Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When do Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation?

Apparently today!
I have been hiking with the dogs all week, climbing up on ledges, going into caves and crawling around some pretty tight crevices. After what I learned today, I should have had my head examined earlier in the week!

  I found out that my heart must be in pretty good condition, seeing how I didn't have a heart attack after our encounter with a RATTLESNAKE!

I am no snake expert, but I know a rattlesnake when I see one. Shadow and I were out hiking, we walked across this narrow ledge. I was hoping to climb up to the next level, but first I needed to find a place where Shadow could also make it. I realized this wasn't an option, so we were needed to go back the way we came to look for a different way to the top of this mountain.

So we turned around to go back and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move; my heart about stopped when  I realized that it was a Rattlesnake! What made it worse was Shadow's only way down was to walk past the snake again! (the first time wasn't bad at all, seeing how we didn't know it was there)!

Well if you have been a reader of my blog, you know darn well it is ALL about the dog! I couldn't let anything happen to my buddy, so I took him by the collar and put myself between him and the snake, and I  walked him  off that narrow ledge.

The photograph below puts it in perspective, the snake is between the "X" and the letter H in Shadow. Its head is right above the letter h!

 As scared as I was, I knew nothing would be worse than putting Shadow in harms way. I am just so thankful that Shadow didn't see it. 

 Once we got passed it and were out of harms way. I used the zoom on my cheap camera and got these photos.

When I got back to the RV I did a Google search, I am pretty sure I had an up close and personal experience with a MOHAVE RATTLESNAKE!

This snake is often times confused with the western diamondback rattlesnake. They look similar and live in overlapping areas.

One way to tell them apart  is on the Mojave rattlesnake, the diamonds fade toward the tail. This is not the case with the western diamondback. The fading with them is not as noticeable.

Another way to tell them apart is some of the Mohave rattlesnakes have a greenish color to them. They are commonly referred to as the Mojave green rattlesnake. I know the color isn't great in these photos, but trust me when I tell you that green was the main color of this snake!

From the information I found online,  it  is probably the most dangerous snake in North America. It is aggressive, large bodied, and has a complex venom consisting of both hemolytic and neuro toxic elements. It is responsible for several deaths each year.

The venom of the Mojave rattler destroys the red blood cells resulting in blood clotting problems and causes nerve damage. Its venom affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis.
From my photos, that I took AFTER I was far away from it… It is hard to see all the markings.

Sorry the pictures are not the greatest, the Zoom feature on my camera has its limits! The last thing on my mind was how good of a photo I could take from a block away!
Anyhow after snapping a couple of a photos, I couldn’t get back to the RV fast enough!

Thanks to my encounter I now know a few things about Rattlesnakes!  I just hope I don't have nightmares!


  1. Scary... Glad you and Shadow are ok! I showed Dad your blog and he's been reading it too. He said he tried to comment but he couldn't figure out how to do it even after I showed him 3 times (not surprising), so anyways, Dad says hi and he hopes your trip is going good.

  2. Wow that was scary!! Reminds me of one of the reasons to stay put - I'll just keep whining about the cold for now!:)

    I can't believe you actually were planning to sleep!:)

  3. Thanks for the information cdsieg! I checked out your blog. Snakes are my biggest fear in life! I probably would've had a heart attack & died right on the spot if I ran into that snake! I know we won't make it to Tennessee on this trip, but will put Natchez Trace Parkway on our list. This is our 2nd trip out west with the RV. Our 1st was in 2002 when we moved our daughter out to CA. Since we weren't retired yet, we did 6000 miles in 20 days. Whew! We won't do that again. We stopped along the way & saw some things, but just didn't have the time to really sightsee. This time, we won't be on a schedule or time-frame(except when the money runs out!). Sure looking forward to it. We didn't know there were any free campgrounds out there. How did you find them? I know that some of the best things out there are what you find when you're not looking for them. We've also learned to talk to the locals because they'll tell you about the best places you won't find in any travel guide. Thanks again for the info!

  4. You are most welcome, and thank you for your comments and looking at my blog.

    As far as the snakes go heart attack is the next thing after messing in your pants! LOL

    There is a book I bought online called Don Wrights Guide To Free Campgrounds. It includes Campgrounds $12.00 and under.

    That is where we found the one in Andrew, Texas and some others along the way.

    My husband and I started traveling during the winter months and work camp our way where ever we go. I send out emails to campgrounds and wait for a reply. We left home December 3rd,2009 and head for home in a few days; we have paid for 3 nights of camping for our entire trip! (makes the money last a lot longer)!

    Anyhow, best of luck and feel free to email or leave messages on my blog, if you have any other questions.


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