What would you do, if were strolling along a dirt road with three large dogs on the leash … suddenly you see a snake on the roadside. Of course, curiosity got the better of me. See, we just moved to the Trinidad area in Colorado. We now live on 35 acres of prairie land just north of town. It’s very pretty there … to the east we have an amazing view of open prairie, and to the west we see majestic mountains. Trinidad lies in the path of the historic Santa Fe Trail, and many times my western-loving mind strays back in time and sees a train of covered wagons move across the vast expanse of the prairie.
But back to the rattle snake. When I first saw it on my walk with the dogs, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of snake I was looking at. It was about 7 feet away from me, and because it blended in so well with the road, I couldn’t make out the exact shape of its head. Its body was fat, though, and I figured that I needed to be extremely careful. Still, I was curious and wanted to find out, if it was a rattlesnake. I have never seen a living rattlesnake before and am very inexperienced in identifying them.
The snake didn’t move much, and, thank goodness, neither did the dogs. I leaned forward a little bit to get a look at the tail … but all I could make out were the markings that changed from blotches to dark rings towards the tail. Then, suddenly, the front of the snake shot around, the tail went straight up and I got to hear the unmistakable sound of the rattle … for the first time in my life. WOW!!! My Shar Pei reacted instantly by charging at the viper, and I reacted instantly by jumping back and pulling him with me to safety. Thank goodness, Sharpie didn’t give me any trouble. (I usually feel sorry that my dogs never get to run off leash, but this evening I was extremely grateful for this little bit of physical restraint.)
I would have expected my adrenaline to spike, but to my surprise, I remained remarkably calm. And I was very happy and excited over the encounter. The only thing that was a bit disappointing was the fact that I didn’t have my camera with me. But when I got home, I armed myself with my camera and asked my hubby to take me back up the road again in the hope that the snake would still be there. As you can see by the pictures, I got lucky. Needless to say, all pictures were taken from the safety of our vehicle.