Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Timber Rattler, Bearfence Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, VA

Like the second time in two years I go into the park without my trusty Sigma 18-200 zoom, and I run into this ( --> ) timber rattler. (Last time I missed a bear shot b/c I had too big a lens, this time I miss good rattler pix because I have too small a lens.)

This bad boy was stretched out with his tail practically on the trail, and the three people in front of me walked right past him without even seeing him. This is notable because, though you can't tell it from these pix, he was substantial. Only about 2.5' long...but, as is common with timber rattlers, he was massive--about as big around as my forearm. I had only slapped a Canon 50mm on my digital Rebel, and Johnny Quest freaked out whenever I tried to get close enough to get a good shot... So these poor efforts will have to do. He got annoyed with our presence fairly quickly, and coiled up and cut loose with his rattle--and lemme tell ya, that's a sound that gets your attention. For one thing, it's loud.

Bearfence Mountain is one of my favorite hikes, even though it's super-short...not much more than a mile round-trip. But about half of the hike is sweet scrambling. We were accompanied by the mighty Armenius, and his mighty offspring, the most intrepid seven-year-old girl in the known universe. She confessed to getting "a little scared" when the rattling started, but she scrambled over the rocks like a pro.


Blogger Jim Bales said...

Nice shot!

I tend to do photos that one spends an hour setting up, trying this lens and that, fiddling the lighting this way and that. While tedious & time consuming, it is, in important, respects easier than getting the best image you can, quickly, in the field, with an uncooperative subject!


6:29 AM  

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