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Old 05-03-2016, 04:59 AM   #81
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So I was coming down a narrow hiking trail one hot summer in SoCal when I came upon a group of people who were not moving. As I got closer to the group, I finally saw the big fat rattle snake that had people going up and down the dirt trail, frozen on their track. No one dared to move the snake. Mind you, I am morbidly afraid of snakes especially poisonous ones. That day, for some reason, I dared to face my greatest fear. It might be because I've seen too many rattle snake handlers on tv who made it looks so easy handling those critters. So before total fear overcame me, I grabbed an elderly lady's cane much to people's objection and nudged the snake far enough to move it away from the trail. That snake decided to cooperate and I couldn't believe how relatively calm I was while moving it.

I have seen a few since and have a lot of respect for those critters that generate so much unnecessary and irrational fear in people. As long as I stay far enough from their striking distance, I feel relatively confident it will not harm me.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:26 AM   #82
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Ok - I just have to ask. I've always thought that a snake strike was so fast that it's hard to see with the naked eye and would be impossible to catch in mid-strike with a typical camera taking a photo like the one in the original post. The video provided in Cedar's post #75 reminded me of how fast those strikes are. I asked a professional photographer I know about the striking snake in the original photo and he felt it was not real (photoshoped in maybe?)....same reason as I thought....they strike too fast to pick up anything but a blur on a normal shot.

Anyone know for sure if it's possible to catch a rattler in mid strike with a normal camera?
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:53 AM   #83
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That photo would have to be taken at an extremely fast shutter speed to catch the snake in focus while it is striking. And portrait photos are never taken at that fast of a shutter speed.


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Old 05-03-2016, 10:01 AM   #84
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After about 10 encounters in Arizona, I have yet to have one rattle at me. All encounters were 5-10' away from the snake. I read somewhere that they are changing their habits by not rattling.
How close do you have to be until they normally rattle?

A rattlesnake in stealth mode is bad news, but other venomous snakes do not give any warning, nor have the means to do so (some do hiss).

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A good friend of mine grew up in Montana on a large ranch. She was not allowed to go outside or ride her horse without her father. He always carried a 357 magnum and 44 magnum with him at all times. She said they had about a hundred hogs on the ranch and if she or her sister fell off their horse the hogs would attack them. Her father would then shoot the hogs before they could do any damage. I asked her why would her father have these dangerous hogs on the ranch, especially with small children?

Her reply, "We had to have the hogs to kill the rattlesnakes". True story.
He should trade the hogs in for African honey badgers, if the latter can survive the Montana cold. Honey badgers love snakes, and eat them like candies.

In the following video, skip to 1:30 to see a honey badger relentlessly chased a cobra up to the top of a tree until the latter had no place to go.

At 12:30, a badger on a night hunt ripped a gerbil off the mouth of a puff adder, a highly venomous snake, ate the gerbil, then proceeded to chomp on the adder too. It was bitten by the adder, and the venom eventually took effect, knocked it out while it was eating the snake. It woke up some time later, and finished the rest of the snake like nothing.

At 30:00, another cobra was snatched from the top of a tree, and eaten from head to tail.

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Old 05-03-2016, 10:06 AM   #85
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That photo would have to be taken at an extremely fast shutter speed to catch the snake in focus while it is striking. And portrait photos are never taken at that fast of a shutter speed.
Maybe they got the snake to pose for the photo so they could take it without blurring...

Since nothing about this photo has appeared on any "legitimate" news source, chances are it is another in a long line of internet hoaxes.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:09 AM   #86
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Snake strikes are not as fast as people think. Even the adder, possibly the fastest striker, has been clocked at 21 feet/sec or 14 mph. Still a lot faster than most people can react, but not as fast as a hook from Muhammad Ali. A boxer's punch can reach 32 mph.

PS. As moving cars are captured by cameras all the time, the above speeds are not impossible to catch without blurring. However, the timing has to be impeccable.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:30 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
That photo would have to be taken at an extremely fast shutter speed to catch the snake in focus while it is striking. And portrait photos are never taken at that fast of a shutter speed.


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Looks like the photo was taken at a slow shutter speed and about f8-11 aperture or higher due to the depth of field. I'm not saying the photo is fake but the timing and the white fangs sure are a bit surprising.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:35 AM   #88
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Neighbor who got bit on the hand in his courtyard said ER really wanted to see a photo of the snake to verify pit viper as it cost $45,000 to mix up a batch of anti-venom. He was covered by Medicare plus retired Federal employee.

