Fearless curiosity can lead to many interesting roads, cultures unfounded, mountains with wolves, curious spider relations and danger! Thankfully, many with this quality have strong instincts marching along side.
This is one of those stories!!
Fearless means, at times, my actions can be seemingly dumb and stupid. They are not; I am a curious behavioral scientist and scientists look for opportunities to discover, gaining insight.
This is one of the many stories from my life, when thinking I am helpful, actions from natures’ surroundings are unpredictable. My instincts are keen, I am lucky to be alive, more, experiencing the freedom being fearless.
Cottonwood Canyon is a beautiful area in Colorado. Filled with gorgeous homes, many beautiful barns with elegant horses grazing on our emerald green grass and Huge Rattle Snakes. The cover photo is a python – both rattlers and pythons have ferocious Bites!
A river somewhat runs through the area, which often one might cross a four lane overpass. This is where I stopped, in AWE of a huge lime green rattler, crossing the last of a four lane road; in front of my small SUV!
I had to protect him – by getting him across the highway!
Watching him not move, the warmth of the concrete – he might be digesting a days food, the gorgeous rattler was in peril of being run over by the omnipotent speeding SUVs that litter Colorado. Assessing his body through my window, his bulked size, of which both my hands could not come close measuring his magnificent body. He was astounding – I was transfixed – figuring how to get him to move to safety into the roadside brush.
The food is plentiful in Cotton Wood Canyon and Red Rocks where magnificent homes are being built, traversing on our wildlife, leaving them to fight for space and life. Foxes, to an abundance of rabbits to jackrabbits, ground owls, feral cats and dogs, and yet this area is horse country which is dwindling all to quickly in Colorado!
Snakes might be deadly, to me they are gorgeous. Staying calm and alert is key, since I am a a horse woman who loves to ride endurance – off path adventuring! Colorado has its share of snakes with cautioning articles each year to warn hikers, runners, horse riders, to be aware while venturing into the Rocky Mountains – foothills, all state parks, river beds. Listen where we tread especially around rocky areas where snakes digest their food. The rattle is your warning.
Yet seeing this gorgeous reptile, I could not allow another speeding SUV carelessly kill one more wildlife species.
With my male Rottweiler – Sebastian in the back seat, I always feel safe with my Rottweilers by my side (many more stories). Was this irrational thinking? Maybe! I have no fear, only instincts to guide me.
Sebastian and I were hiking earlier in on of the 100’s of state parks, all parks have some species of snakes, along with bunnies, playful foxes and coyotes. Keeping a hiking stick is common, never knowing if we might take off visiting the old mountain mining roads.
A brilliant idea struct me!
Checking the Ratters position left me plenty of room to retreat from my car, hiking stick in hand. Thinking, if I could give a nudge towards the side brush 10 feet away, he would be safe!!!
WELL (!!) this particular ratter did not appreciate being disturbed from his restful heated cement on a four lane highway. Nor did he understand my good intentions!
Quickly he coiled – head pulling into the center of his magnificent body. OK!! Slowly taking a couple of steps backwards, knowing full well there was not enough space between this huge snake and myself when he was ready to strike out. Slowly I retreated to my small SUV.
Stepped in, tossing my hiking stick, simultaneously rolling up Sebastian’s back window and then beginning to roll up my drivers’ side window.
Hearing Sebastian’s window shut, I let out a sigh, for the gorgeous snake was now at the bottom side of my SUV really hissed off, roaring, in a tight striking coil.
As my window climbed up about three inches from fully shutting..
his head hit my window an inch from the opening
He reeled backwards as my window continued to shut as if to strike again, we were almost face to face, as he slowly resume his head into a tight coil – tongue searching for heat.
Personally, I was more filled with curiosity yet sitting absolutely still! Not blinking or moving my eyes, seeing him via the peripheral of my left eye, as the rattler sat lowly in his tight coil ready to strike again! Sebastian had already laid down to sleep!!
Nope, danger still was remiss, instead, I saw his eyes glaring at me – fascinated by his stillness and darting forked tongue. My thinking, how beautiful he was as the venom drip slowly down the car window.
The passing thought “we will need to visit a car wash, that venom is a pungent killer, and must be removed before we go home! Yes there is logic still swirling in my head.
I sat, Sebastian slept, my mission was not yet accomplished! Mr. Lime Green Rattler must be safe in the brush before we leave. He was such an exquisite creature.
With the windows shut, moon roof open for air, Sebastian sleeping, all was statue still. Not wanting another “Thunk” to my window, our mission was to wait.
Slowly in time, Mr. Rattler huge body began to move in front of my SUV. His rippling musculature motion towards the brush became a transfixion art, I had to watch each fluctuation, he was captivating! His movements were methodical, much like a choreographed dance. This was a chance in a life time to watch nature in a rare moment.
His head movements – slight inches above the ground, the undulated movement was dynamic, as I peered stealthily through the passenger window.
Time stood still, Sebastian still sleeping as Mr. Lime Green Gorgeous Rattler undulated his length wise body off the road, disappearing. The striking muscles through his entire body shouted, Live his natural life, not road kill.
Cars came and went, slowing down to see if I was alright as they rolled their windows down – asking. Gave them the thumbs up with a smile through closed windows. My smile was triumphant Mr. Lime Green was safe.
Thirty species of snakes inhabit Colorado, with only three that are venomous; the Prairie rattlesnake, the Western rattlesnake – known as the Midget-faded rattlesnake, and the Mississauga rattlesnake. Mr. Lime Green Rattler was rarity.
Tragically, more dogs are bitten, and some unaware hikers when visiting the state – hiking in Colorado offers incredible views, wildlife, great mountain towns, back to town restaurants such as Morrison’s Beso de Arté, along with a snake passing in our streets and neighborhoods. Beware!
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About the Author: MicheleElys is a Neurobehaviorist ~ Author ~Keynote “It’s About Life!”
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