The snake lay coiled in a neat circle on the other side of the sagebrush alongside the fence I was repairing. As I stepped past, something caught the corner of my eye. Maybe it was the pattern, the shape of head, perhaps the color. Before my mind had time to formulate the words, Rattler, my foot had already come back.
It was a cool day and the rattler wasn’t feeling agressive. He just lay there gathering warmth. Even so, I gave him a wide berth.
Part way through the job, I noticed the smake traveling slowly down the hillside. I followed to see where it was going. Not under the logs I have to pull down, you aren’t headed, I thought. But no, this snake had one thought on his mind. Time to find the cave for hibernation. He was headed straight for Jackson Canyon, an area so wild you feel like you should see a pterodactyl come flying overhead. I was happy to let him go.
If the snakes are heading for hibernation, I better finish with my firewood. I would hate to have to move in with them to keep warm this winter.