Saturday, August 10, 2013
On the Morrison Slide Trail
I executed a short hike today along the Morrison Slide Trail. As far as I could tell nothing on the trail appeared to be sliding, although one creature formerly slid (more details below).
The trail took me past a boulder covered with lichens of light green and yellow. If Mother Nature decorates a boulder with lichens, it's called natural beauty. If I had decorated the boulder with green and yellow spray paint, it would be called vandalism.
An excellent red sandstone outcropping resembled a castle wall.
As I finished my hike, I noticed a defunct rattlesnake beside the trail. Fortunately, it was in no condition to slide, slither, or strike.
I believe the deceased is a Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor).
Wikipedia indicates that this subspecies of snake "possesses the most toxic venom of the C. oreganus / C. viridis group, although there is apparently considerable variability among local populations (Glenn and Straight, 1977, 1978). It is even one of the most potent venoms found in North America (Glenn and Straight, 1977), and according to LD50 studies the venom is many times more potent than that of an Asiatic Cobra."