Little did I know that shortly after this photo was taken I would see my first rattlesnake! It was a cool spring day, but obviously warm enough for rattlesnakes to come out and sun themselves. I was out shooting by myself on a forest service road known for Strawberry Hedgehogs and Sego Lilies. There were hundreds maybe thousands of Sego Lilies in bloom. However, it was very windy that day and trying to get a broad shot was extremely difficult. Macro photography is my passion, and I could block the wind for an intimate shot. I spent a couple of hours wandering around looking for shots with both flowers in bloom that would work for macro images. At the same time I was looking for rattlesnakes, knowing they would be coming out of hibernation soon at this higher elevation as the spring temperatures were rising.
Afterwards, returning to my vehicle it was time to eat the lunch I had packed. I knew further down the forest road there would be plenty of desert onions in bloom and would be great backlit in this afternoon sun. As I was driving down the road I saw a large stick in the middle of the road. WAIT!!!! That’s not a stick, it’s a snake! As I got closer I could see the black and white rings on the tail, it must have been at least 4 feet long. Believe it or not, this was the first rattlesnake I had seen in the wild even though I have lived in the Southwest for 27 years. I continued on my journey as I knew this was about a 2 hour drive from home and wouldn’t be returning to this location. Unfortunately, my camera gear was in the very back of my SUV and I did not get an image. I know, you were all hoping to see a photo of the snake!
There was a couple enjoying the beautiful spring day and near them was a huge patch of Desert Onion in bloom along with Goldfield. I was determined to get a backlit macro image. So I got all my camera gear and started shooting away. Then the couple decided to leave and here I was on this forest service road all by myself (except for the rattlesnakes that were obviously out). I was becoming quite nauseous at the thought of a rattlesnake slithering up alongside me and biting me on the you know what! I had checked to see if there was cell service and there was, but still not a good place to be by myself. After a few shots I decided it was not safe for me to be at this location shooting on the ground by myself. Once again, I packed up my gear and headed home. Called my husband to tell him of my adventure and that I was leaving that location and may try another location that is known for plenty of wildflowers.
I decided to see what images I could make along Four Peaks Road. Getting out of my vehicle took quite a bit of courage. This area probably had more rattlesnakes than where I had just been. Going to this location was quite a success. You can read about the image I was able to make in my post A Different Photo….
So, that’s the story behind these two photos and my first rattlesnake sighting!
Prints of I Don’t Smell Like An Onion are also available for purchase.