Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top to bottom tree frogs, and my first New Mexico rattler...

After I posted some out door 'tree frogs on a vine' close ups (but no complete top to bottom single images since I was going to do them inside),  Deborah Paris commented...

'the natural light makes them look fantastic. Anyway you can photograph the whole thing that way in a natural environment? It would look super!'

So I thought I'd do both!
The 'no distractions' way (might as well take advantage of how dark it gets here at night!), and around a pond.
Good job I got around to it quickly too. The inferno of color from the leaves was gone the very next day after a severe frost, and it even snowed last night.

This pond has bullfrogs in it (too cold to find any now though!)

2 different patinas

So thanks Deborah, great idea and right in the nick of time!

I still have to tidy up the indoor pics I just took (lots of dust on the table surface etc).

A couple of days before halloween I ran into my first rattlesnake since moving to Santa Fe five years ago.
I'd encountered a couple in California out walking about on some hiking trails (I wouldn't call myself a hiker: I start crying, sit on the floor, thrash about while turning purple and refuse to walk any further after about an hour and a half).

This time we were driving home and I saw a snake in the road.
As per usual I pulled over and jumped out, as I've often done before to encourage with my feet what is usually a bullsnake to get out of the road.

This time it was a rattler.
It had some blood on it, wasn't moving, but looked alive in a normal snakey pose (plus it wasn't flat yet!).
I noticed it was a very pale sandy color with very distinct markings, and some black and white bands by its rattle (which was up, but wasn't rattling).

My guess is it was hit once, maybe just dead, maybe nearly dead.
Anyhow, caution being the better part of valor where I'm concerned, I didn't attempt to usher it to safety since I didn't have a broom or anything on me.

A bit later we drove past the same spot where it was a barely noticeable ring of snake jerky on the road, and the next day there was no sign of it at all.

Eager to identify it, I googled some descriptions, home ranges and pics of various New Mexico rattlers and in the process saw some rather gruesome photos of hands that had been bitten.
They looked like rather gory balloon animals or over cooked sausages that had burst on the grill.
Chilling, to say the least!
Anyhow, I reckon it was a Western Diamondback, and it was right at the entrance to the community college which is right near a lot of houses.
So I didn't feel too bad that I couldn't save it!

And if you really want to give yourself a scare, do a google image search for 'rattlesnake bite'!

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Bryan said...

Based on what you said, I agree it was a Western Diamondback. The several other species in NM may have varying amounts of banding in the tail, but usually not noteworthy as it is with the DB. What part of NM was this?

Steve sculpts critters said...

Santa Fe.