I bounced the stick around in front me like a blind man making sure I only stepped where my stick had been. I was in the zone, I had never seen a wild timber rattler and I was sure this was my time.
Hours passed with no luck, people began to wake up, they saw me up there, but I wouldn’t come down, no, not yet. All day I searched that rock slide knowing full well they weren’t moving in the heat of the midday, but I knew they were here, I just knew it and I wouldn’t give up. As the sun made its way across the sky and just at that moment when you notice it is starting to cool…something caught my eye, the dead leaves moved and a small mouse scampered by. This was it I thought, their prey is active and that means they will be as well.
Then, I saw it. For a moment I thought I was hallucinating, no, it’s just dead leaves and a stick, but there was no mistaking it. There, stopped in its tracks as it saw me was a Crotalus horridus The Timber Rattlesnake, the original symbol of America right in front of me. My hands were shaking in excitement as I tried to get my camera to focus, I was chewing on my tongue with overflowing energy, I snapped a photo, and then stopped and just looked at the snake.
He finally had enough of me badgering him and coiled up until I left.
Timber rattlesnakes are amazing, they can posses hematoxins, neurotoxins or both. Usually a snake possesses one or the other hematoxin cause the cells to die and become necrotic. Neurotoxins target your pulmonary system and inhibit your diaphragm from aiding in breathing. Venom proteins are just so fucking amazing.