A Red Diamondback Rattlesnake

It takes a moment to rec­og­nize the face of the snake.

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A Red Diamondback after being dropped by a ravenLet me be blunt about this…” the snake in the image above seems to be say­ing with its frontal pos­ture. It’s as per­fect a cam­ou­flage than any oth­er body pro­jec­tion. The snake must be able to hide while still being only a few inch­es from its prey. Imag­ine being a small ani­mal.

Yet, the snake at left had been car­ried by a raven about 20 feet above the paved high­way in Blair Val­ley, and was seen dropped from this inef­fec­tive height to do the job. The snake was tem­porar­i­ly pro­tect­ed by the pho­tog­ra­ph­er while tak­ing its pho­to in the roadbed, much to the dis­plea­sure of the pair of ravens want­i­ng it as their meal. Lat­er, the ravens strafed the pho­tog­ra­ph­er in high speed dives, prob­a­bly to ush­er him away. The snake had found a refuge under a lit­tle over­hang in the base of the road cut, not much to pro­tect it from the ravens who were like­ly wait­ing on some near­by perch.

Pho­to above Bar­bara Swan­son
Pho­to left Lee McComb.