Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008
Our last day of the trip turned out to be the most exciting of the entire week with the sighting of the tarantulas, hummingbirds, the Collared Lizard and then, last but not least, this
guy! Earlier in the week we had lamented that we had not seen a rattlesnake or any other snakes (except a little dead one smashed on the road) during our trip. We wanted to see a rattlesnake, but on our
terms, in a safe situation. On the last day of our trip as we were driving down the graveled part of Baylor Canyon Road, after our hike at Dripping Springs, I yelled, "Snake!" Kenny skidded to a stop right over the snake and I hoped we hadn't hit it. We piled out of the car and saw a highly agitated Western Diamondback Rattlesnake coiled in a strike position in the middle of the road. I was glad I had my 300mm telephoto lens attached to my camera so I could get my pictures at a safe distance! It was amazing to hear the snake rattle as it intently watched us. Although these snakes can grow up to 7 feet in length, this one was about 3 feet long. If it had been much bigger we would have not skidded over it, we would have hit it. Many people have an intense hatred for snakes, especially venomous ones like this, but these animals have an important place in their habitat and should be allowed to live undisturbed. Rattlesnakes help keep the rodent population under control. map...