It’s hot up here. Really, really hot. And dry.
I was walking around the hill a couple of days ago when I first got up for a visit. It was about 6:30 AM, a nice and cool 72 degrees. As I was walking through the grass my reflexes kicked in and I jumped back because I’d seen something in my peripheral vision.
A snake skin, shed by a snake about 4 feet long, skinny. Not a problem, it’s a friendly snake because the tapering tail is without rattles.
Which is all I care about when up here from May through November, out walking in the tall grass of the meadow or through the manzanita or wherever. Rattlesnakes. Ugh. It lends an extra layer of tactical stress to what should be a simple walk around the property. This is one reason winter is my favorite season up here. No rattlesnakes. They’re hibernating.
But then yesterday, while following the driveway which circles around the house, again the reflexes, and again a shed snakeskin in a drainage ditch on the side of the driveway about 20 yards from the cabin.
Only about 2 feet of skin, but much fatter around. Hey, what’s that pattern on the skin?
Diamonds. What joy. A big fat diamondback rattlesnake moved in.
There goes the neighborhood.