Ever been face to face with a Rattle Snake?

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Have you ever found yourself next to a Rattle Snake?  Last year while hiking in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, I had the opportunity to find myself in that exact situation.   Torrey Pines Park is the home of our nation’s rarest pine tree – Pinus torreyana.  Once this tree covered a larger area, but the  fragile environment it requires now only exists here and on Santa Rosa Island off the coast near Santa Barbara.  As my wife and I walked down a trail leading to the ocean, which was completely obscured by an incoming fog bank off the coast, we suddenly heard a very loud buzz.  This was a sound I had never heard in my life, and immediately started my heart racing.  I jumped backwards and sprinted back up the trail.  Turning back, I pulled out my camera and took a few shots before he slithered off into the brush.  He was easily over six feet long and as wide as the business end of a baseball bat.

 

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