Written by:Steph Dreessen

We were lucky enough to see three rattlesnakes one day during our data collection. So what did we do when we spotted them? Well Cassi and I hollered and Dr.Kloepper casually states “Oh hey, there’s one!” 

Evidently, these rattlesnakes are of a rare variety, since they are black diamond backs. We were fortunate enough to see both the light colored brownish diamond backs along with the black diamond back colorations. 

The rattlesnakes were located along our path to the mouth of the cave, so to get to the cave entrance we walked around the deep canyon, across the land bridge, and down the other slope into the canyon. This way we can avoid the rattlesnakes and continue practicing safe field work. Nonetheless, it never fails for my heart to stop when I look at the snakes piercing eyes. 

Dr. Kloepper is the luckiest of us, in that she faced a rattlesnake at eye level. She saw it before she heard it, and when she heard it she said it was screaming hissing and its rattle was the loudest she’s ever heard! She did what any human would do and launched herself backwards, screaming at Cassi and me to not come that way.

Being dutiful students, we avoided that area for the rest of the day and we’re going to check tonight to see if the snake is as afraid of us and we are of them!