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Saw a rattlesnake today!

Old 04-22-20, 08:35 PM
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Saw a rattlesnake today!

And I sure wasnít expecting it. 🙁 I was walking my bike up a pretty steep mountain road, just North of Castoic Lake (in Angeles National Forest), and kinda got a tunnel-vision thing going on, mostly looking at the white line. What really caught me off guard, was the color of the darn thing, dark gray, so that it blended right in with the asphalt.

I was probably 10-15 feet from it, when it moved just a bit, letting me see it, by a stroke of luck. It surprised the heck out of me, and I cussed pretty loudly, and that surprised him a little, so that he started moving off the road. I kept my bike between us, and moved well around him, and he just kept moving into the weeds.

This all happened in about a minute or less, and he never made a sound or coiled up or anything, but I clearly saw the rattle on the end of his tail, as he was leaving. Man, Iím just glad I saw him move when he did, or I mightíve stepped right on him. 😟

Anyways, be careful out there, kids, there are sneaky critters hiding in plain sight sometimes. 🤔😲
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Old 04-22-20, 08:44 PM
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They come out of hibernation this time of year, I’d see them in Santa Fe, NM in early May. They love asphalt for the warmth and like to lay in the sun and get warm. I bunny hopped one once on a twisty single track when I came around a blind curve. Didn’t want to run over him and I’d seen them before on this trail so knew what it was.
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Old 04-22-20, 08:50 PM
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Yep, I figured he was either crossing the road, or sunning himself. More likely sunning, since I saw several skinks today, too. I also saw a lizard, about 6Ē long or so, that looked like anodized green aluminum, lol. Mostly silvery, but with a strong green to it. No idea what that one was, yet. 🤔
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Old 04-22-20, 10:45 PM
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was this on the old ridge road paralleling the 5 freeway?
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Old 04-22-20, 11:08 PM
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My rattlesnake story. June, the trail up the "mountain" outside Amherst Massachusetts. My brother's wedding party. Single file. I was abound the third and the groom to be right behind me. We were passing a picnic table sized rock. (New England after all. Random glacial debris of all sizes everywhere.) Heard a hiss coming from the rock just after I passed. Stopped and turned around. And got to see a very healthy, well fed, jet black rattlesnake crossing between us, rattling away. It got to the other side and slithered down the hill.

I'd never seen one before outside zoos although my dad made it clear all out lives that they were native and still around. Also that if we gave it a chance, it would just leave. The good thing here was that my brother got the same message. We just stopped and let it go. Further back in the party, it would have been panic.

I never knew they could be black until then. But there was absolutely zero question. The head, the rattle.
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Old 04-23-20, 08:27 AM
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Fortunately, most of the rattlesnakes I've seen while cycling have been dead roadkills. But, like snapping turtles, every now and then there's a live one, and of course it's wise to give them a wide berth.

Back when my wife and I were hiking, she saw far more rattlesnakes and copperheads than I ever did. She usually made me lead (to clear out spiderwebs). I'd be walking along, minding my own business. Behind me I'd hear a screech, as the snake I just walked over lifted its head up to see what that was -- and she saw every one of those before it slithered off into the leaves, grass, or brush beside the trail.
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Old 04-23-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
was this on the old ridge road paralleling the 5 freeway?
Close, this was on Lake Hughes Road. I know I followed The Old Ridge Road awhile, in the area of Santa Clarita, then took Lake Hughes Road, leaving Castoic Lake.

I was going to take I-5, but the CHiPs said no. 😒
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Old 04-23-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I never knew they could be black until then. But there was absolutely zero question. The head, the rattle.

they also come in pink!

The Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake ? Grand Canyon Collective
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Old 04-23-20, 10:34 AM
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I almost rode over one on a multi-use path in Everglades NP.



It made no noise, so I did not think it was a rattler, but I showed my photo to a park ranger and he said it was a rattler.

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
they also come in pink!
...

I suppose you could call this pink. Fortunately I had a long zoom camera with me, so I did not have to stand one foot away to get this photo. Took the photo at Indian Garden campground.

