I’m having a lot more luck with liking crows than snakes, but the fellow I met yesterday demonstrated serpentine beauty more than any of the (very few) snakes I’ve seen before. His colors, his lines, his absolute silence and silky smoothness in movement were stunning. I was having a big moment, but he was perfectly casual. Maybe I bored him.
We looked at each other for several seconds. I had room to pass him on the left, but I figured he could whip around on me if he felt like it, and I didn’t know what kind of snake he was, had no idea about his the potential for venom—or simple pain. No one else was around.
Attractive, slender and modest, maybe three feet in length, he looked as un-menacing as a snake can, which to me is till pretty menacing. I know the experts say they’re more afraid of us, blah blah. Experts screw up all the time. Just ask GM, Wall Street, and M.D.s who can’t decide about Vitamin E or eggs.
Back at home, I went of course to Wikipedia, and found information about garter snakes that was absolutely fascinating. Rather than going on and on (who, me?), I encourage all to check it out. The infinite variety on this single planet is stunning—an old idea, but one that gets refreshed over and over if we shut up and look. And get lucky.