Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crotalus horridus was a little too close-us

Very appropriate scientific name, don't you think?

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Alabama - by Mark Bailey.

First a little background info. About a month ago, we had spied a timber rattler several feet below us in a rock cliff by our neighbor's hunting cabin. It was very cool to observe the snake from that nice, safe distance. So, now when we go on walks out there, we routinely check to see if it might have returned to that same spot so we can see it again.

Yesterday morning when I took the dogs for a walk, I went to do a "snake-check", peered over the edge of the cliff and discovered the snake had not yet returned to that spot. I paused for just a second to enjoy the view, turned around to retrace my steps and head home when I spied crotalus horridus just a tiny few feet from me! Maybe one whole stride away, just a rattling away at me. I froze in my tracks because I didn't want to startle it any further. I did have a chance to observe that it wasn't coiled and was starting to slither away underneath a rock. Mother-may-I sized GIANT step sideways and then another and somewhere in there, my heart started beating again. Whew - what an adrenaline rush that was!

Yes, crotalus horridus was wayyy too close-us for me! I have no idea if it was the same snake, or its buddy, but I didn't stick around long enough to find out. John and I were going to walk out and try to find it this morning, but the owner of the cabin went past before we had a chance, so John called him and warned him that the snake may still be there.

Life in the country is full of all sorts of surprises!


  1. I don't know one rattler from another. Ryan keeps finding all kinds of snakes near us - rattlers and others. Not to mention the bears, coyotes, wolves and possibly a mt lion. Neither of us live in a place where we'd want to pitch a tent for the night, Shirley!

    Glad you survived!

  2. This one is also known as a Timber Rattlesnake. They are more common in our northern Alabama area while the Eastern Diamondback appears to be more common in the regions closer to the coast. We have not seen a bear here yet, but that might be an interesting sighting if one came this way.

  3. THIS is a surprise you do not need. Be careful.

  4. Well, part of the word fits "horrid"...eewwww. I for one am glad we live in a mild area when it comes to these kinds of things


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