Spot the rattlesnake!

Ken Howard sent a photo of a hidden rattlesnake, and you should try to spot it in the photo below (click to enlarge). I rate this one as “fairly easy,” but it’s good for novices to develop an eye for cryptic wildlife, especially when it’s venomous!  Ken’s notes are indented:

An easy one for your consideration. From this morning’s desert hike [Sunday] – a Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). My father-in-law constantly warns me when I cross desert hike to ‘watch the shadows’. For good reason.

Ken sent two lagniappe pictures as well, taken on July 12:

I attempted to observe comet Neowise this morning, rising at 3:30am and hiking two miles to a place I hoped would provide a clear horizon in order to view and photograph the comet.  Unfortunately, clouds from the previous evening’s storms obscured the area I anticipated seeing the comet, yet Venus was clearly visible.  Although disappointed, I listened to the beautiful twilight desert chorus crescendo as the sun rose.  Owls and nighthawks flew past as quail and doves scurried and cooed.  I was perched on granite boulders watching as the sky revealed a palette of pinks and blues, whereupon I heard the faint but distinct rattle somewhere below me.  I can’t think of any other sound that quickly grabs ones attention from the tranquility of the desert. Nature’s alarm clock that it was time to hike back home. Will try again tomorrow morning for a glimpse of Neowise but probably from a different location.

Now, to see the “reveal” of the rattlesnake in the top photo, click “read more”:


Here’s the rattlesnake!


  1. Paul S
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I spotted the rattlesnake without the reveal and I’m a bit proud of myself. 🙂

    • W.Benson
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Took me about a minute. As they say, watch where you put your foot.

  2. savage
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The cactus is helpful because it tells you how large the pattern is you needs to look for.

  3. C.
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I’m slightly better at spotting rattlesnakes in person, but only just. In 2008 I hiked the Ozark Highland Trail (alone, because I’m dumb) and my right boot was literally inches above (in mid-step) a coiled but not rattling rattlesnake! I was able to do a quick hop off my left foot and take several quick steps to get some distance between us!

    Also, anyone see that neat Eastern diamondback rattlesnake found on Florida that was missing It’s diamond pattern? Beautiful!

  4. Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Got it right away. Goes to show the wisdom of not reaching into rock piles in the desert.

  5. Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Max Blancke
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I have spent a significant portion of my life playing “spot the rattlesnake”.
    Searching that image gave me something of a stress reaction. However, looking for a snake in the rocks is a lot better than looking for one in the tall grass.

  7. Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Very useful post, Ken. Your prose is quite lyrical.

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