I was crouched down trying to get a closeup of a flower when I heard that distinctive buzz. I looked over to see Smith backing away as a good-sized rattlesnake flowed forth from it's lair.
It was ready for battle and quickly assumed the position. I, in my most authoritative outdoor voice, told Smith, "NO!" She, of course, ignored me.
Apparently she got the gist of it's intent and began walking away. As she stepped on a curved stick it twanged up. With lightening speed she gave it a good whack...just in case someone was watching and thought she was intimidated. This coulda been you buster!!
It's been over 35 years since I encountered a rattler. We've been a bit more cautious since; almost a Zen-like influence, but it was encouraging...where there're snakes, there are mice, raptors, foxes, and other animals many of which have disappeared in the name of range management. This gave me a bit of hope....they haven't ALL been killed off.