North-Eastern Rattle Snake, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, East Canada. June 1984.
In early June it can be cool in the woods East of Georgian Bay. When it is around 16 degrees Celsius and partly cloudy, with a bit of warm sun, the rattle snakes come out. They like to bask in the sun, heating up their bodies, often using animal trails in open areas to rest.
Rattle snakes normally live in warmer climates and this is the furthest north they live.
We use the trails as well and I had three close encounters in 1982-1984 spending a total of six months walking in the woods.
The snake is cold so it doesn't even move when it hears us coming.
You barely see them, not until you are about to step on them and then they start hissing or make a rattling sound.
Rattle snakes in this area are poisonous but a treatment works well. In the last 35 years only one person ever died of it. He played with a snake, got badly bitten in the arm but did not see a doctor until after two weeks. By that time, the poison had spread causing blood poisoning.
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