At the summit of Mount Diablo there’s a drinking fountain in the parking lot. When I ride my bike up there, I go immediately to the fountain to fill up my water bottle, putting my foot on the concrete base of the fountain as I operate the fountain. Today, as I was doing this and chatting with another cyclist, he backed up saying “Oh oh oh” and pointing to my foot, where 4-5 inches away was a coiled rattler sitting on top of the fountain base.
I backed away. Then I let the fountain run, producing a puddle. The snake slowly inclined to take a drink. I think he was thirsty. The ranger up there said he is a regular who lives nearby. Here’s a picture.
Steve James, Walnut Creek, California
These days you always need to watch your step, even when you’re just getting a drink of water. /Gary