(ssp. of western rattlesnake)
Rattlesnake or rattle snake? Ugh. In any case, you'll notice the max, fuzzy zoom on this baby. Lyle, the Army Lands munitions safety officer, also served as the snake safety officer and kept all of us a respectable distance away. This is probably only the third rattlesnake I've ever seen here in CA. The other two sightings have been tucked in among rocks at Pinnacles at the east entrance to the Balconies Cave and the switchbacks along the Juniper Canyon Trail. I sometimes forget we have these poisonous snakes, because for me their sighting is rare. Gary Nafis has created quite a montage of rattlesnake warning signs. Note the wide head and 3-segmented rattle. Can you tell how old a rattlesnake is by the number of rattle segments? This one was small, took up an area probably smaller than a salad plate.