After that we went to the Agua Caliente Park again. I'll probably post some pics of that in the next day or so. But the really interesting thing that happened today happened when we returned home from that...
It was dark, and I was walking back from the mailbox with one arm full of mail and the other laden with cameras, water, the usual. A car was coming towards me, so I took a wider turn than I normally would have. As I was walking and looking at the mail, I noticed a stick in the parking lot. I noticed it just as I put my foot down next to it, didn't really think much of it, and kept walking. After all, it's just a stick.
Three steps later, my brain made me stop walking. Something wasn't right here. I turned and looked at the stick. Here's a picture of it so you can share in the experience with me...
If you find yourself saying "hey, that's no stick!", you are absolutely correct. I thought it was a rattlesnake, but remember that it was dark, and the momentary flash didn't really help me make any determination. I went inside and calmly told my wife that I thought there was a rattlesnake outside. There is another species of snake here that looks like a rattlesnake without the rattle. And subsequently without all that pesky deadly venom and fangs and death and stuff.
Armed with a flashlight, Dan and I go outside to investigate. He's lived here a while and has seen a couple rattlesnakes, and sure enough, that's what it is.
Now, remember I said I was walking by the "stick"? Remember I'm wearing shorts, because the "no pants!" rule is still in effect. Here, without exaggeration on my part, is where my sneakered foot thundered past the "stick"...
Now we get to the point of "What the hell do we do?" We're probably supposed to call someone to safely and humanely remove it or whatever. But here's the thing... I grew up in the wilds of upstate New York. We don't call people. We take care of things ourselves. If you think someone is going to come and save your ass, you're sadly mistaken. You'll be dead two or three times over by the time help arrives. So, what did I do to the snake?
I drove over it. Repeatedly.
Dan stood at a safe distance and trained the flashlight on it. I got the handy dandy SUV O' Doom and crushed the bugger flat. I'm sorry, that may be wrong. I didn't care at that point. I'm still a little freaked out by the whole experience. If I hadn't been paying attention at all, or been distracted by the car that was coming my way, I could've quite easily stepped on the "stick". And the "stick" would've sunk it's fangs into my unprotected, hairy leg. Maybe I'd live, maybe not. I know what bee stings do to me, so I'm pretty sure my body has a fairly low tolerance for venom in general.
I'm glad to be able to type this story myself. It doesn't make me want to move, either. It just makes me appreciate the mountain view even more. I'm living where I want to, doing what I want to, and I'm with a person I love very dearly. It doesn't get any better than this.
It's just that, for the next few days anyway, I'm going to scream like a little girl whenever I see a twig.