anonymous said...

Swampy- You hypnotized this snake to stay in place for these photo's! Amazing that you were able to get these shots. Perhaps laying eggs? Arrived in Maine last night. Water is really high on the lake, may loose the dock if the wind keeps up. Lots of yard work to do but happy to be home. Slyvester is curled up in my lap sleeping as I type this. Life!

swamp4me said...

I always consider myself lucky when I see a rattler. In the four years I've been in the work swamp I have seen rattle snakes only twice.

It was exciting -- even though she never twitched a muscle as I moved around her.

I didn't hypnotize her, I just paid her ;) None of our venomous snakes lay eggs, they all give live birth.
Glad you made it to Maine safely. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the dock stays put. Give the kitties a kiss for us and don't work too hard in the yard.

Rurality said...

They're so pretty, aren't they!

The tail seems so flat... is that an illusion? I don't remember them being that way, but then again I'm usually watching the other end. :)

here today, gone tomorrow said...

Nothing better than a courteous reptile.

Lovely girl, indeed.

Wayne said...

Very sweet find, Swampy.

I've also come upon only one rattler, also a C. horridus. I considered myself lucky too. My neighbors immediately asked if I'd killed it and were nonplussed that I wouldn't have done so. I photographed it of course!

My father, a veteran of the US Forest Service, confirmed its identity, noted that it was in the middle of shedding, and was enthusiastic that I'd left it alone.

What's nice, and fairly typical I suspect, are the mild manners of your find. She had the equipment to tell you not to bother her, and that was the extent of it. What good girls you both are!

swamp4me said...

No trick of the camera here, she was quite flattened. Treebeard remarked that she looked like a tire tread ;)

Much more courteous than some rat snakes I have encountered!

They are typically mild-mannered. If more folks would realize that and keep their heads about them when they see one, the world would be a much better place. And yes, it does seem that the first question anyone asks when you mention seeing one of these snakes is, "Did you kill it?" Sad, isn't it.