Last evening as I brought Rimfire inside, BT asked if I wanted to go for a walk.
“It’s too cold. I thought about taking Rimfire for a walk tonight, but I’m thinking about taking him tomorrow, when it’s warmer.” I said.
Today, he was like, I’ve got to do this and this and this, and let’s go to the park and take a walk?
And so Rimfire got to not only go on a walk, but in the park along a trail. He was super excited. 😀
Now, I’m know most of you aren’t familiar with BT and I in person, but I’m not quite sure I can paint the picture we often paint on our outings. It’s a mixture between serious conversation, theorizing, randomness, and speaking about Rimfire.
I voted for the longer walk down the road to the trail. (Instead of parking at the trail’s head).
As we walked down the road, we saw a new addition to the park – a quite nice exercise circuit-thingy. Of course we tried it out 😛
Walking down the road, I saw a small wood sign, and tried to read it before I could make out the words “Beware of… Shame?”
Oh! “Beware of snakes.” Yeah, I knew that – they’d made sure to say that, I remembered the last times I was here.
BT read it, too, as he saw me trying to make it out, “Beware of snake.” he chuckled – “Just one snake?” The sign did say it singularly. While taking it seriously, we also had no idea what to look out for, rather than just look for snakes. We walked on.
I watched for snakes and ticks and pokey bushes as Rimfire explored. But he was really good, staying only along the edge.
“Good.” I mentally noted, “I won’t need to be concerned about checking for too many things on his person as we leave.”
We laughed as Rimfire kept switching sides to explore, and BT and I would switch places on the trail. But overall Rimfire did excellently – not pulling. 🙂
We finished that trail, and decided to take the second one. BT, for seemingly the first time, saw the signs naming the trees taxonomically – which means a lot more to me since transcribing for the Smithsonian.
We read those, and tried our Latin pronunciations out on the easy ones, before coming across a big sign of snakes and the ones to watch out for.
“Oh look!” BT said, “Here! Now we know what to look for.”
We read it and looked at the pictures (honestly, BT had more patience, and focus, because I despaired of being able to remember it once I stopped looking at it.)
“Hm!” BT said, and I was confident, if I couldn’t remember he would. We continued on our way.
Still I scanned each edge before Rimfire walked on it, and scanned our steps. All clear, like the last 3 times I’d come here.
Near the end of the trail, we stopped to read a sign that didn’t name a tree – it discussed the importance of fungi.
When we finished, instead of looking, I went ahead and stepped first, and Rimfire started to dash away, when BT’s arm came flying out at me, just catching my shoulder.
Half running into it and being grabbed by it’s insistent pressure backward, half understanding, I pulled Rimfire back to my side – all in a split second.
I looked over and BT was in a half walk – mid track, leaning forward, stock still.
I followed his gaze and saw a stick.
“Loook.” He said.
I looked again.
A baby diamondback was in the trail. A few inches from where Rimfire was about to walk, not to mention directly in BT’s path. I knew from being warned many times, that baby snakes are more dangerous than adults.
Rimfire was snugged up against my side, his leash so short, his front feet barely touched the ground. He didn’t know the danger, but I could feel his trust in my – or rather BT’s – judgement, as he cooperated without a doubt.
We stood still for a moment.
The baby snake was also still.
The snake was about 2 feet in front of his feet. BT rolled a pine cone at it. It slowly moved it’s head in reaction.
“It’s alive,” he declared.
“All right, go ahead and walk around it,” he instructed.
I took Rimfire up in my arms, (taking no chances here), and we walked around the danger we’d so barely missed.
On our way, I could tell he was concerned because we talked about it. About seeing it. About the events leading up to it. About him seeing it and stopping us. About the snake. About how it was probably good to hold Rimfire for a while. And we rehashed it again.
I could tell.
“Okay! I’m ready to go, if you’re okay without another go around?” he said.
As we walked on the gravel road back, “I’m actually still shaken from that,” he said.
I think maybe we were both wearing brave faces – and obviously this is the concerning thing about enjoying nature, but we weren’t thinking that – and I’m still not, thankfully – but, I could tell he was shaken, and I knew my head was still dwelling, with concern on it.
It was a wide man-made trail. Nobody got hurt. It was one snake.
But BT just saved Rimfire’s life, or possibly mine, within a split second. His reaction stopped me and his first instinct was to stop us – knowing that Rimfire was in danger.
I thank God for this, and BT.
Nature is in no way, actually, blotted from this encounter. Which is good – one could cite many reasons not to ‘risk’ going outside, but I truly believe we are only truly alive if we do go outside, no matter how messed up it might be. We need it to be whole. (Okay that sounded really New Age – I didn’t mean it like that. 😄 )
But, I have now seen my first snake. And I’m very glad for that guide that the trail-maintainers put up and maintained. And I’m very glad BT was looking out for us. And I’m very, very glad he didn’t take his next step which was right in front of the baby.
So yeah, there’s my first snake encounter story! Surprisingly mild, in the end, thank goodness!
What’s a close call or scary encounter you’ve had outside?