|Coiled under the prickly leaves of a milk thistle, a small rattlesnake blends in with the brown leaves and dirt.|
I returned the next day and still the little rattlesnake was under the same thistle plant.
|Closeup of the small rattlesnake under the thistle plant.|
Golden eye of rattler is in the center of the photo with its head pointed to the right.
On Day 6, I had dug out all the other thistles in the holding pen yet the little rattler was still hiding under the same lonely plant. I just leaned over and clipped off the purple flower heads and left the spiny stem and leaves.
I mentioned this behavior to a herpetologist at our annual snake barbecue (to celebrate the close of another season surveying the rare San Francisco gartersnakes at Mindego Ranch, not to eat them) and he said, "Rattlesnakes are creatures of habit."
last and largest snake of 2015.
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
San Francisco Gartersnake, Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia