How do you take a manly wildflower photo? Hit the shutter once you're laying on your stomach and a Mojave Green pops up out of the bed of flowers and scares the crap out of you! This was my first rattle snake sighting besides seeing them cross the road all the time while driving in the desert! Luckily I shot in burst mode the moment I... saw it and a few more frames after I jumped back. I didn't know they were so mean and puff up to make themselves look bigger. They have two kinds of toxins, a common rattlesnake hemo toxin which causes red cell, tissue and organ damage and a neuro toxin which cause paralysis in it's victims. They are Sagebrush green, short and fat but seemed to change color slightly to the surroundings from experience.
I get the hardest time from some of my good non photographer friends because I'm shooting wildflowers here and there so I'll have to show them this one.
These Mojave Greens (proper name mojave rattlesnake) were discovered in the Antelope Valley, California in the early 70's. Having grown up and living in the western mojave, for a portion of my life we were always told not to play with lizards because snakes chase them. We caught a lot of lizards but 20 years later a snake chasing lizard crosses my path. I can't say that the snake was aggressive but it never backed away from, it stood it's ground until I left. Rattlesnakes have defensive and aggressive strikes, in a defensive strike you may find yourself lucky if it doesn't have the chance to release all of it's venomous toxins. If provoked it's more likely to release much more or all of it's toxins and strike multiple times. It was a low angle greeting I will never forget!
You can find this in the back of the current Outdoor Photographer Magazine on newstands now.
Thanks for looking,