Went back down into my favorite hiking area for Gladdy's potty run this aft. and went farther than usual - the heat's been so bad, she's reluctant to even get in the car and when on the trail she dogs my tracks (no pun intended) until turn-around time, then she eagerly leads the way back to the car and stands with her nose in the a/c outlet on the way home.
On the way back out, following the old road we went in on, she suddenly swerved way around a branch in the road.
Whooops.....wasn't a branch and she knew instinctively that it was dangerous. She's likely seen them when chasing Bunnies, but this is my 1st here. Between 3 & 4 ft long and as thick as my forearm, this is the largest Rattlesnake I've ever seen.....and I've seen a few. I hadn't realized how heavy bodied the Eastern flavor is. The Westerns I've seen are more slender.
I was surprised, too, at the coloring. Rattlers I've seen in the past tend more to gray and brown. This one's bright yellow was really distinctive, but would blend in seamlessly with the area. Up close, I could hear a faint buzzing - mid-range is gone in my hearing, but I could see the tail going full speed and knew it was making some noise.
Trophy sized rattle, too. 14 buttons - a record for me.....never seen more than 6 in the past. This one must live a fairly easy life.
Made for an interesting highlight in the walk. I stayed well clear of it and didn't bother it beyond the pictures. Gladdy showed no interest at all, just avoided it. Good for her.
Still haven't seen a Cottonmouth, tho' the guy who cuts my weeds says he saw 2 in the close area in the past week or so.......says he saw a small, 12" or so Coral Snake near here, too. I'd like to see that'n.....from a distance.
My pointers would usually point him and get bitten in the face.
“Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
― Ernest Hemingway