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There’s a Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) in this photo... Can your eyes find it?!
This particular rattler definitely had a clear opportunity to sink it’s venomous fangs into the flesh of a human leg as he/she was almost accidentally stepped on (because, spectacular camouflage!) ...but instead, the snake chose to protect itself by slithering away into the thorny underbrush, where it could intensely stare-down it’s perpetrator in shadowed safety...
Rattlers are often perceived as vicious, aggressive creatures with malicious intent. Growing up in Jersey & studying the ocean, I was definitely guilty of holding this misunderstanding. But after a few years living in the Southwest and now Texas, I dare to differ. Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t practice utmost mindfulness & caution around these creatures (I mean, they ARE a pit viper!), but more often than not, rattlesnakes have zero desire nor intention to harm a human. They actually want nothing to do with humans, and striking is a big expense of their energy...so if the option to escape is available, they will eagerly exercise that option (as was demonstrated in this specific encounter).
I snapped a few photos and observed this unique reptile for a couple of minutes from a safe distance (thank goodness for a zoom lens). If I looked away then back, it took serious effort to see the snake again. He/she didn’t rattle or hiss, just lots of curious sniffs with the tongue. Mutual respect. I said goodbye to my new friend and moved along. A quick check back to this hide-out about 15 minutes later revealed the snake had moved along also...
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Posted on August 14, 2019
BoneFish TalesBF Tales2019StoryBlogWritingJournalRattlesnakeReptileWildlifeOutdoorsNatureCamouflageDiamondback Rattlesnake