Never even told Myron. There is a very deep and gorgeous canyon to the south side of the ROLF property. This past April I hike the entire length and continued west to a gravel road which eventually led me back to the Signed entrance of ROLF. Near the top of the canyon of rocks, where the canyon turns into a creek with ledge rocks, I spotted the first rattlesnake I have ever seen at ROLF sunning himself on a warm 75F day. It is a Pygmy rattler, small and looking out of place in southern Missouri, but a real rattlesnake. If I ever saw one at ROLF, I expected it to be a Timber Rattler.
Sistrurus miliarius streckeri
Local Name: ground rattler
This is one of the smallest species of rattlesnakes in North America. General color is light grayish-brown, with a row of small, dark brown spots on the back and similar spots on each side. Most specimens also have a rust-colored stripe down the back. The belly is usually gray. The pygmy rattlesnake has a thin tail and a tiny rattle. Length averages from 15 to 20 inches (38-51 cm). This species lives under rocks on cedar glades and is so secretive that few people encounter it. The sound of the vibrating rattle is a faint buzz like the sound of a grasshopper. Food includes small lizards, snakes, frogs and mice. Although the bite of this species is not fatal, a bite victim should seek immediate medical attention. The pygmy rattlesnake should be respected and left alone.
Missouri Distribution: Counties bordering Arkansas and the eastern Missouri Ozarks.