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Old 04-23-20, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
...I suppose you could call this pink. Fortunately I had a long zoom camera with me, so I did not have to stand one foot away to get this photo. Took the photo at Indian Garden campground.
on the middle escarpment there are connecting trails between the major routes, foot traffic over decades with less maintenance that the main trails has resulted in the ground worn down into a rut, sometimes a foot or two below the ground surface in places.

it gets hot as you go down in the canyon. them pink critters like to climb up into the lower branches of the shrubs along the trail to cool off, putting them at knee to hip level for hikers. hear that up close and it'll scare the carp outa ya!


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Old 04-23-20, 01:54 PM
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YUCK

I do not like a snake at all !!!
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Old 04-23-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I almost rode over one on a multi-use path in Everglades NP.
Same here, only in PA. Never even noticed it. The girlfriend at the time said something after we passed. Went back and took a photo. Itís somewhere on my computer. Young one with not much of a rattle. They come out to sun themselves on the path.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
But pink is for girls. 😁🤪 I was waiting for someone to say ďPics, or it didnít happenĒ, as should normally be said. Believe it or not, I thought about getting my phone out, early in the encounter, but quickly decided against that. 😁
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Old 04-23-20, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyItsSara View Post
YUCK

I do not like a snake at all !!!
Same here, poisonous or not. Letís ban them. 😉
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Old 04-23-20, 05:56 PM
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October a couple of years ago in the Soap Stone Prairie Open Space on the Colorado/Wyoming line.

DSCN1590 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

I went by at a high rate of speed and heard just a little rattle but figured I’d gotten struck at.

Several years ago I was in the Purgatory Canyon in southeastern Colorado and have a good story about it

Snake!

"Rachael, go into this dip fast so you can carry your momentum through to the uphill on the other side! Push it! Faster! That a girl! I'm right behind you!"BBBZZZZTTTT!

"Hey, Dad! How did you get up there? And when did you learn to FLY!?"

"That buzz you just heard was a snake and I'm not coming down until I find out where it is!"

Ah, yes. The western diamondback. As in snake. As in rattlesnake. With fangs. Growing up out on the plains of eastern Colorado, you learn early on that when you hear that distinctive buzz, you jump into the air and you don't come down until you find out where the snake is. Even if it means flying for weeks at a time. Whole towns have been known to walk around 6 feet in air and not because they are overly happy! And if you did happen to find out where it was there was only one response - kill it!

My mom only had one super power and that was her ability to kill rattlesnakes - large or small. In Fowler, where I grew up, they call her the Terror. She would be walking down the road, just an innocent looking Annt Bee type of lady carrying a small hand bag and wearing one of those silly pill box hats. She'd hear that buzz and out would come a full-sized, razor-sharp shovel and the snake's head would be separated from its shoulders - so to speak - faster than a French King's! And then she would leave the snake where it lay as a warning to all the other rattlesnakes of the world. Very effective!

Now I can jump into the sky and never come down when I'm around a rattlesnake, much to the amazement of all my friends and acquaintances. It's even more impressive when I have a bike attached to my feet and I just hanging around still on the bike. I've never shared my mother's blood lust when it comes killing rattler's since I figure that I'm invading its home and it's just doing snaky things. But being a guy, I have the typical guy response to anything that is dangerous - I get a stick and I poke it! Or throw rocks at it.

I got a stick and standing there like the moron that I am with my daughter on the banks of the Purgatory River poking a poisonous snake with a stick - a poisonous snake that is already mad because I almost ran over it, I thought this is really dumb when "BBBZZZZTTTT!" and we're both standing 6 feet off the ground. That's when I realized we had just the answer - we need a longer stick!
The sound in saddlesore’s video got me about a foot out of my chair...thanks for that, by the way. Haven’t spotted the snake yet?

