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  1. #1
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Default They Don't Always Rattle

    Tuesday I was on a day hike in GSMNP, doing a loop up Lead Cove, to Bote Mountain and back out via Finley Cane trails. I encountered this guy on Bote Mountain.

    He was going in the direction opposite me and moving uphill slowly. I froze but he kept moving toward me. First I pitched a small rock in his direction but got no response. Then another and finally a golf ball size rock that landed about four inches from his head. He continued to move up the trail. Never did he coil or rattle.
    Edit: Added video link.
    Fortunately the trail is very wide here so I moved around him and we each went on our way.131.jpghttps://youtu.be/Nmgw_pY5hGg
    Last edited by rmitchell; 06-08-2019 at 06:26.

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    Hes dark.
    But yeah, timber Rattlers are a pretty laid-back snakes and do not always rattle. Their diamondback cousins are quite high strung and generally do.

    I have yet to have a timber rattler rattle at me, but I'be probably just been lucky too. But then again... I leave them alone.... Give them room. They usually just slide away into the weeds.

    the old saying is first person wakes the snake up, the second person to come along pisses them off, third person is the one that gets bit.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-06-2019 at 21:14.

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    Yeah, rattle snakes don't always rattle. As my nephew used to say, "I donna like nakes Uncle Chucky; do you like nakes?" Yeah, RJ I like nakes. They just want to live their lives without human disturbance and despised fearful ignorance. They are a vital part of nature. Now, he respects nakes because he's no longer fearfully ignorant and hateful of them. Now, he teaches me about wildlife.

  4. #4
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    He didn't see me as a threat.

    After I passed by he turned and looked back then we both went on our business.
    Last edited by rmitchell; 06-08-2019 at 06:27.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmitchell View Post
    He didn't see me as a threat. I have a video but it is mp4 so I can't upload.

    After I passed by he turned and looked back then we both went on our business.
    Some rattleheads are inquisitive and curious creatures and if you hang out with them long enough they will raise up "like a cobra" to check you out.

    I found this guy on the North Fork Citico trail as I was backpacking up and so he gave me a good reason to dump the heavy pack and take a break. We "talked" for about 30 minutes and in that time he stood up to check me out and eventually slithered towards me to find a special spot by the trail in direct sunlight.

    Trip 191 (233)-XL.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmitchell View Post
    He didn't see me as a threat. I have a video but it is mp4 so I can't upload.

    After I passed by he turned and looked back then we both went on our business.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Some rattleheads are inquisitive and curious creatures and if you hang out with them long enough they will raise up "like a cobra" to check you out.

    I found this guy on the North Fork Citico trail as I was backpacking up and so he gave me a good reason to dump the heavy pack and take a break. We "talked" for about 30 minutes and in that time he stood up to check me out and eventually slithered towards me to find a special spot by the trail in direct sunlight.

    Trip 191 (233)-XL.jpg

    These are good examples of cooperating with Nature. Both of you were acting out of knowledge and wisdom rather than fear, ignorance, and a responsibility only to self. No big deal to just go on your way after a little talking and observing at a distance. You both were letting wildlife stay wild without having to take command and control of it, to dominate, manipulate it as a matter of habit. Both of you took command and control of yourselves! This is what I've been saying like forever. If the human species acted this way more often we would get along better not only with Nature but each other.

  7. #7

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    Yeah, throwing rocks at the freaking snake, that's cooperating with nature

    Everything that rattles isn't a rattlesnake, either, though. That's what the thread title immediately made me think of.
    I don't typically youtube anything, but put up a bunch of videos years ago(didn't even remember most of them being on there). Quality mostly sucks. Think this "rattler" video was with a 512MB camera, if that tells you anything.
    I say "he's an aggressive little bugger", but I had just stepped on him, and he'd just dry struck me..."defensive" would have been a better term. Copperheads usually just lay there, though sometimes you can walk them off the trail by getting close and staying that way so they keep moving.
    https://youtu.be/4_LquI4yw_o

    This little goober wanted to be a rattlesnake, too
    https://youtu.be/Uc6ycGcBGaI


    Now I'm wondering where in the bag of old memory cards and USB drives my rattler videos are...


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    Rmitchell said "first I pitched a small rock in his direction but got no response. Then another and finally a golf ball size rock that landed about four inches from his head. He continued to move up the trail."


