A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're Back

The weekend didn't quite to turn out as expected, weather wise. Friday late afternoon was fine but Saturday was overcast all day with barely a hint of sun. Close to 6pm sprinkles began to fall. Off to the west the clouds looked darker and I decided it best to play it safe and get off the playa. You do not want to be out there should the rain fall for it is an almost certainty you will get stuck. And how can one sleep at night with that concern? I moved off and good that I did for it rained about an hour at sunset. Sunday morning looked to be a fine day but the playa was too wet for comfort so we packed it in and came home. I've been going out there for 20 some years and have never seen standing water in June and only once in May.

I did see this handsome fellow and pulled the Little House on the Highway over at one of the very few turnouts along the road. I walked back to find him in the very same spot sunning himself. He didn't seem to mind my presence and kindly allowed me to take a few photos of him. What a beauty.

I moved in for some closer shots which he didn't mind at all. When I was done taking pictures I thought best to move him off the shoulder of the road and back among the sagebrush. It was then I discovered why he was so cooperative.

He was dead. How very sad. There were no signs of any truama to his body yet there was a small pool of fresh blood beneath his head. I cannot picture how he could have been hit by a car and then slithered all the way over to where I found him only to expire. I've seen many a dead snake on or just off the road but none in such perfect condition. It remains a mystery what happened to him.


  1. hmmm...don'tcha hate when you don't know the rest of the story? I make it up then. I'd probably say........ maybe..... something else was carrying the snake after catching it... tried to go across the road and got hit by a car. ... . but, then.... where was the something else that killed the snake....hmmmm.... might have been further off the road and you didn't see it?.....

  2. oh, oh.....or..... maybe a big bird... caught a snake...and whilst flying overhead...dropped it? ..... he was just sitting on a rock or some little bush just waiting for you to leave so he could get his snake back.

  3. well, no wonder he wasn't in a hurry to get away! poor thing!

  4. I think you're brave, standing close to a snake, but this one even I could have been close to, since it's dead.
    Wonder what happened to it??

  5. he died with his eyes open. or she. lets see. the presence of blood suggests injury of some sort. most likely not poison. but a predator. yes, I propose that the predator in question was interrupted, or perhaps preyed upon itself and therefore couldn't finish the job of consumption. so the snake was left behind, likely a recent kill as the body showed no signs of decomposing.
    case closed.
    now that's settled, that's a splendid photo of the playa. welcome home. how's Sinbad?

  6. Poor snake. I went out to the blueberry enclosure and found a snake had gotten caught in the bird netting and died. I always feel bad when that happens but I want my blueberries and the robins and mocking birds would eat them all if I didn't keep them out.

  7. We're back at almost the same time! How sad about the snake, I've moved plenty of them off the side of the road too...and then seen plenty of them in this not so fortunate condition too.

  8. I like snakes, frogs, rabbits, and any thing like your photo here. It looks alive, but will trust it is deceased as you stated. You sure have a steady hand to get such a sharp no motion photo!

  9. Aw, that is really sad. I know critters die all the time for many reasons but it still makes me sad. I will just assume, for my own peace of mind, that after you left another critter got to have an easy lunch. It's all about the food chain out there. :o)


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.