This Western diamondback (Crotalis atrox) Great Basin rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) greeted Duncan and I on the way back from our foray into the West desert out by the salt flats.  We joked that the snake was responsible for the flat tire that we got, but as dramatic as that might sound, the more mundane reality was that the tire was simply punctured by sharp rocks and too much speed on the dirt roads out there.  Though the snake *sounded* just like the leaky tire that we had finished replacing.


This photo, courtesy of Duncan shows you the other side of the issue…  Likely far too close than I should have been given that we had a whole 4Runner full of longer lenses that I could have simply swapped out or even grabbed the other body in the truck that already had a 70-300 on it.  This is, I suspect one way good times go bad.


Update 10/17/11: Thanks to Shaan at Autodesk (comment below), this rattlesnake was identified as a Great Basin rattlesnake.  I love the Internet.

8 Replies to “Rattlesnake!”

  1. Are you sure that is not a great basin rattlesnake? I have only seen great basins in the West Desert and have heard no reports of diamondbacks out there.

    1. Many thanks Shaan! After looking back at this picture and a few others I took, you are indeed correct. This is a Great Basin rattlesnake. I’ve corrected the entry and credited you.

  2. Oh wow! This is *really* close!! During all our trips around southern Utah, Arizona and Nevada I’ve been scared of running into rattlers, but so far have never seen one. However, seeing you so close to one is crazy. I mean, great picture! But really, Bryan!

  3. Commonly see those here in Sacramento area when riding my mountain bike. Rode right past a couple of baby rattlers this summer, didn’t even have time to get my feet of the pedals! You sounds like Indiana Jones frightened of snakes and all :)

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