    I take that to mean he wasn't throwing rocks directly at the 'freaking' snake but in the snake's direction...a technique not to intend any harm...just as it is also advised to sometimes throw a small rock at a bear to keep it from approaching. I recognize a lot of cooperation in both Rmitchell and Tipi's rattlesnake accounts. You fail to curmudgeonly recognize that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Yeah, throwing rocks at the freaking snake, that's cooperating with nature

    Everything that rattles isn't a rattlesnake, either, though. That's what the thread title immediately made me think of.
    I don't typically youtube anything, but put up a bunch of videos years ago(didn't even remember most of them being on there). Quality mostly sucks. Think this "rattler" video was with a 512MB camera, if that tells you anything.
    I say "he's an aggressive little bugger", but I had just stepped on him, and he'd just dry struck me..."defensive" would have been a better term. Copperheads usually just lay there, though sometimes you can walk them off the trail by getting close and staying that way so they keep moving.
    https://youtu.be/4_LquI4yw_o

    This little goober wanted to be a rattlesnake, too
    https://youtu.be/Uc6ycGcBGaI


    Now I'm wondering where in the bag of old memory cards and USB drives my rattler videos are...

    very true, I thought there were black rattlesnakes in VA until I looked it up and found out they were just non poisonous black snakes. Turns out a lot of snakes do that trying to imitate a poisonous snake.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyLightning View Post
    very true, I thought there were black rattlesnakes in VA until I looked it up and found out they were just non poisonous black snakes. Turns out a lot of snakes do that trying to imitate a poisonous snake.
    Some rattlers are very dark while others are not---both below are timber rattlers---

    Trip 183 (378)-XL.jpg
    This is Jimmy---on the South Fork Citico trail.

    61-5 timber snake-XL.jpg
    Timber rattler on Upper Creek in Pisgah.

  11. #11
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Here is video.https://youtu.be/Nmgw_pY5hGg

    I only pitched rocks in his direction because he was moving toward me. Normally I wouldn't have done that but a thunderstorm was brewing and I wanted to get off the ridge line.

  12. #12

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    Cool. But he's just minding his own business. He's not in the trail, and those rocks don't mean anything to him.
    See how he stops when you moved suddenly? That's when you got his interest. I bet if you'd gone back toward him, there'd have been some buzzing going on
    I've never seen one that dark in person.
    Around here they usually look about like this:
    received_330317354529762.jpeg

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    Sorry Owen. I could have worded my last sentence to you more agreeably. I have to account for my behavior too.

  14. #14

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    Anyone else snake blind? I've stepped over them and nearly on them. Just yesterday I stepped right over one before he darted off the trail. It was some little non-venomous guy. I'm currently in Vermont.

    Two of these near misses were timber rattlers in the south. Scared the crap out of me each time. Stepping on a snake worries me a lot. It actually slows my pace at times just from being careful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Anyone else snake blind? I've stepped over them and nearly on them. Just yesterday I stepped right over one before he darted off the trail. It was some little non-venomous guy. I'm currently in Vermont.
    I spend so much time looking down, Ive knocked myself down multiple times , and I've actually broken a tooth , by walking into trees that fell across trail at head height.... They are just hidden by the bill of my hat.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Anyone else snake blind? I've stepped over them and nearly on them. Just yesterday I stepped right over one before he darted off the trail. It was some little non-venomous guy. I'm currently in Vermont.
    No telling how many we walk right by without knowing it. They're often out until November here in Alabama, and October is when I actually see pit vipers the most. This year, snakes were out on New Years Eve, in January, and even February.
    I had to give this, uh...Cumberland Death Adder my lunch money to get to Virgin Falls in TN last February.
    FB_IMG_1560141129065.jpg

    That rattler I posted a pic of before...that was on the Pinhoti in November.
    So there's dead leaves and pine straw on the ground, and they hang out in, or at the edge of, trails waiting for lunch to come along(everything uses hiking trails at some point or another-path of least resistance).
    That's how I stepped on that copperhead.
    Here's another rattler in late fall from Oak Mtn. SP in AL.
    He coiled up and rattled while I walked around him making one of those videos I can't find, but this is how he was when I came upon him.
    FB_IMG_1560071280992.jpg

    This copperhead...also right in the trail. The light coming through the trees made him hard to see.
    https://youtu.be/8-7kFjTpXzk


    Wonder how many I WON'T see this week!
    "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not."

  17. #17

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    I have stepped over timber rattlesnakes that didn't rattle without seeing them (the person behind me in these instances let me know about it loudly). Like many things in nature, they blend into their environment so easily they can be difficult to spot even in the best conditions. Makes me wonder how many animals I have walked past while looking at the immediate trail and not seeing them standing quietly as I passed by. I imagine some deer and moose that managed to stay still were unobserved.

  18. #18
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Copperheads are very well camouflaged. I've heard them moving through dry leaves but had too look very hard to even see the snake.

    Another good reason not to wear ear buds while hiking.

  19. #19

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    Yes, copperheads are often very camouflaged!! I always post this pic when talking about such things---a "miracle" copperhead I saw on the Bald River trail in TN. "Miracle" because it was at the end of a long trip and I prayed to see a copperhead and turned around and at my feet was this snake!

    TRIP 136 378-L.jpg

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    I enjoy seeing snakes, after i recover from initial adrenaline shot. Cant say i pray to see them though, because they usually pretty close when do

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