Visitors in the Neighborhood

When I walk Mister B in the morning, I try to remember to carry my cell phone. It’s good to have a camera handy, and the one in my phone takes a decent photo. I learned my lesson the day Mister B and I came upon a pack of javelina crossing our street and the phone was sitting on my reading table back at the house.

Yesterday, as I headed out for a day at the air museum, I stopped for this guy, who was crossing the main street in our neighborhood. I put the shifter in park and got out to take his photo. Sometimes, with tarantulas and scorpions, I’ll lay a coin or something down so that it’s part of the photo and viewers can get a sense of scale. But when I realized this was a rattler, not a king snake, I decided not to get within striking distance. I judged it was about a five-footer. A school bus came up behind me as I got back in the truck. I drove around the snake carefully while watching the bus in my rearview … I’m happy to say the bus driver drove around it as well. Some locals will run over rattlesnakes deliberately, but hey, they’ve got to be good for something, right? If they eat the neighborhood ground squirrels, I’m all for ’em.

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So that was yesterday. This morning, while walking Mister B on our street, I saw a good sized deer with a full head of antlers in a neighbor’s yard, probably down from the mountain to the north and looking for water. There was a rock berm between Mister B and the deer, so he didn’t see it and raise a ruckus. I did, though, and was able to fish out the phone and take a couple of photos.

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I’m still on the lookout for the javelina, who live in a dry wash nearby and frequently make sorties into the hood looking for accessible garbage cans to tip over, and the next time I encounter them I’ll have a camera handy. If I don’t forget and leave it home again.

© 2019, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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