Susan Street is a social scientist at Guadalajara’s Social Anthropology Research Center (CIESAS). She lives in Pinar de la Venta, eight kilometers west of Guadalajara and her house is situated at the very edge of the sprawling Bosque La Primavera, home to 340 species of vertebrates, including coyotes, lynxes, a puma or two, and, of course, rattlesnakes. As you can imagine, none of these woodsy creatures know exactly where the forest ends and Pinar de la Venta begins.
“I was sitting on my terrace,” says Street, “reading a book with my feet up, when I glanced down at the floor. Coiled right under my chair, next to a citronella candle, was a rattlesnake—a big one!
“I slowly got up and went into the house, and watched it through the glass window; it soon left that place and crawled along the ground next to the wall, when suddenly it turned and came towards me until we were face to face, me on my knees to see it better ... Wow! Where was my camera?”
Street’s ex-husband Guillermo convinced the snake to leave by spraying it with the garden hose, but, says Street, “That evening, when I put the dogs to bed, I discovered that the big fellow (over a meter long) had come back and was now curled up by the patio door.”
The following day, this snake (or more likely its mate) unfortunately met its end at the hands of workers, even though Street had warned them there was a rattler about and asked them not to kill it.
“The cascabel appeared suddenly from behind a plant,” related a blacksmith working in the patio, “and I saw it lunge at my friend Alfredo.