Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


National Geographic Comes To The Joneses Back Yard

Mike in Tucson: Diamondback Rattlesnake

Lunch having been served, it's time to head back into the Mountain Park for a nap. 

This natural drama played out last Saturday as I was doing back yard chores, and I captured it with the camera.  That bulge in the middle of the Diamondback Rattlesnake is the unfortunate young rabbit you see below.

Mike in Tucson: Diamondback rattlesnake with rabbit

Mike in Tucson: Back Ramada

The Western Diamondback rattlesnake isn't America's biggest snake.  That title goes to a resident of New Jersey (from whence I hail) the Eastern Diamondback snake, which reaches eight feet in length!

Active Rain REALTORS up and down the Jersey Shore may not know it, but residents of towns like Manahawkin, New Gretna and Toms River, NJ have the Eastern version of this rattlesnake in or near their back yards.

The Mourning Dove on the right, nesting in a Saguaro arm on my back porch, took in the entire drama, not 10' away from her nest.

It was like living a National Geographic article!


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photos copyright Mike in Tucson

Comment balloon 36 commentsMike Jones • May 08 2010 07:12AM


Thanks for sharing your pictures. Quite a story for show and tell!

 Safe to walk among the flowers in the Maryland spring.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 10 years ago

Life in the desert can be tough.  As much as you hate to see it up close and personal you know it is just part of mother natures plan.  Great photos and I'm sure you were glad the rattler was occupied with something other than you.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago


Me, too!  LOL


Thanks for being the first to comment!  I'll bet you're glad spring has reached your shores.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago


It is interesting to see how nature supports all forms of life.  Thank you for sharing

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 10 years ago

Mike, Don't you just love the desert! Real-life drama is captivating. Kate

Posted by Kate Kate over 10 years ago

Yikes, Mike!  That is getting a little closer to a rattle snake than I'm comfortable with.  Hope you took it with a big old zoom lens!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Mike~ OOOOOooooooooo.... I am not sure if I want to be so close to this action....let's head back out to look at desert lowers or something

Posted by ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com ( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK ) over 10 years ago

Heebie jeebie dance, heebie jeebie dance.  That just sent chills right up my spine.  I'm with Pat, I sure hope you had a zoom lens!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 10 years ago

NOT in my backyard but now in west Texas where I was born it might have happened. I'd be like the dove and stay perched in my safety nest.

Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) over 10 years ago

I hope you had a long lens while taking that pic.  Hate that stuff, but I know, it's nature & all.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

The only place I want to see a snake is on your blog post, or the Discovery Channel.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources. (Top Agent Plus) over 10 years ago

We just have little garter snakes,that I have seen.  But, I do remember moving into a home years ago here in CT that had a hillside covered with rattlesnakes -until the neighbor had a field day with his shot gun!   Can't do that nowadays around here!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 10 years ago

I can never understand why on these nature shows on T.V. the cameramen just sit back and watch things unfold.  I would be interfering, although in this instance, I think I would pass.  I saw a crow attacking a mouse the other day and tried to stop it but it was too late :(

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 10 years ago

I love this.  The circle of life right in your own back yard.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

When we pay attention its amazing what we can observe!

Posted by Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin (M3 Realty) over 10 years ago

That is so cool!  I am sorry for the mother of that little bunny on this particular weekend!

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) over 10 years ago

Mike I love all the nature photos you share, but I am oh so glad that is not in my backyard.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 10 years ago

I love seeing nature at it's best and I also love the fact that it was in your backyard Mike and not mine. I would have been forced to move.

Posted by Cameron Wilson, The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ (Labrum Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Wow...amazing photo. It's hard to believe the snake could get that whole thing down its throat. I guess you don't go out barefooted too often.

Posted by John Thomas, EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA (E3 Green HOMES) over 10 years ago


Not often!


It doesn't help to move; they just follow...  :)


I don't think they have these in the Hudson Valley.  At least, I never saw one at my folks house in Clavarack.  LOL


SSSH!  We haven't told the momma rabbit.


True, that!


Amazing stuff!


Crows have to eat too...


Rattlesnakes in your neck of the woods?!


Okay...  You would have had a heart attack if you saw what we had in South America as kids!