We carry the Sawyer Extractor kit. Only used it for insect stings though. Amazon.com: Sawyer Extractor Pump Bite and Sting Kit One Size: Sports & Outdoors
That is really expensive.
Photos are hard to take of a rattler as they don't like to pose too much I guess.
I took 3 photos of this fellow, had to go back to take the photo after I first jumped and ran away due to surprise
Of the 3 photos, only 1 shows him.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:57 AM   #89
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Looks like the photo was taken at a slow shutter speed and about f8-11 aperture or higher due to the depth of field. I'm not saying the photo is fake but the timing and the white fangs sure are a bit surprising.
I agree. I brought the photo into Lightroom and could not get the photo settings. Good point on the depth of field. I'm thinking that the photo could not have been shot faster than 1/500 of a second. Probably 1/320. Just read online that a rattlesnake strike is 7 feet per second. So the snake most likely would have moved somewhere between 1/8" and 1/4" during the exposure. Not as much as I expected. But no way those fangs would show up that well.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:07 PM   #90
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not as fast as a hook from Muhammad Ali.
Maybe true 40 to 45 years ago but not today.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:19 PM   #91
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Ok - I just have to ask. I've always thought that a snake strike was so fast that it's hard to see with the naked eye and would be impossible to catch in mid-strike with a typical camera taking a photo like the one in the original post. The video provided in Cedar's post #75 reminded me of how fast those strikes are. I asked a professional photographer I know about the striking snake in the original photo and he felt it was not real (photoshoped in maybe?)....same reason as I thought....they strike too fast to pick up anything but a blur on a normal shot.

Anyone know for sure if it's possible to catch a rattler in mid strike with a normal camera?

I once took a photo of a helicopter that was coming to land... I had the shutter speed set at 1/2000 of a second... helicopter blade was not blurry at all.... looked like it was just hanging in the air on its own.....
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:40 PM   #92
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These are a couple of photos from a B-17 (WWII bomber) that I took last year. In both, ISO is 160, in the first photo the shutter speed is 1/2500 at f/4.5 (bright sky behind) and in the other one (left wing) the shutter speed is 1/800, also f/4.5.

I don't know for sure how fast the engines are running but I think they're on the order of 1,200 - 1,500 rpm. Those old radials don't turn fast. I couldn't find the propeller diameter online so can't calculate the propeller tip speed, but they are "frozen" at those shutter speeds.

This is under partly cloudy sky and the clouds are thin. In the snake photo the sky is overcast, suggesting not so much light is available. So while I suppose the snake photo could be real, like the rest of you I'm a bit skeptical.
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File Type: jpg B-17_prop-2.jpg (102.0 KB, 17 views)
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:52 PM   #93
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My dad was bitten by a juvenile timber rattlesnake many years ago, while pulling weeds out of the tea fields.
Some good lessons learned:
1) yes, the younger/smaller ones can be more dangerous, as they dump more venom when they strike
2) EMTs and ER workers in a state like SC really have no clue as to what to do in case of bites. They call Arizona.
3) States with few bites (see SC above) don't keep anti-venom on hand and by the time you get it, it may not be worthwhile. Dad didn't get the anti-venom (good thing, because if it had cost an arm and a leg, he'd have had a heart attack). He had a brief episode in the ER where his BP and heart-rate dropped alarmingly in response to the venom, but recovered normally.
4) You cannot believe how much swelling these bites produce. His fingers were bit, but the swelling went all the way across his chest. Or as he said "I got me some Man Boobs outta this". Groan. Took at least a week to go down.
5) It is very hard to recruit people to go out in the fields with you after such an event. Dad did some lonely weed-pulling for a while after that!
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:52 PM   #94
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I don't know for sure how fast the engines are running but I think they're on the order of 1,200 - 1,500 rpm. Those old radials don't turn fast. I couldn't find the propeller diameter online so can't calculate the propeller tip speed, but they are "frozen" at those shutter speeds.
Made me look.

I flew a variant of that engine in the 70's and I recall the cruise RPM was in the low 2000 range. A little Googling found this B-17 Performance
paper from 1941, showing an RPM range from 1350 to 2500, with a lot of numbers around 2300.

