Snake crossing the road, @4ft

Life on the Real Desert: Snakes Alive


Snake crossing the road, @4ft
On the way to town today I came across a lady on the “main road” out of the estate. Standing by the side of the paved surface, clutching a hoe, she moved toward the center of the street and waited for me to approach on my bike.

“You could have crossed over,” I said, “It will take me ages to get to you.” This as I slowly moved toward the stationary gardener. It was my impression that she was heading to the desert on the other side of the road.

“Is that a rattler?”

The question caused me to turn, as I had passed her already, and head back to where she stood. “Careful, he’s right there,” she pointed to the rock and cactus frontage of the lot to my right. I looked but saw nothing that resembled any sort of desert creature. Stopping and dismounting I walked to where she was and turned to follow her pointing finger.

In the shadow of the property’s boundary fence, the long serpent was contentedly stretched out and occasional flicks of its tongue tested the air as it relaxed in the shade. It was well over four feet in length and unperturbed by all the attention. Whilst we discussed what sort of snake it was, the thing began to slowly move along in the shade.

Several attempts were made to photograph the placid creature but the shadows he, or she, stubbornly clung to, made it difficult. While we stood about taking snaps with mobile phones (cell phones) and deciding that the lack of rattles meant that it was not a rattlesnake, other folks from the area congregated to look at the traveler.

Snake in the shade
Do I look bovvered?

The calm snake, which a friend has guessed might be a Pacific gopher snake, moved into the hard pan after traversing a long stretch of fence line.

Snake in the shade.
The Snake-Fence.

This is the first live snake I’ve come across. The only other one was dead hit, apparently, by a car on the road running parallel to the highway. Red and grey and not rattles either, I still have no idea what sort of snake it was. The visitor also was the first creature that moved slow enough for me to take a picture of.

Yesterday I saw a kangaroo rat nimbly hopping across the vacant lot across the street from my home. It was huge and, for a rat of any kind, cute. Bold as brass, it ignored me completely and headed for a huge cactus with yellow “roses” on it. He, or she, disappeared as I got closer and despite standing there for a while it did not reappear.

Not counting the time spent living in Las Vegas, Nevada, the last time I lived in a desert setting was in 1980 – 1982 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I cannot remember too much about colors of flowers or seeing too many creatures scurrying about, but I do recall falling in love with the desert itself. White Sands was just down the road from my trailer and my first wife, along with our son, went out a few times to that amazing gypsum land.

The entire time I lived in England, the question of returning stateside was continually cropping up. I said, at the time, that only if I could live in the desert…

Yellow flowers on huge prickly pear cactus.
It’s the yellow rose of…Arizona…

Well, here I am. Living in the great Southwestern desert. The land of Billy the Kid, Apache warriors, the Navaho and Mojave. Each time I ride my bike into town my imagination runs riot. Reading about days gone by in the state, and the local area, fuels my trips of fancy. Wild west outlaws, larger than life characters and prospectors searching for personal riches reside in my mind.

I have been talking to a neighbor about looking for gold and he has relayed some marvelous tales of robbery and mining. I will be sharing some of these stories soon. In the meantime, I shall be researching this land that features so heavily in literature and film.

23 April 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

Published by

Mike's Film Talk

Actor, Writer, Vlogger, Blogger, Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Member Nevada Film Critics Society

5 thoughts on “Life on the Real Desert: Snakes Alive”

  1. Only seen one rattler in my Arizona travels.
    It’s a bit of quandary: you’d like to see one – but you wouldn’t like to see one.
    Spoze it’s OK as long as I don’t step on it. ??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Garry would not have been taking pictures. He would have been heading in another direction. Me? I’m okay with snakes unless I think they are poisonous, but I’m terrified of spiders.

    Drop by my site some time. Please.

    Like

    1. This chappy was so placid that I believe an entire mob of people could have come up and he would have been chilled with it! LOL I don’t mind snakes or spiders, although fiddleback’s bother the hell out of me! Just stopped by your site. A) WHEN DID YOU GET FRESHLY PRESSED AND WHICH ARTICLE!!!!! B) THANKS FOR REMINDING ME TO HEAD OVER TO OTHER FOLK’S BLOGS. I have to keep telling myself I now have time to do that since I’m not with GLV any longer. C) CONGRATS on getting the ever elusive Freshly pressed – all caps equals great excitement!!!!! 😀

      Like

      1. I got the Freshly Pressed a year ago last January (2014) and you congratulated me at the time. But you were fresh from a heart attack and bypass surgery. I am not surprised you don’t remember. It wasn’t a good time for you. It was actually right before you started writing for the company-not-to-be-named.

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