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I Brake For Rattlesnakes !
25 October 2008
A Western Rattlesnake in danger of being run over and killed by a passing car.
So I stopped to see if I could hurry it safely on its way.
But instead, it felt threatened and coiled itself into a defensive position.
Rattlesnakes "puff themselves up" to appear larger, more formidable to perceived enemies.
Head held low with about a foot of muscle tensed and ready to deliver a strike.
In full sun and feeling very threatened, it gradually began to coil tighter to protect itself.
Snakes instinctively try to conceal their heads from the hot sun and from a frontal attack.
At this point, a passerby stopped to lend assistance.
Drawing the snake's attention to the hammer, he was able to grasp the snake's tail.
And that immediately caused the snake to uncoil and flee for its life.

It hissed and rattled its tail continuously as it disappeared into the roadside grasses.
Note the enlarged venom glands at the back of its head?  Its encounter with humans had greatly stressed the little snake.  In retrospect, I should have let it cross the road unhindered.

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