Today we took a hike up our mountain to eat some wild blueberries we found last week and ran into an awesome surprise – a timber rattler! We’ve known about them ever since we moved here but never saw one until now. Trish caught some movement out of the corner of her eye, right along a log. She thought it was a chipmunk and had trouble seeing it until it moved again 5 seconds later.
It was absolutely brilliant and looked exactly like the one in this picture. Mustardy and striped for about 3/4 of its body before becoming dark for the last quarter. Perhaps that’s the adolescent coloring? The one in the Bronx Zoo is darker overall, though the one at the Bear Mountain Zoo is more similarly colored.
The rattle was easily visible too. We stayed about 6 feet away from it and watched its magnificence as it crossed the trail. J was freaked out a bit, probably from Trish’s initial shock (warranted – she was about 3 feet away from it at the time). M was fascinated and had to watch it as it slithered away.
I suppose we should get used to it, considering we’re moving to land of venomous snakes This is #2 for me – about 7-8 years ago I saw a diamondback in Kakiat State Park. I’m prepared to give much respect to the tercipelo and American bushmaster now.