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Archive for the ‘Reptiles’ Category

On a hike in Harriman State Park in New York snakes were the farthest thing from my mind when this little garter snake crossed the path.

I did the usual thing I do when I see a snake that’s not threatening me—I moved toward it to get a closer look.

Later in the hike we were surprised by this big black snake. I’m not sure what kind it is but it was at least five feet long.

We wouldn’t have seen it if we had done the hike we’d planned on doing—a six mile loop. Somehow we missed a trail junction and ended up hiking a couple extra miles. Luckily, the only other people we saw had a map and they set us straight.

I had some expectations about this hike.

1. The trails would be crowded with people.

2. It wouldn’t require much thought or effort to navigate a marked trail system because most of the hiking I do in Alaska is in trail-less wilderness.

3. Maybe we’d see some squirrels or deer, but snakes—no way.

So, yeah, nothing I thought would happen actually happened.

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I’ve been writing a little piece about my writing journey. It’s not quite ready but here’s a teaser.

It was inspired by this reptile:

The Desert Tortoise spends 75 % of its time underground. And when it does come out it has an average cruising speed of .2 mph. I saw one blazing across the desert a few years ago.

I’ve been moved by reptiles a few times in my life. The most harrowing was having two big fat rattlesnakes buzzing at me while I was on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. They were about five feet away and luckily did not decide to use my lower leg as a pin cushion.

Getting close and cuddly with those rattlers was way more scary than being bitten by an alligator lizard. Yeah, that happened to me once, too. Sunk its sharp tiny teeth into my pinky. That was all twenty years ago, but it’s still fresh in my mind.

You can tell a vicious dog to go home. You can scream at a black bear and it’ll most likely leave you alone. But you just can’t reason with a reptile.

I’ve been plugging away at a new WIP and am about 50K into a first draft. I’m guessing I’ll wrap this puppy up in another 10 to 15K but it’s behaving more like a reptile than a mammal so we’ll see.

How about you? What are working on this week? And, has a reptile ever inspired you to do something? Sing? Dance? Run?

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