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Close Encounter--Western Diamondback

Posted Mar 23 2010 9:13pm

Dear fellow trail runners, its snake season! Beware.  I stumbled upon this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake this afternoon on a solo run in  Blackstar Canyon .  I didn't even notice him until he sent a shudder down my spine with his intense rattle.  I was only a few feet away when I heard his warning and it scared the hmm hmm out of me.

Unlike other rattlers which can be lethargic or non-aggressive, the Western Diamondback will coil, rattle fearsomely, and stand its ground when threatened. And that he did! It bites hundreds of people a year, more than any other venomous snake in the United States. It hunts from late evening to early morning, crawling either sinuously like other snakes or rectilinearly like a caterpillar.

According to , "the Western Diamondback, especially the juvenile, often comes under attack itself. It may become a meal for an eagle, a hawk, a roadrunner or a wild turkey; for a kingsnake or a whipsnake; or for a coyote, a fox, a badger or a feral hog. Regarded as an enemy and a threat, it may be trampled to death by a deer, an antelope, a cow, a horse or even a sheep. The Western Diamondback lives in a rough neighborhood."

I think I'll be paying a little more attention to the trail in front of me now that it's snake season.  

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