Photographed by Stephanie Smith on May 3, 2010 near a woodpile not far from the cabin. She thought it was a dead snake. I poked the sand underneath it with a bamboo pole and lo, it was not dead—it unspooled slowly to its maybe 15-inch length, and slunk underneath the boards.
Chris G identified it immediately as the super-venemous Green Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus), the desert’s most dangerous creature.
We’ve been advised to have the rattler removed from our property by an expert. Here in North Joshua Tree, the County’s Animal Care & Control Department will do this for free, but they will not look for the snake: you have to keep an eye on it until they arrive. If you see a rattlesnake on your property, call Animal Care & Control at 1-800-472-5609.