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Old 11-19-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Here's another old photo scanned from a Kodachrome 64. I have a regular collection of these in various color phases but the bulk of the Eastern Timber Rattler slides are in a storage box. One day I'll get around to getting more of them out and scanned.

If I remember correctly this would have been taken at very close range using a Minolta SRT 100 with a Rokkar 28 - 85 having a 1:4 macro capability. Looks like about 85 mm for focal length and who knows the shutter or aperture settings, this would be circa 1998 photo stock.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Through the years that I have participated on the forum there have been a multitude of 'Bear' threads & posts. I fish in many areas that are the range of both brown & black bears but have become very adept at avoiding them based on being aware of my surroundings. The photo I am placing here is simply a representation of the fact that I have always had to pay attention when I was fishing. Over the years of fishing the mountains where Slate Run flows and the White Deer Valley among many others I found many of these snakes. Never once was I in danger with one because I had learned to identify what would amount to perfect habitat for this species and to be on watch for them when I was in such a place. One of the most impressive timber Rattlers I ever found caught me without a camera on the trip. It was a black phase whose skin looked like black velvet and the specimen was huge, having 19 buttons on the rattle signifying at least 19 years of age. I believe the one pictured here has 10 which would lead me to guess the age at 9-10 years old. I am not a herpetologist and did not take any courses so my knowledge of these snakes is strictly that of a layman.

Many of the snakes behaved very calmly even when handled and none ever struck at me or my little capture pole. This photo brought back a lot of memories of thick Mountain Laural growing along the brooks and the smell of moss and the clear waters of those streams. Many times here I run across brown bears when neither of us are expecting to see one another, one of these days maybe one will hang around long enough for a picture but most often I am not even carrying a camera when it happens. Last year I saw what may have been the biggest and blackest black bear I've ever ran across but by the time I had procured the camera he was deep in the bush and the poor lighting resulted in no picture. This was a big one, maybe 550 or better and absolutely prime condition.

Anyway, if you fish the mountains of the North East be aware of the Eastern Timber Rattler and give them some room, I found them to be fascinating creatures.
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Last edited by Hardyreels; 12-08-2011 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Well there's something I can be thankful for Ard; not going to trip over one of those where I fish and no grizzlies either! I have run across the odd moose though. Great picture btw.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

beautiful snake! I wish I had wildlife like that here!

btw the button per year thing is a bit false, a new button is produced each time the snake sheds and that varies by the amount it grows, so in a few years it could grow 5 buttons but then only go to one per year as it's growth slows
but a 19 button snake is a nice old snake likely 12-18 years old I imagine but it could be more or less

thanks for sharing
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Glad you guys enjoy seeing these things as I rediscover them, the button thing has always been something I was never really sure of and perhaps a little research is in line. I have been working on some stories about fly fishing and while doing so have been searching through some old slides & prints to use as illustrations in the writing. Actually the pictures are the catalyst for the stories. I find them and while I'm looking at them the entire chain of events that led to the picture comes back clear as a bell. When a picture seems to be special I can't help myself, I want to show them to the people I know may be looking through the threads here.

Thanks for clicking on the thread,

Ard
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Beautiful creature Ard, thanks for sharing. Too many look at them with distain but I think they are wonderful. My local wild trout stream is said to be special for a couple reasons- One, it has McCloud rainbows and Two, it's said to have the largest population of water moccasins in the state, scary thing is I have never seen a single one...:roll eyes:

Granted I start my day by snuggling a Doberman Pinscher but I love to see the pit vipers, their colors are so velvet-like.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Great photo Ard. That's one species of Rattle Snake I have never seen in person..
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Great shot Ard...I'rather see that kind of guy in pic and not in fleshNo rattle snakes here but some vipers...nearly put my hand on one which was sunbathing while I was wading...was lucky Batistou shouted to warn me
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

I've never come across a rattler despite a few bear encounters and some copperheads. But your post is a great reminder to pay attention to all elements - not just what's going on in the stream - when fishing. My closest encounter with a potential danger was when I was standing in the middle of small stream pocketwater.....up to my waist....casting upstream. I looked up at my rodtip which temporarilily got stuck in an overhnaging tree branch only to realize there was a huge hornets nest literally hanging over my head and my rod was just about to "impact" it.......I got out of there as quick as possible and to this day make a point (particulalry on these smaller streams) to size up the area before I worry about the water.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

My sister and some of the other "girls" swear that they've seen timber rattlers in the wood pile at our camp. We do have timber rattlers here in CT but they're rare and live only in areas of rock ledges.
What I think they're seen in the eastern hognose which doesn't even bite, but will imitate a rattle snake as a defensive mechanism.
Of course, because I'm a man it's assumed that I am wrong

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Another Memory from The Mountains of N. Central Pennsylvania;

Great pic Ard.

I have been camping and fishing in eastern Oregon since i was a little kid. I learned at an early age to keep one eye open for rattlesnakes at all times. One at about 12 years of age, time i was crested a hill and started down the other side at full run heading to a good fishing spot. As i started down i saw a rattler laying in the sand, near the water edge, right where i wanted to fish. I only had a little room to get by but i increased my speed and jumped and kept on going at full run. lol

They are a common site along the Deschutes. It becomes second nature to have one eye open for them all the time.
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