Point is, those prop tips were moving pretty darned fast when you froze them with your shutter.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:08 PM   #95
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4) You cannot believe how much swelling these bites produce. His fingers were bit, but the swelling went all the way across his chest. Or as he said "I got me some Man Boobs outta this". Groan. Took at least a week to go down.
Up a ways here in NC, neighbor got bit by a copperhead and had to have his arm cut open to release the pressure.

I guess the neurotoxicity of copperheads is really low, so it is all about the swelling. They say the copperhead bites are rarely fatal. What they don't tell you is people can have complications from the swelling.

And since we are on the subject, a local gentleman just got bit by a King Cobra -- in NC! Well, it was a "pet." These guys are highly neurotoxic. Bad stuff.

Orange County man bit by cobra had more than 20 snakes in home :: WRAL.com
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:13 PM   #96
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A B-17 prop is about 6' in radius. At 2,000 rpm, that works out to a tip speed of 200 1257 ft/sec or 136 857 mph.

However, the blurring effect is most pronounced if the camera is looking across the plane of rotation, which is not the same as the view from a window.

By the way, Ali is still alive and only 74, not as old as I first thought. However, he already had medical problems the last time I saw him on TV, which I cannot remember when (10 or 20 years ago?).

PS. A major boo-boo on my math. The correction was made above.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:16 PM   #97
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) You cannot believe how much swelling these bites produce.
I watched a documentary once where naturalists were attempting to monitor animals at night, (Central America), and one of them was bitten by a Fer-de-Lance.....they had video from the surgery, and said her leg, where bitten, "Virtually exploded".

Nasty.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:15 PM   #98
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OK, here's one way one can check the blurriness of a photograph of a moving object himself.

Take a test object that you want to shoot, and hang it on the end of a 6' long string. Pull the string to 45 degrees off vertical, and let the object swing as a pendulum. At the bottom of the arc when the string passes through vertical, the object will be moving at a speed of 3.24 m/s, or 10.6 ft/s, or 7.2 mph. That's supposedly the average strike speed of a snake.

If you start the pendulum when the string is horizontal (a +- 90 deg swing), then a 6' pendulum will give you a speed of 13.4 mph at the bottom of the arc, which is about the fastest snake strike according to what I saw on the Web.

One can then play with f-stop, exposure time, and last but not least the distance between the camera and the object, as well as the focal length. The longer the distance, the less blurring. Similarly, the wider the lens angle, the less blurring.

Of course it will take multiple shots to catch the object at the bottom of the arc where it has the desired speed. And you would want the object to move across the line of sight of the camera, i.e. not swinging to/fro the camera, for maximum blurriness. That's the same as the snake striking vertically across the line of sight of the camera in the OP's photo.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:52 PM   #99
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I was off big time in calculating the prop tip speed. See correction in post #96.

It bothered me a bit that 200mph seemed low. So, I checked and found the mistake. I am surprised nobody bothers to check my math.

I did recheck the pendulum speed. It is correct, as far as my aged mind can tell.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:26 AM   #100
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Google tells me they dilute the rattlesnake venom before injecting it into a horse, goat, sheep etc. It's probably the dilution of the venom that prevents it from harming the anti-venom host. I asked about getting the anti venom for my horse but there was no way I could afford it even if they could procure the amount needed.

Most horses or dogs get bit on the muzzle. It's the subsequent swelling that causes the most problems. If they survive the swelling then it's the necrosis that is the next hurdle to over come.

My horse got bit on his hind heel bulb. I was lucky that after the cardiac issues resolved he did not have any necrosis at the bite site. I guess those snakes have very dirty mouths which causes infection to set in. Vet poulticed the bite site and I had to apply more of the "magic mix" the vet gave me for four weeks post bite. In the picture below you can see the bite marks. One is very distinct and the other is almost hidden in the fold of the swelling to the upper right of the lower fang mark.

My friend was riding behind me and saw the snake as I passed over a downed tree. My horse hopped as he went over the tree which is normal so I had no idea he got bit. She said "I saw a rattlesnake" and we turned around to look at it. Didn't see it because it slithered away but 3 minutes later my horse was in distress. As I hopped off my friend saw the bite marks on my horses foot. The rest is my $1000 tale.
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