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30 April 2009 @ 08:59 pm
The Panamint Rattlesnake  
I first thought it was a roadkill and I drove right by it. I then thought that such a beautiful creature shouldn't be left on the road - to be driven over by other travelers in a way that's unfit for the alpha reptile of the desert. I stopped my car and backed up and then got out to pick up a stick and as I walked towards the seemingly lifeless body, it moved! It was alive!! I wasn't sure if another car had gone over it before and disabled it, but I quickly ran back to the car and pulled out my camera. I saw another car approaching and I put on the emergency lights and signaled the car to stop to allow safe passage for this beautiful snake! I clicked a few quick shots and then pulled out my video camera. By that time, another car of tourists had stopped and they were all looking at it eagerly. While I videotaped the snake moving to safety, a couple of them got excited and wanted to hear the snake "rattle" and threw a stick at it. I told them that that wasn't the right way to treat wildlife and it was amazing how quickly they understood what they had done was wrong and were feeling bad for it! And soon the snake was out of our sights and had coiled up inside a bush! It is amazing how such a big snake had made itself so small! And after the other tourists had left, I moved on. Happy that I might have helped the snake in whatever little way I could. However, in less than 24 hours, I was to see another rattlesnake in a different part of the desert with a different outcome. A roadkill. It wasn't a baby Mojave or a Panamint like I thought it was, but it was a Sidewinder. I picked that one up from the road and let it rest for eternity beside the empty road...

Bad light. Bad shot. Documented my first live, wild rattlesnake though! :-)

The music...

Hidden in a bush

(Anonymous) on March 19th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Panamint rattlesnake
These are nice pictures despite what you think, (People are often their own harshest critic) and you have my congratulations and envy because I have been looking for them for years (to photograph) when visiting Death Valley and nearby environs. Can you tell me the approximate location and elevation where you saw this beautiful specimen? Thanks very much, Jim Finney, Salinas, CA
Yathinyathin on March 19th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Panamint rattlesnake
Hi Jim,

I found this one on the Emigrant Canyon road, a few (~5-10) miles from highway 190. That's Jayhawker canyon? I'm not sure of the elevation but probably 1000 ft.?