In a world dominated by technology and instant news if it’s not Instagram’d it never happened. Well, that’s what I’ve heard…
Today I witnessed something calming, natural, and amazing. I didn’t take a picture or video so I’m sure there are some who will say this story never happened. But you see, it did, because I was there, heard it, and saw it for myself.
It had been a week or so since my last hike through the woods. Between weather, some recent travel with my wife, and daily responsibilities on the homestead my time for exploring the forest has been limited. Finally this morning I had the chance to get out and I took it. Sure, the weather was hot and humid well before noon, but I didn’t care. I was willing to put up with sweat and bugs if it meant a little bit of time out in the woods alone.
It’s that time of year when wild blueberries begin to ripen and I was on the search for my secret stash, a patch of bushes I discovered a few years ago deep within the forest. But venturing to these bushes came with a risk. To get to them meant hiking through thick unblazed forest and over rocky terrain. Prime slithering grounds for the Timber Rattler. During the summer, pregnant females seem to prefer open, rocky ledges where the temperatures are higher, while males and non-pregnant females tend to spend more time in cooler, denser woodland with more closed forest canopy. Female timber rattlers often bask in the sun before giving birth, in open rocky areas known as “basking knolls”. July and August are primarily their mating season and here I was about to hike through thick forest and rocky terrain smack in the middle of Timber Rattlers mating season. I had one thought, don’t piss off a horny rattlesnake.
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