Posts Tagged ‘Rattlesnake’

Tiger Rattlesnakes Mating

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

While mountain biking on the Upper 50 Year trail in the Catalina mountains this weekend, I spotted these two tiger rattlesnakes.  Since they appeared much more interested in each other than with me, I stopped to take a look.  It became obvious that they weren’t much concerned about me because they were mating in the bushes!

Now, I’m not going to give a biology lesson here, but I was curious about how rattlesnakes ‘do it.’  Apparently the male has an organ near it’s tail.   Rattlesnakes reproduce when the male presses his tail beneath a female’s tail to inseminate the female. This is accomplished over several hours when the male lays on top of the passive female and makes jerking motions with his hind portion. (Hope this isn’t too graphic!)  The female then stores the sperm until the following spring when she will hatch live baby rattlesnakes.  Apparently she’s not much of a mom though.  The babies are left to fend for themselves as soon as they hatch.  So now you know!

Biking or hiking with Southwest Trekking is a great way to explore our Sonoran Desert.  While we can’t guarantee animal voyeurism on every excursion, we do guarantee you a fun time!

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Desert Critters

Friday, October 30th, 2015


This diamondback rattlesnake was enjoying the day on a rock in the middle of a trail. A buddy of mine actually jumped his bike right over him before realizing that it wasn’t part of the rock then turned around to warn us. The Sonoran Desert is full of surprises. (photo courtesy of Wendi Lucas)

Watch Out For Snakes

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Just a quick reminder that the snakes are coming out to fatten up for winter. This time of the year is really busy as the snakes are starting to prepare for their hibernation. I have already seen 4 rattle snakes this week, and we’re not even to the weekend yet. So if you are hiking or riding, keep your eyes open for the potential snake. Remember that they are cold blooded, and will be trying to stay warm through the cooler nights. So sometimes they’ll be coiled up on rocks or sunny bits of trails. They will also be hiding out in bushes and shrubs, so keep your hands and feet where you can see them. And if you happen to come across a snake, leave it alone! They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.

Be safe.

Rattlesnake Lookout

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It’s finally starting to cool off in the Southwest. 105 degree days are now replaced with 90, and the evenings are drying up and cooling off. Soon, we will be in our fourth season, fall (some might not know this, but the Sonoran desert really has five distinct seasons; spring, summer, monsoon, fall and winter).

As our temps start to fall and the rain stops falling, certain animals will start preparing to hibernate. One such creature is the Rattlesnake. They will be trying desperatly to fill their bellies to capacity, and prepare for their long hibernation. These reptiles will be especially active during the evening and into the night as they hunt rabbits, rodents and small antelope squirles. So watch out!

Rattlesnakes can only strike if coiled up, and can usually strike about 2/3 of their body length, which means an adult snake about 5 ft. long will be able to strike just under 3 ft.. Most of the time the snake will be trying to ‘flee’ from you as they percive us as a threat, but they do sometimes coil and rattle their tails as a warning. If they do this, and you still can’t stay a few feet away from the snake, then I question who is to blame?

A few things you can do to avoid any unpleasent encounters are rather easy: 1. Don’t try and handle any snakes you see, 2. Don’t stick your hands where you can’t see then like in bushes or holes, 3. Look where you feet are going and see whats on the other side of a rock or tree before you blindly place your foot there, and 4. Don’t try and handle any snake you see. 

Just be on the lookout and you’ll be fine.  Let the snakes be.

Happy Trails.

What to do if you see a snake.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

On a recent ride of Fantasy Island, I came upon a rattlesnake eating a rabbit right on the trail. Speaking with the next couple of mountain bikers to come along, I realized that rattlesnake common sense isn’t so common. So here are a few tips.
 In most cases the human is the aggressor when a snake bites. Do not poke at a snake or try to catch them. If you are going to photograph them use your zoom. Do not handle any wild animals.

If it is not rattling, from a safe distance, you may want to observe and identify the snake.  One major distinguishing factor is the rattle located at the end of the tail on a rattlesnake. By identifying this rattle, you have in turn identified a rattlesnake.

Know what time of year you are most likely to run into a rattlesnake and where. These snakes usually hibernate during the cold months and are extremely active during the spring and summer months.
Dress appropriately. Boots are the best  if you will be spending a large amount of time in the desert.  Long sleeve shirts and pants are also necessary for a trip into the woods. 
Be aware when in an area rattlesnakes may make their home. Stay on trail. Look before stepping over a log or rock. Do not stick your hands anywhere you can’t clearly see, do not sit on a log or stump without checking first, and always hike or enter the woods with a buddy, or let someone know where you’ll be and when  you should be back.
Obey warnings. If you hear a rattlesnake’s rattler, you are too close and the snake is attempting to warn you. Immediately retreat from the area.
Stay calm if you encounter a rattlesnake make a quick check of your surroundings, you don’t want to run directly into the snake or a cholla, and move away from the snake slowly. Keep in mind the striking distance of the snake, they can strike nearly the same length as their body. When moving away from a rattlesnake, the safest thing to do is move in the opposite direction the snake is moving in.

Randy Young, Southwest Trekking Guide