And then there was yesterday evening....
I was just about to hop the fence to take Anubis for his walkies when I looked down and saw this guy. It was a very close call! Anubis and Skookum had just hopped the fence before me and both had landed less than a foot away from the snake. He didn't rattle or anything. He was very docile. I called Skookum back into the yard from a place several feet away. She was a good kitty and complied. I put Anubis on a sit command, and he obeyed. I then ran inside to get the camera. I was able to get within 2' of it since it was just on the other side of the wall. Finally I got a piece of pvc pipe and pushed it away. It took me poking it with the pipe to finally get it to rattle at me.
Here's another pic that shows how close he was to the wall
This is really not a new thing. I have seen rattlesnakes up on the mesa several times over the past few years. In fact, there was a snake there last year that I heard but never saw. I wrote about it in this LJ entry. And once again, it is a double-edged sword. No, I don't want poisonous critters living so close to me (and my pets), but on the other paw they are there to eat the critters that are threatening my garden. As long as they stay on their side of the fence, we can co-habitate just fine.