April 18, 2022
A Rattlesnake Ambassador
- as seen by -Chris Spohn
Travel these days can be tough. COVID, boosters, school, work, expenses. Many things can get in the way of getting away.
It wasn’t the best time of year in southern Arizona to see snakes very easily, but because of the habitat, it is possible year-round. We were there for a week, hiked all day, and drove around all night. We found a few toads which was great, but no snakes of any kind, anywhere.
On our last day, we hiked about nine miles to about 1800 feet of elevation. Since we’d been on similar hikes every day, we were pretty knackered. My body wanted to get back to the car and stop lugging around 28 lbs of camera gear.
It was the last little bit of the trail before making it to the parking lot. My friend was in front of me. He jumped and let out a yelp. Then, I saw it, too. The ambassador for all western species of rattlesnake, the western diamondback (Crotalus atrox) was slightly coiled on the edge of the trail, tucked under a bush, just as I had been imagining all day, every day.
Our trip was worth the effort.
Pentax K-1ii, Sigma 180mm Macro Lens