Saturday, September 5, 2009


On my drive back home during my recent summertime roadtrip, I stopped at a roadside rest stop in southern Arizona, to take a photo of the beautiful Saguaro cacti that were sprouting up everywhere. Because I know that the desert has all kinds of poisonous snakes and insects, I looked carefully and thought I didn't see any. However, I apparently didn't look carefully enough, because this creature suddenly stood up, hissed, and rattled at me when I got close to him, on my approach toward a cactus!

Mojave Rattlesnake (detail) (2009)
Location: Sacaton, Arizona
Camera: Olympus e-300 Digital SLR

EEEEK!!! I jumped and shrieked, then went back to my car to get the longest-lens camera I had on me. It was only 150mm, but it did the trick and I got the above photo! He was already curled back up, but that was fine by me! I have since learned that this was a Mojave Rattlesnake, and that they are the most venomous rattler in North America!

Needless to say, I did NOT get my Saguaro Polaroid photo at that stop! I kept driving, and eventually, by the time I got to the lovely Picacho Peak turnoff, I felt secure enough to try again. This is my resulting diptych, taken safely from the paved road!

Picacho Peak (2009)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Artistic TZ
click here to see it larger

Moral of this story? Don't assume there are no poisonous creatures near you in the desert, just because you cannot see them! Fortunately, rattlesnakes give you a loud warning!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I've lived in Arizona for 12 years and have yet to run across a rattler : ) I would Freak. Out.

Lovely diptych. The desert holds so many fascinating subjects.