Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, April 12, 2010

An OMG! moment

Although rain was in the forecast for today, I awoke to clear skies and rising temperatures.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day in the neighborhood.  :)  In the morning, I worked on the tasks on my list, and got most of them accomplished.  That included a drive to the Lago Vista post office to send off a package and the rebate form for my new cell phone.  While in town, I stopped at the CVS store and purchased a few items that were not on my list.  Among them was 18 bite sized pieces of Lindt Lindor Truffles (extra dark).  Mmmm...they are very tasty.  :)

Afterwards, it was back to the rig to take care of some phone calls and emails that I'll talk about next time.  Then it was time to join Emma outside to enjoy in the late afternoon ensconced in my rocker with my feet propped up on my refurbished camp stool.  It's such a comfortable way to relax on a day off, and enjoy my birds.

Of course, there were numerous black-chinned hummingbirds visiting the feeder.  I even had a ruby-throated hummer show up today, but he was too fast for me to get a photo.

There's no need to provide a bird bath....they all just use Emma's water bowl.

Emma was casually relaxing in the shade with her front legs crossed as I contentedly rocked away.  Suddenly, she quickly took off for her water dish and began sniffing around as the hackles rose on her back.  In an instant she began a guttural barking, and I heard a distinct rattling sound.  I literally flew out of my seat to grab her tie out lead!  I knew what that rattle meant.  As I ushered her inside the rig, I picked up my camera and went back outside...

and this is what I found! (remember, you can click on any photo to enlarge)  I think it's a Western diamondback rattlesnake.  I've sent the picture to Chuck, the refuge biologist, for verification.  I used my long telephoto lens for this shot because I didn't want to get too close.  I'm surprised it didn't turn out all blurry since my heart was really pounding.  I don't dislike snakes, but this was a little too close for comfort for me.  :(  My guess is that this snake was about four feet long and about 2-3" in diameter.  That rattle sure unnerved me!  Ah well, just another day on a wildlife refuge.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Gosh Judy! How close was the rattler to where you were? It can't have been too far if you could hear the rattle so distinctly. Do you get a little worried about these guys when you and Emma are out walking? Our bad boy snake here in Missouri is the copperhead. I've treated many, many dogs that have been bit by them, and the bites are quite painful, but all have survived with no ill effects. The only dog I've seen that died from a snakebite was also here in MO but it was a juvenile rattlesnake, and the dog weighed only about 10 pounds. So...after you took the picture, did you at least try to "shoo" him away, or ....?

  2. Deanna, The snake was about fifteen feet away when Emma jumped up to see what was in the grass. When she started barking, the snake responded with his rattle. (thank goodness) That rattle is a warning to get out of the way, and we did!! After I took the picture, I went to my neighbor's rig and asked if he would like to see a rattlesnake. It only took moments, but when we got back, the snake was no where to be seen. Not sure I'd be comfortable "shooing" a rattler. :)...and this is a wildlife refuge, so I'm intruding on his territory not vice versa.