These are fast snakes. Usually they just zip by, a few inches up in the grass, and you hardly see them, but this one is trail smart, and has mastered the art of freezing and looking like an old branch. In fact, I thought it was a branch at first. It’s bent up a bit because it retracted to get out of my way.
I was, blush, not looking where I was going, if you really want to know. I went to read some rocks, as a way of mapping, and I was trying to learn how to do just that. See?
Exactly. Not looking where I was going. If there was a horse on the trail I probably would have schmucked into it, too. Still, it’s a warm day, this is mating season for snakes, and this snake is probably fresh out of its winter den (early). This is a big snake, too, about a metre long, the fierce predator of crickets and grasshoppers, and mice and birds, too. It’s also a curious snake.
With a gorgeous yellow belly and huge eyes.
A lovely encounter. The snake went back to (I hope) making more snakes, and I got back to my reading.
It seems that the language of rocks includes both snakes and flowering saskatoon bushes! Oh, and this guy.
Yellow Bellied Marmot
Note the racer-like stick to the upper left!
Yellow bellies and grey backs. It seems to be a thing!
All images at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park