Earlier this week I was trundling along the path that parallels Baker Beach and runs along the road traveling from the beach up to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was late morning and there was lots of warm sunshine beaming down. As I moved up the path I began to see fat, appetizer-sized lizards running all over the place. From the path to the road and to the brush again. Dozens of them. Frankly I can’t remember the last time I saw a lizard that big outside of the zoo and so many of them at once. They startled me at first and then I started to worry that I’d smush one or worse, smush one and slide on it twisting my ankle again (I can hear the lectures now).
Then, just about the time I was cresting the hill and getting over my fear of a lizard slip and slide I spied a garden snake quickly slithering off the path to get out of my clumsy way. Ack! I hate snakes, talk about jacking your heart rate up! Thankfully the poor thing saw me coming and ran off as I screamed. That was the second time this month I’ve come across a snake on the trail. My friend Dora was with me the first time, that time when I saw the snake I jumped behind her as I screamed. Guess that wasn’t very nice, using Dora as a shield.
Anyway, in the newspaper this past Sunday I read an article titled “Looks like year of the snake, again.” The first line in the article is, “Sex can be dangerous, even with the softest of hearts.” That’s what got me reading.
The gist is, with all the rain this past winter there are hordes of little animals running around out there. Something about high soil moisture gives rise to high reproductive success for everything from mice up to rabbits. With that, there’s lots of good stuff to eat for snakes especially rattlesnakes. Plenty of food and the effects of the warm spring days trigger chemicals in the brain that say, get busy making babies. In this case baby snakes. Apparently the slithery links like to love eachother right out in the open while soaking up the warmth of the heated ground. According to the article, not even an earthquake could distract a snake while absorbed in “relations.” Point is, they won’t see you coming so you gotta keep an eye out for them. Riding your bike over, or stepping on a rattlesnake is gonna send you to the hospital. But you know that.
I’m not too worried about this rattlesnake business. I like seeing the animals. Not the snakes so much but the rest of them. Just keep your eyes open.
Consider yourself briefed.