Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yes! Mine snake pics!!!

I lucked out and got a couple of pictures of my Organ Pipe rattlesnake.

First, here's the mine entrance about half a mile off. see the pile of earth and rock just to the left of the big cactus? Those waste piles are always a dead give-away if you're looking for mine openings.
Of course usually the opening has been back-filled or otherwise closed off, but not in this case.
Thanks for the signs, guys. Always makes it easier to find these. And the fence? If they really didn't want me in there, would they have left enough room for me to get in over the top of it? I mean, seriously, that's an invite, right there.
About thirty feet back in, though...a sentinel makes his presence known with a very loud, very effective rattling.
crummy shots, I know, but I'm trying to run a camera with one hand while holding a flashlight in the other in the middle of a significant adrenaline dump in a confined space.
OK, to be fair, none of those signs outside said anything about a snake. That's all I'm saying. One "Caution--snake ahead" sign would have carried more weight than all of the generic "Danger" and "Peligro" signs in the free world.

Final score: Snake: 1, Murphy's Law: 0.

Still, he was a beauty, wasn't he?


  1. Beauty is one way to put it. I don't freak out when I run across snakes, I certainly had many encounters with cotton mouths and copper heads as a kid.
    But if I'm in rattlesnake country it's because I'm hunting birds and should I find myself in a standoff with a rattlesnake, it's the lead shredder for him.
    Unless he's willing to go on his way. 3....2......1

    1. I learned the hard way many years ago that it's not wise to fire a handgun in a mine tunnel, cave or other confined space. Ricochets aside, my ears still ring just from the memory.

      In this case, snake left, but he went back deeper into the mine so I gave it to him and went back out the way I'd come in.

    2. Good point. I cannot say I've found occasion upon where i need to find myself in a cave....ever. ;)

  2. Anonymous7:10 PM

    A SNAKE?
    I'm betting there were multiples, he was just a scout.
    Welcome to AZ !


  3. Anonymous8:47 PM

    He is a beauty. Glad your safe and unbitten

  4. 1. Glad you survived that.
    2. Glad you arrived home safely.
    3. Profit!!!!

  5. Well if I was in snake territory (BIG snake territory) I guess II'd take a 12 gauge coach gun with a light field load. That and cylinder bore barrels would do the trick.

    All we have around here are Copperheads, Moccasins, and Coral snakes. Its the Copperheads that bite the most people (and pets.) But Moccasins are real nasty ones. Some, if pissed off, will chase you.

    Like Indiana Jones... I hate snakes! Just hate 'em!

    Back in the day I did a lot of hunting, mostly jackrabbits, and then deer and antelope. I got surprised by a rattler in the desert when I was 15, and blew him away with my 12 guage. I found a little 2" chunk of the backbone.

    Years later, when I got back from Vietnam, I was warned by a rattler under a sagebrush. I jumped three feet up and six feet back!. I decided to see if the story of a snake self-centering on a rifle bore was true. Yes, it is; the .25-06 is as effective on snakes as it is on Antelope.

    Time passes .. deer hunting in mountain forests of Eastern Oregon we started to cross a fence, and were gently warned of the presence of 3 rattlers laying claim to a blue sprice beside the fence.

    We moved downhill a couple of yards, took turns climbing over the barbed-wire fence, and continued the hunt.

    Never did get our deer that day, but we had learned to leave rattlers alone. Heck, it was their home, WE were the intruders, and THEY were just standing their ground..

  7. At least he didn't get ya...

  8. Nice pics! And letting him have the place was a good call. There's a good chance he wasn't alone.

    Years ago when I was doing field work for my degree, one of the guys in another group climbed up on an exposed rock face in order to measure dip and strike. He happened to look up just in time to see the wide open mouth of a snake shooting out of a crack in front of him and right for his face. He flung himself backwards off the cliff and the snake flew right by his shoulder, propelled by the force of its own strike. When it hit the ground and took off it was clear that it was a rattler. The guy spent the rest of the day sitting on a rock and chain smoking. Nobody grumbled at him for not working.