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
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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