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Wildflowers and cactus and snake, oh my

March 26, 2011

It was a perfect afternoon for a hike (and chance to keep rehabbing my 2-month-old sprained ankle…I was able to run a bit today…hooray). The ground was exactly what my bare feet prefer–ever-so-slightly damp, with a squishy puddle here and there.

The place: Barham Ranch (which consists of a couple of ridges between Santiago Oaks Regional Park and Irvine Regional Park)

The camera: my little Canon Powershot SD960 IS

The photographer…barefoot me, of course–with a little help from the 10-second shutter delay on the action shot

A purple nightshade that was draping itself all over a stand of prickly pear cactus.

Blue-eyed grass along the trail.

Some puddle fun.

I think the ankle sprain might be better . . . quick stepping up these sandstone ledges went pretty well.

It was obvious by his coloration, head shape, and eye shape that this was not a pit viper/rattler. So my toes moseyed closer for a photo. Since the day was cloudy and cool, this guy wasn’t going anywhere fast; in fact, the only movement he made the whole time I watched him was to  flick his forked tongue in and out–trying to “smell” who I was with it.

I checked online when I got home–I think it’s a California striped racer; there are similar photos on the California Herps web site.  Yikes . . . Cal Herps describes this snake as a repeat striker and vicious biter when it feels threatened. I’m glad I made sure my toes flashed the “we come in peace” sign . . .

Here’s more photos of my feet with various spiders and reptiles . . . along with a poem I wrote about this hobby that is going to get me bit some day, I imagine.

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