Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Change up

Wonderful week away, in southern Oregon; watched many plays, took a few hikes, during one of which we came upon a gigantic western diamondback rattlesnake lying by the side of the trail. We were striding along, savoring the solitude, the vistas, the wildflowers, wind in the trees and a couple of grouse pairs exploding out of cover when from next to beloved spouse's footfall came a loud rattling. I instantly recognized the sound, and yelled at him to get out of there. As I jumped in the air, shouting a pithy nautical phrase, I looked down and saw an enormous, scaly sinuosity in an S-curve atop a flat rock, obscured from most angles by plants. It was as big around as my wrist at least, and probably a good four feet long. I couldn't see its head or tail, but the distinctive diamond patterning ran along its body. It was beautiful, despite its potential havoc. We hastened onward, and stopped for lunch in a spot with a wonderful view of snowy Mount Shasta and her progeny Shastina, but the loveliness of the view had a dark background for contrast, as we pondered snake bite first aid and possible scenarios for the return trip past the snake's spot. Every rustling in the undergrowth as we went on rattled me, and I begged to turn around. We found stout snake-deflecting sticks and breathed as evenly as we could. Fortunately the snake wasn't in the same place and we hustled by, but kept ourselves on alert until we got back to the trailhead. Other than that bizarre experience, we gave the trail the wildflower award, since late spring conditions had carpeted it with yellow fawn lilies, trillium, larkspur, angel wings, and many others.
When we were watching "Julius Caesar" later in the week, one of Brutus's lines struck us both:
"It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, And that craves wary walking."


Anonymous Phil said...

Ah, I'd forgotten about that line from JC!

6:26 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Love that the line from Julius Caesar had such an interesting relevance!

8:28 AM  

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