Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008
Wow, what a thrill it was to get to see this snake! It was our last day of our week-long trip to southern New Mexico and we were lamenting that we had hiked 15 miles on 4 different trails and had not seen a single snake. As we were driving down a gravel road after our final hike we spotted this guy (or gal) sunning in the middle of the road. Fortunately, we didn't hit it! I was glad I had my 300mm telephoto lens on my camera at the time! :)
These snakes are also called "Coon-tail snakes" due to their black and white striped tails. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, note the pit on the snake's face. The pits are used to detect heat from warmblooded prey, such as mice or rats.