(NOTE: After you’ve enjoyed these images to your satisfaction, tap your browser’s ‘refresh’ button to see additional images; the pics shown here are pulled at random from categorized image folders, so there are more photos to see. ALSO: I’m still working on the Fiery Gizzard post and related pics; please check back.)
Without detailing the mental chatter, my hike did not come easy this evening; but the good shoulder angel won out over the horned red shoulder angel and I made it to Radnor Lake. I thought I might go for a relatively long hike despite the late arrival time of 6:30pm, so I parked up at the church.
I was on the phone with Ken “Good” Hair as I walked up Otter Creek Road toward the Granny White parking lot, but before I reached the entrance I saw a deer grazing about 10 yards away, on the edge of a very thickly wooded area. Since I cannot do two things at once, there must have been an odd pause or some other weirdness on Ken’s side of the communiqué as I fumbled my camera into shooting position. But I remember the important part: we have a meeting with a potential new website client this Thursday at 1:30.
When I reached the parking lot, I noticed the red flowers bursting forth from the thick shrub-brush between Otter Creek Road and the Radnor Lake parking lot, so I captured a few shots of that. I cannot identify it – the flower is shaped almost exactly like a trumpet vine, but colored differently. I bet Jennifer can ID it! How about it, Jennifer?
I was listening to Miguel Ruiz reading one of his three great books, The Voice of Knowledge, on my iPod as I walked up the hill and approached the gravel road for the usual standard shots I take on each visit for later time-lapse experimentation.
After getting those shots, I saw an attractive young couple closely inspecting the concrete wall or something on it. As I approached, the fellow said one of the words that always makes me feel happy: “snake”! He even said “water snake,” so I knew he wasn’t ignorant of nature. So many unlightened folks might have said “water moccasin” or “copperhead” – or worse, “we just killed this poisonous snake!”
Once I saw the snake on the wall they were observing, I realized we were lucky to be watching it at all: it was not a large snake, it was not brightly colored, and it was not moving; I’m amazed they noticed it at all. Good job!
I took dozens of pictures of this young (1-2 years of age) Northern Water Snake, which remained in the exact same position for the entire 15 minutes the three of us were watching it. It did not move, even as we got closer and closer to it with the camera in an effort to get some great shots. Even when I practically rested the camera on the snake’s tail, it still remained frozen in its stately (for a snake, seriously) position for us: a perfectly posing snake, indeed!
But it was very, very difficult to get the digital camera to focus on the slender snake; the automated gadget really wanted to focus on the foliage or the lake in the background instead. The guy (I failed to get his name – how rude of me) sounded like he knew his way around a digital camera, so he had his turn to attempt some nice clear pics of this fearless, posing young water snake. As he took pictures, all three of us were still marveling at the chance sighting of this awesome little creature. So, credit for all of the images of the Northern Water Snake associated with this post is hereby awarded jointly to me (Stephen Frasier) and the mystery fellow, the male half of the couple who noticed the snake on the wall in the first place. Thanks!