We were hiking through the Arizona desert when we heard the unmistakable rattle of a highly venomous snake. A warning that we were too close for either party’s comfort. Though while many would have turned on their heel immediately, the photo opportunity was worth risking our lives for. (That’s admittedly a little dramatic, though journalism taught me to never ruin a good story with the facts! We do actually make sure we keep a safe distance before snapping away.)
Rattlesnakes live only in North and South America, and 13 species live in Arizona which is more than any other US State. Highly venomous, these these snakes have glands that make venom, much like human saliva glands make saliva, though according to Arizona Poison Centers, less than 1% of rattlesnake bites result in human deaths.
My guess is the 1% which do result in human deaths are likely associated those who stick around to set up photography camp!! Though as Veronica Leonard said in reply to this photo on twitter, “there is something about a forked sapphire blue tongue that is dangerously beautiful”. We agree!