Sunday, July 31, 2011

Snake Encounter in the Shenandoah National Park: Skyline Drive

I got a bit lost on Bear Den Mountain, at the Skyline Drive National Park. I took the wrong fire road down the mountain, and ended up about two miles from my car. I had to walk back on the grassy side of the drive. I almost stepped on the snake in the picture. Fortunately, as it turns out, I noticed it.
      It was beautiful, but not happy about the privacy issue. I took two photographs, looked it up when I got home. Timber Rattler. 
      I was very lucky to be looking down before coming up on this fellow. That being said, after the two photographs, he moved into a coiled position. About two months ago I had heard a PBS show about strike distances for snakes (both poisonous and non-poisonous). They are capable of reaching much further than most people think, since the tail becomes the anchor for the push. So, I walked a large circle around him (I had to go in the road) and hiked back to the car.   

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