This blog post contains an admission that speaks to my woeful lack of experience of “the wild.”
Last week, I continued to wear in my new boots, with a 6 mile trek around my neighborhood. There is a very pretty gravel track that goes by a lake and I really enjoy the walk. Just as I joined the path, I noticed a snake about 30 feet away, in a different direction to the path I was taking. It was coiled and not moving, so I pulled out my phone, took a quick snap, then zoomed in on the snap and posted it on Facebook. I asked my friends if they knew what the snake was and, after a number of unsure responses, with a rat snake, a garden
snake and a damifino (whatever that is) snake as options, I started thinking back to the moment I saw it and I think the clue should have been that it didn’t move – at all. As a consequence, and to my eternal shame and blushing embarrassment, I believe it was the well known snakius rubberis, routinely purchased for a buck at Dollaris Generali.
Yes, that gruesome looking beast, coiled and ready to spring, was probably no more than a mass of rubber, painted for effect and no more likely to spring at me than the Statue of Liberty. Exactly why it was in the path I have no idea, though I suspect it was there for precisely the effect it had; it was put there for some mug to come along and I happened to be the mug who saw it and fell for it.
This doesn’t bode well for my upcoming trip, as I’ll likely mis-identify all sorts of animals on the trail. So, when I tell you that I’ve seen a mountain lion, read cat. When I report a bear sighting, read raccoon and any talk of moose should be downgraded to Bambi immediately.
This is indeed a step into the unknown; I just hadn’t realized that identifying live from inanimate objects was going to be yet another issue to watch out for.