This young 12" - 14" rattler was spread wide on the hot asphalt walkway in Mt. Diablo State Park, just seemingly taking it all in. After a few minutes of this, it crawled to the side of a large wooden pole. From there I was able to bring the camera very near this snake, probably 3" away an had to us macro mode.
Probably this snake didn't strike at the camera because it is a pit viper. Pit vipers sense their prey using heat-sensing organs located between their eyes and nostrils. Since pit vipers have 2 of these infrared sensing organs, they can detect distance and direction of their warm-blooded prey and accurately strike, even in the dark. This is the likely reason it didn't strike, or perhaps cuz I was wearing a skin-tight Jonas Brothers T and a kilt. I'll never know.
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