My first timber rattlesnakes

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Zach Cava
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My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by Zach Cava »

I’d never seen a timber rattlesnake before, so back in July some friends and I went out to look for some, unaware it was “World Snake Day.” After finding a bitter-sweet DOR the night before, we were rewarded with several rattlesnakes the next day. I was photographing my first one when this second snake showed up. Unlike the first snake (not shown), which had clearly made itself known, the newcomer was missing its rattle (it still shook its tail valiantly when I first approached). As it moved across the forest floor, the snake constantly probed the substrate with its snout, intently trailing a scent (other snake? chipmunk?). It was so preoccupied that it soon became unconcerned by my presence, and I followed it for several minutes, watching it search. Amazing experience!

Image

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Lycoming Co., PA by Zachary Cava, on Flickr



Image

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Lycoming Co., PA. by Zachary Cava, on Flickr



At the end of the hike my friend was resting on top of this rock when I noticed a snake right below her. This was a fun/challenging shot to get. I had to situate myself on the edge of a steep outcrop, while maneuvering the flash to illuminate the snake.


Image

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Lycoming Co., PA. by Zachary Cava, on Flickr



“And like Beethoven, who couldn’t hear the sound of the very music he composed, timber rattlesnakes can’t see the view from where they live. They’re as near-sighted as Mr. Magoo.”


—Ted Levin, America’s Snake (2016)

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John Martin
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by John Martin »

How lucky you are to have had those experiences! Were you able to visually determine the first two snakes' sexes? Sounds like the one you photoed was definitely scent tracking your first (not shown) snake. At any rate, great observation - timber rattlesnakes hold a special place in my heart.

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Zach Cava
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by Zach Cava »

John Martin wrote:How lucky you are to have had those experiences! Were you able to visually determine the first two snakes' sexes? Sounds like the one you photoed was definitely scent tracking your first (not shown) snake. At any rate, great observation - timber rattlesnakes hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks John - is it possible to visually sex rattlesnakes? I always thought you had to probe

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John Martin
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by John Martin »

Hi Zack - yes it's possible to (at least sometimes) visually sex rattlesnakes, but I think it's a matter of practice and seeing a number of individuals of a species. Here is a topic I found that will give you a bit of insight. Happy herping!

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=21340

NACairns
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by NACairns »

Nicely done, and great shots. I know that rock that is a very pretty view.
Congrats,
Nick

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Zach Cava
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by Zach Cava »

NACairns wrote:Nicely done, and great shots. I know that rock that is a very pretty view.
Congrats,
Nick
Thanks Nick!

abpaine
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by abpaine »

As so many are obsessed of technically perfect, lifeless close-ups (sorry but its true) this is one of the best images I have seen with a snake. Well done,indeed.
Do you sell copies?

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Zach Cava
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by Zach Cava »

abpaine wrote:As so many are obsessed of technically perfect, lifeless close-ups (sorry but its true) this is one of the best images I have seen with a snake. Well done,indeed.
Do you sell copies?
Wow, thank you, that means a lot! And absolutely, PM me if interested.

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Porter
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by Porter »

Cool shots :thumb: I saw this a few days ago and was gonna say something. I like what you did with incorporating the habitat. Hard snake to photo right

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huck
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Re: My first timber rattlesnakes

Post by huck »

“And like Beethoven, who couldn’t hear the sound of the very music he composed, timber rattlesnakes can’t see the view from where they live. They’re as near-sighted as Mr. Magoo.”

My dog is named Magoo! Great pictures. I'd love to see a timber rattlesnake some day.

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