PDA

View Full Version : How far does a rattlesnake travel?



Mr Magoo
September 11th, 2006, 11:47 AM
I saw a previous thread about Eastern Timber Rattlesnakes in this space but couldn't find it to tack on. That thread had input from a bunch of chicken littles and smart guy from U-Mass zoology. I frequently see them in Blue Hills. I have been told that Blue Hills hosts a large winter den. I saw another yesterday and it got me thinking that these snakes never seem to be in any hurry and how far will one really range from its den assuming if finds food nearby. It took this one 5 minutes to get out of the trail with me stomping my feet at a 10-15 feet away distance. It didn't blend in with the white-gray rocks it was sitting on and didn't care. It is a steep technical area where I always dab or fall. Is this guy always around there?

p.s. I have seen young ones under 3 feet that do zip along, but all others, 4-6 feet and as fat iin the middle as my arm slither along fluidly but glacially. Especially since yesterday was only about 70 in the sun.

p.p.s. While it is magnificent to meet these creatures in the wild, it is eerily like a visit from Satan the serpent.

Mr_Cheeze
September 11th, 2006, 12:24 PM
The thread to which you refer is here: http://www.nemba.org/forums/showthread.php?t=18006

Maybe you would like to specify exactly what you mean by "a bunch of chicken littles". If one has never seen a rattler in real life, it is rather easy to mistake, upon seeing a large snake with similar colorings, one type with another. That was the only point made there, bud. And the U Mass reference was just that, a reference. Maybe it woul;d have helped had you identified yourself then as our resident snake expert, since you see them all the time at Blue Hills, and all.

Sorry for the tone here, but your post just seems a tad pompous. Maybe it wasn't meant that way, and I apologize if I am in error.

FYI, I've been hiking in Blue Hills for years, and several times a year. I've only ever seen black racers. That's not to say there aren't rattlers there. I've just never seen one... even around Rattlesnake Hill. Where is this section exactly to which you refer?

Mr Magoo
September 11th, 2006, 02:41 PM
Since I missed the thread in hasty research, I admit to any and all misquotes. Humbly. I just remembered more worry about encounters than trying to understand them.

My question still stands. If anyone is in the know, do they range far from their home? Do they 'winter' in a different home?

Many creatures are territorial. I can think of several spots where I frequently see what I think is the same big hawk, or owl, fishercat, or deer. When I don't see them, I figure that they saw me first. I was/am trying to apply that understanding here.

If I stop being so lazy, I will get some of my own research done and will report back in this space with some info to share.

the tad pompous bud

Mr_Cheeze
September 11th, 2006, 04:27 PM
Here's some good info from a local expert that might help answer your question.

http://pushnow.typepad.com/berkshires/2005/10/index.html

As far as the aforementioned thread goes, I think it was more about surprise that a rattler may have been spotted somewhere in Borderland. I didn't get the sense that anyone was considering altering their recreational choices based on local legend. Personally, I still think it's more likely someone saw one of the other mentioned species.

Again, I apologize for the tone in that thread. Maybe you were just ball busting, but it's hard to tell in writing.

So where have you spotted rattlers in Blue Hills? (I'm not Rudy Komarek, don't worry)

Mr Magoo
September 11th, 2006, 05:12 PM
here's a good site with references

http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/rattlesn.html

It mentions being loyal to winter dens and migration range. There are a several cool caves that I am loath to visit and impose.

Scott O
September 12th, 2006, 09:15 PM
I've spent a good amount of time in Blue Hills and seen some monstrous (its all relative) black racers. I can't believe you've seen rattlers. You gotta take me on those trails some time.

On a side note, anyone else ever plod up a long steep hill, head down, only to look up and find yourself almost face to face with a deer? Happens to me all the time.

Mr_Cheeze
September 13th, 2006, 11:01 AM
here's a good site with references

http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/rattlesn.html

It mentions being loyal to winter dens and migration range. There are a several cool caves that I am loath to visit and impose.

I just have to chuckle at the irony in citing this reference based on your earlier comment"
That thread had input from a bunch of chicken littles and smart guy from U-Mass zoology.

juiceguy
September 13th, 2006, 11:49 AM
I've spent a good amount of time in Blue Hills and seen some monstrous (its all relative) black racers. I can't believe you've seen rattlers. You gotta take me on those trails some time.

On a side note, anyone else ever plod up a long steep hill, head down, only to look up and find yourself almost face to face with a deer? Happens to me all the time.



A buddy of mine hit a deer in Westwood on his MT bike at about 24 mph. The deer's fine but my riding bud is still banged up. I scared one up at Vietnam last Saturday- I was withing 15-20 feet before it jumped up and ran. Scared the bejeezus out of both of us!

" Never a bad time to ride "

MissJean
September 14th, 2006, 07:52 AM
Once, we rolled out of the woods into a field where there was a deer quietly grazing about 25' away.
We stood there watching.
After a couple of minutes, it turned it's head, saw us and, I swear, it's eyes bugged out of it head :eek: it lept about 4' straight up, and was off like a shot.
I think it's legs were running before it hit the ground.

heckler
September 14th, 2006, 08:10 AM
I used to live in Boulder and work way up on the mesa at NCAR. You had about a one mile screaming downhill through the green space before you hit civilization, My game- on a road bike was to see either how many cars you could pass or how much above 50 mph you could go.

They call it a green space but in summer it is burned brown. Deer brown. On one day I came screaming through the one long sweeper and came within a few feet of a doe, just hanging out munching the grass beside the road. I realized that had she startled at all, I would be way way dead! Almost needed to change the shorts! never took quite that tight a line again either.

On a visit to southern CA- with the mtb this time, I stopped for a snack on a rarely used trail and all around me all i heard was the rattling of snakes. Seems it was just past baby hatching time and I managed to find just the wrong place to stop. Having heard that the babies are really more dangerous than the adults as they don't know how to dry bite- they dumping all their venom at once instead of saving some and biting to scare attackers, I ended my break real quick! Don't think I ever revisited that trail.