Summer of Snakes?

1 07 2016

A couple of days ago I was reading an article about an abundance of rattlesnake sightings in yards in Southern California . The suggestion in the article being that the drought is pushing them into closer contact with people? Perhaps mere coincidence, but in the last two days I have encountered two Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes in Eaton Canyon where in normal years I’m lucky if I see one anywhere.

At least one of my encounters was on a busy trail where I might have stepped on it without a little less care and attention. Though thus far they have seemed very docile, during interactions, it is making me more and more aware of where I and Possum the wonderdog are putting out feet while we are hiking.

The first one I ran into was pretty small – maybe 2 1/3 feet the other one was significantly larger. There’s loads of great info on local snakes on the California Herps website (here). They even have recordings of their rattle!

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Pacific Southern Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller

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Southern Pacific Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller

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Southern Pacific Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller

These first three images are of the smaller individual that I found while hiking down from the bridge that goes across to the Mount Wilson Toll Rd. The images below are of a much larger individual found near the nature center. I’m sure everyone knows you can’t age rattlesnakes by the number of rattles, that’s just an old wives tale. Apparently size and perhaps darkness of coloration might be a better clue.

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Southern Pacific Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller

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Southern Pacific Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller

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Southern Pacific Rattlesnake – Luke Tiller