Strike a Pose! It’s a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake!!!

Strike a Pose! It’s a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake!!!

Last week I was doing a swing through Central Washington and I finally saw, caught and released my first West Coast rattlesnake. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long already. Oddly enough I had my main portrait lens on my camera when I spotted it, and it was rattling its tail and definitely wanted a piece of me. After a quick (and safe and harmless inspection of the viper) I let it go and watched it slither to safety under an old log.

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

A northwestern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis oreganus) in strike pose after being caught then released among the ponderosa pines in the Eastern Cascade Mountains in Central Washington. Had I known at the time how highly venomous these particular rattlers were compared to other North American rattlesnakes I might have thought twice. Interestingly, the rattle sounded more like a cicada than your typical warning. Click to enlarge.

                                                                                          

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Rich Leighton
March 25, 2014
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©2014 Leighton Photography & Imaging

About The Author

Pro photographer, writer, master naturalist, Florida native in the PNW, lucky husband, father of two boys, big hockey and soccer fan, and native orchid hunter.

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