You've got a good attitude there.  :)


That dove just took it all in with complete aplomb.  Didn't muss a feather!


I did the heebie jeebie dance; almost stepped on the snake.  It wasn't interested in me, though.

Mike in Tucson:  RattlerJane,

You've got rattlers bigger than this in Ashville.


No long lens.  In fact, when it went back under the Agave to swallow its prey, I was lying on the concrete six feet away!


I do love it here.  Love your new photo, too, with those babies!


Hey, friend!  Thanks for stopping by to comment.  Hope you're fully recuperated.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

And there is reason enough for me to never venture into the desert.  May they stay in their natural habitat and I in mine, on the snake free streets of New York.  Understanding survival of the fittest does little to make that little episode palatable to me.  No pun intended.

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) over 10 years ago

Makes me think there must be too many fuzzy bunnies in your back yard to bring in the snakes. Not a fan of snakes or anything that hisses or bites...

Posted by Mary Strang over 10 years ago


Nature is both cruel and fascinating at the same time. Outstanding capture by the way.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike,

A very interesting reality photo. Not sure I would care to be close enough to have seen it. But I know one thing for sure. If we in this country keep expanding and taking all the land, there will be contest and wildlife as seriously dangerous as they can be will lose and in turn we lose. We were all put here together for what I guess must have been a good reason and a little respect will go a long way to help everyone thrive in the areas where  they were intended. Great photo though I don't necessarily want a copy of it, lol.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 10 years ago

Mike, I was thinking 'that snake is really fat!' and doesn't look very graceful, and then saw the next picture - duh!

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 10 years ago


I just bought a place in Yuma and encountered my first rattler. Gave it a wide berth.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 10 years ago


There's a lot of history in Yuma!  I need to get out there one of these days.


That's a fact!  LOL


Thanks for sticking with it to comment, and for the lesson in herpetology.  Someone told me that king snakes also kill and eat rattlers.


I could send you one if you want.  Really!  LOL 

Regarding land use, Arizona ranks 6th in the percentage of land owned by the Federal Government.  The number is 48.1%.  I didn't know (until researching it after reading your comment) that the Federal Gov't owns more than 45% of California!


PETA doesn't have much to say about lessons from Nature.  LOL


The snakes and other wildlife have always been here.  The development of our neighborhood left intact the web of arroyos that are wildlife highways into the surrounding County and National Park land.


There are many species of snakes in New York City, and some are venomous.  Just like here, though, they usually stay out of the way, and we don't see them.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Mike, nature is pretty fascinating. I prefer seeing this from a distance though. Nice Photos!!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 10 years ago

Glad it was in your neck of the desert Mike!!! Fabulous photos from you as usual :)

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Mike - you are nuts with that up close and personal stuff, though the photos are amazine.  My hubby would have done something like that for a grea shot too, while I'd be in Alaska by now.:-)  Diamondbacks are gorgeous - and thank god for a rattle to alert ususpecting people...

We have pigmey rattlers here that are so small, you can't hear them, but extraordinarily venomous and aggressive to boot - a Napoleon complex sorrt of thing I guess. All too scary for me.

Posted by Inna Hardison, Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group (ha media group) over 10 years ago

I probably would have shot a couple of pictures after I shot the snake with a shotgun.

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) over 10 years ago

Mike, you're right.  There are many species of snake in New York City (and surrounding areas).  The only ones I've seen tend to walk upright. :)

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) over 10 years ago


I hope you carry a very long lens and a 44!

By the way these snakes do grow much bigger!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've had some very personal experience with 3 over 8 feet. Chased one suspending through a woven wire fence who went beyond the post which were 8 feet apart.

Then their was my first rattler, he was two feet in diameter and 50 feet long when we meet face to face under machine gun fire at Camp Pendilton. We stared each other down, when he gave up and turned tail in the middle he was about the size of my little finger and no more than twice as long.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 10 years ago

Snakes - that is one thing I could indeed do without and here in Florida we have our share too!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

LOL!!  @ William!!! 

If that wabbit didn't show up, I wonder if he would have headed up the post to check out the birdie??

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 10 years ago

Mike - I usually leave them alone, until they come into my yard. With children and pets around, I think it's best to send them to rattlesnake heaven.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 10 years ago

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