Here he is from a ways back with a telephoto

DSCN1591 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

He was still angry but I couldn’t find any sticks.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Same here, only in PA. Never even noticed it. The girlfriend at the time said something after we passed. Went back and took a photo. Itís somewhere on my computer. Young one with not much of a rattle. They come out to sun themselves on the path.
I never said, but Iíd guess this one was right around 3 feet long. So right around average, for an adult. I couldnít believe how big around they get, too. 😲
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Old 04-23-20, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
October a couple of years ago in the Soap Stone Prairie Open Space on the Colorado/Wyoming line.

DSCN1590 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

I went by at a high rate of speed and heard just a little rattle but figured Iíd gotten struck at.

Several years ago I was in the Purgatory Canyon in southeastern Colorado and have a good story about it



The sound in saddlesoreís video got me about a foot out of my chair...thanks for that, by the way. Havenít spotted the snake yet?

Here he is from a ways back with a telephoto

DSCN1591 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

He was still angry but I couldnít find any sticks.
Ha! 😁 Too bad you never let me meet your mom, while I was in Colorado. Flying could be a real handy skill, in times like these. 🤔😉
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Old 04-23-20, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Same here, poisonous or not. Letís ban them. 😉
Originally Posted by HeyItsSara View Post
YUCK I do not like a snake at all !!!


y'all's got the worng attitude! Snake's good eatin'!
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Old 04-23-20, 10:31 PM
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I just recalled my encounter with a snake that was pissed and ready to bite. I was about 7, Found a green snake, what, 18" long or less? on a weed, about knee high. First thought - catch him; this could be fun! I approached, he reared back, bared his teeth and made it very clear he was going to chomp me with everything he got. I knew that wasn't much but figured he'd stated his case; I'd grant him his freedom. So the fun catch never happened.

Saddlesores, I think there was a total of about a tablespoon of meat there. Edit: Now the black rattler of my first post - he'd lived a good live and and was well fed.
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Old 04-23-20, 10:42 PM
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I had an encounter with a copperhead in Western PA last year that did not go so well for the snake. I was in a grassy overgrown section of a gravel road near Slippery Rock. It did continue to move on afterwards, hopefully with just a bit of a bruise to show for it as the ground underneath was pretty mushy from a recent rain. Supposedly there are a lot of them around but you do not see them very often.
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Old 04-24-20, 06:24 AM
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I have come across several Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes along trails in the Puente Hills. They are not aggressive as long as you give them room to roam. Just have to keep alert as they sometimes blend in with the broken twigs along the trails. I once walked over one with my German Shepard and it did not rattle or strike. Since then, I assume twigs are snakes and give it a good look before proceeding.
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Old 04-24-20, 10:11 AM
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The one I had the photo of above, when I told the park ranger that it did not make any noise, the park ranger said that a lot of the snakes in the park in areas where people are do not rattle. Over many generations they have learned that they live longer if they do not rattle.

The first time I heard a rattle snake, even though I had never heard one before, I KNEW that it was a rattle snake that I heard.
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Old 04-24-20, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The one I had the photo of above, when I told the park ranger that it did not make any noise, the park ranger said that a lot of the snakes in the park in areas where people are do not rattle. Over many generations they have learned that they live longer if they do not rattle.
Never heard that one before. But in the southern Appalachians, I just assume any snake that doesn't run away and doesn't rattle is a copperhead.

(Unless it's about 6' long and solid black. Then it's a black snake, and _I_ don't have to run away!)
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Old 04-24-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Never heard that one before. But in the southern Appalachians, I just assume any snake that doesn't run away and doesn't rattle is a copperhead.

(Unless it's about 6' long and solid black. Then it's a black snake, and _I_ don't have to run away!)
Black snakes are different from most, I guess. My grandmother had black snakes living in a ditch, right near her grape arbors, back in PA. She always said black snakes are farmersí friends, they eat mice & other rodents, but keep the bad snakes away. 👍
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Old 04-28-20, 03:09 PM
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I came home on the full moon last October and found two rattlesnakes mating in the street in front of my house.. ugh..



Two rattlesnakes mating in front of my house

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