“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Monday, May 19, 2008

Riding through the woods on a summer's eve.

Robert Frost would have found more to ponder had he stopped by the woods 6 months later. My favorite time to ride the bike trail is just before dusk on a summer evening. The woods come alive as the sun begins to set. You never know what you might encounter.
Tonight, as I came to the top of "the hill", I passed a snake lying in the path. The markings looked like that of a copperhead, so I stopped to check. It was indeed a copperhead, the first I've ever encountered in the wild. I hadn't passed anyone on the trail. I doubted anyone would be in danger of stepping on him, so I left him to find his own way back into the brush.
I stopped at a bench further up the trail and watched the sunlight fade in the valley below. As I headed back I saw a man walking the same path I'd ridden a few moments earlier. "Did you see the copperhead?", I asked. He told me he'd almost stepped on it lying in the middle of the trail. I decided I should do some snake wrangling and keep any other evening walkers from getting bitten. I grabbed a long stick and rode along like a modern knight on his way to a joust. The copperhead in the middle of the trail was not the same one I saw. He was smaller and not in the same place as the one I encountered. I stopped a safe distance away and touched his tail with my stick. He coiled and faced me. Since he wasn't going to just crawl away, I swept him off the trail with a gentle swish.
As I headed back down the hill a large owl glided over my head with a whisper of his wings as he passed.


Dana said...

Eewww!!! I'm glad you moved it! Sounds like it was a nice evening!

Florence and Gary Deeter said...

What a beautiful evening. It was gracious of you to allow the copperhead to live.

We have seen three in the wild, one on Grandma's driveway, and two near the spring at the Longaker farm.


Elan said...

I read your entry to Leif. He liked the picture of the snake. Leif says, "I wish I could see a rattlesnake because I want to see the rattle." Leif is into snakes right now. He had a field trip to the zoo today and he got to see a cobra, a king cobra and a spitting cobra, plus a rattlesnake.

It's good that you take your camera along on your biking adventures.