The rattlesnake appears to vary in color and markings in the different
localities where it is found, and there are fourteen or fifteen
varieties, but all carry the rattles, shake them warningly, and coil
before they strike. The rattlesnake does not want to fight and if you
keep at a safe distance it will glide off in another direction, but it
is safest not to venture within striking distance, which is said to be
rds the length of the snake, even if the snake has not coiled,
for it moves quickly and strikes like a flash.
The rattles are at the extreme end of the tail and are composed of horny
joints. The sound of the rattle is much like the humming of a locust
(cicada). Rattlesnakes are often found sunning themselves on large
rocks, and stone-quarries are the chosen winter quarters where whole
colonies assemble. They are also found, during the summer, among
underbrush and in stubble-fields, where they probably go to hunt
field-mice and other small mammals.