posted by JimP
James Gage writes in -
"This past weekend we returned to a cairn & chamber site in Sandown, NH to photograph two chambers we had previously found. One of the chambers is located in area of large boulders and other rock debris which has slid off the hillside. Upon relocating the chamber we found it was occupied by a eastern diamondback rattle snake. The snake issued several warning hisses which sound like escaping steam.
This incident highlights and age old bit of woods wisdom - carefully check any dark recessed space before putting your hand inside or entering. Such places can be dens for porcupines, rodents, snakes, or other wildlife. I carry a flash for this purpose.
Eastern rattle snakes prefer cool dark places to den up for the day. Unlike many other snakes they do not tolerate heat very well and are nocturnal hunters. Contrary to popular mythology, they general do not rattle. Instead they prefer a hissing sound as a warning. Generally, they only attacked in self defense. First aid for rattle snake bites (1) identify the snake if possible (2) remain calm (3) note the time of the bite (4) suck and squeeze out the poison (5) keep the effected limb below the heart (6) seek immediate medical attention."