Saw this on the paved road going through the lease. Ya, it's a rattler, run over by more than one car, I think. The head was squished pretty flat.
This is why they have rattles: they are so hard to see, the colour of dirt. I hate it when they surprise me. They say cowboy boots are pretty good protection if you step on one. The tops are higher than they usually can strike and the leather is too thick for them to really bite into your skin. It looked to me like someone had robbed the rattles off this one.
I took this with my boot beside it to give you an idea of the size, pretty long (it's head and my toe are pointing the same direction, I told you it was squished flat).
It's been a particularly wet year here, this year, and I think they have moved farther away from the river than usual. This one was headed north towards the river to get back to his den for the winter. My cowboy had seen a bull snake (usually bigger than rattlers) run over last week headed the same way.
I've never seen a snake den, but my cowboy has and he explained it to me this way. You smell it before you see it. In a depression in the ground are hundreds of snakes, Rattle Snakes and Bull Snakes together, in one big writhing mass. Pretty yucky!