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An August Tradition: Photographing Tarantulas and My Bare Toes

August 4, 2011

Even though they are not as plentiful as I’ve heard they used to be (whole desert highways seething with surging tarantulas on the move for mates), every August brings a few fun encounters here in wild Orange County.  On yesterday’s evening hike around the outskirts of Irvine Park I ran into this fellow . . . of course I had to harass him, wildlife paparazzi-ist that I am, with a photo-op:

Usually tarantulas are pretty docile creatures . . . but this one was big, with an attitude to match, and he even went a little Charlie Sheen on me, jumping at my big toe. Get outta my face, human!

I had another beautiful critter run-in in early July, on the ridges of Santiago Oaks Regional Park, with this silver ribbon of kingsnake shining in the late slanting light:

Would you like to pose with my toes, Mr. Kingsnake?

Guess not.

He made snake tracks out of there . . . leaving behind swoopy snake cursive as beautiful as the muscled artist who wrote these lines.

So I made tracks too . . .

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