Finally, a Rattlesnake

Wednesday night marked another enjoyable outing at Centennial Park, which is on the northeastern edge of Carson City. Just as I pulled into the empty parking lot around 10 pm, I caught a glimpse of my first Great Basin rattlesnake comfortably resting on the asphalt that’s adjacent to the tennis courts. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to grab my camera and jump out of the Forester. When I walked over, s/he never rattled or attempted to strike me. S/he appeared very relaxed for most of our encounter. After taking several photos, I gently used my snake hook to move her (or him) to the wide gravel shoulder because I’ve seen obnoxious teenagers cruise through after hours. Then, I shot a few more pictures and watched her (or him) slither toward the nearby sagebrush behind a wire fence.

During the remainder of my visit, I managed to find a record 10 scorpions of varying sizes and one toad that hopped up to me like we were longtime friends. As I wandered the desert hillsides under a beautiful moon, i.e. a waxing gibbous, I wondered why scorpions appear in different places on different days. This trip required me to climb higher than in the past. Furthermore, I discovered one of them in a grassy area as opposed to the sandier areas. Could this have something to do with the daytime temperatures? Hmm. My plan is to explore the grassy area more when I return. Now, I don’t know what to make of the toad since s/he approached me for some reason. Normally, they hop away from, not toward, people. S/he tried to cozy up to the side of my hiking shoe. Hmm x2. Overall, an incredible night to be outside wandering around in the desert.

All pictures taken by me.

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