These snakes seem surprisingly easy to photograph in some ways, and very challenging in others.
They’re very calm. They don’t seem to spook as easily as other species of rattlesnake, which fits their relaxed attitude in other aspects. They rarely rattle, and just hiss, puff, and try to look larger or just leave. In most cases, we can photograph them as they are found without trouble.
The challenge comes from the grassland they’re found in – the snake, even when fully exposed, is rarely without at least some level of grass in the way. If we find 10 snakes, maybe 3 can produce a decent photo. Regardless, it’s not worth disturbing the animals to get more. Some light grass moving happens though, which has become the primary purpose of my snake hook in recent years.
We get out there once or twice a year and it’s become kind of a tradition. I really enjoy finding these snakes, though the trip itself and the company is enjoyable enough that I can’t help but think I’ve built a bias around the whole thing. It’s a very happy, peaceful experience to walk down that dirt road to the vehicle at the end of the day after a long, successful hunt with my friends in such a place.
Desert lizards get pretty big, and make quite a bit of sound in the bushes while I’m up North looking for Grand Canyon rattlesnakes. This is one of those that came out to check me out while searching a couple of years ago.
This Crotalus atrox clearly needs a meal; just one of many unfortunately skinny snakes I’ve seen in this area (along with several dead ones) during our long drought.
Nice, reddish Coluber flagellum piceus out nosing through the brush looking for lizards.
This is maybe my favorite photograph of an Arizona Black Rattlesnake, taken in situ. Yes, that plant in the foreground is poison oak, and yes I’m laying in it. Oh well, live and burn. I mean learn.
Here’s a patchnosed snake, seen about how they are always seen. These cool little snakes (“Coachwhip Lite” as I refer to them when trying to describe their agility) are common byproducts of mid-morning travel to the day’s hike.
I seriously need to get back out there soon.
Of course, these are pretty cool, too:
Wow, I never thought I’d see one of these, let alone in Pennsylvania. I was very lucky to be able to tag along one day, and we found some cool things.
Pretty cool … and then a smooth green snake happened.
Does anyone have any idea what kind of eggs these are?
This lyresnake (lyre, as in the old instrument, not like your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend) was found by Jon and I on a night hike. They’re one of my favorite colubrids, being such weird little things in appearance, and secretive in nature. Big nighttime eyes, rear-fanged, mildly venomous viper-in-training. We saw lots of rattlesnakes, too, but this was my favorite find this trip.
Here’s another one from an unrelated mountain range, just to get a closer look at those cool eyes.