Saturday, July 15, 2006

Summer Moments: The Redstripe Ribbon Snake that Got Away

Alix saw her neurosurgeon on Friday and got good news (that leaves her in limbo.) She does not, apparently, have a colloid cyst or tumor. The anomaly that showed up on her various brain scans and MRIs is a cluster of blood vessels that is not dangerous. Unfortunately, this leaves the reason for her collapse at work and continuing headache (since May) undetermined, which makes her very unhappy indeed. That said, I am very pleased that no one is planning an excursion into the interior of her grey matter.

Summer marches onward in a hot fog. Tori went to Girl Scout camp for a week and Michael and I took the opportunity to slip off to the Texas Hill Country for some R&R with our friends Janice and Marvin. They hosted us at their lovely home in Horseshoe Bay, TX. We had a delightful time. In addition to long hours of laughing conversations and rambles around Horseshoe Bay, Michael and I took photographic side trips through Blanco, Johnson City, Perdenales Falls State Park, and Wimberley. I haven't seen the photographs yet, so I don't know how successfdul those were, but the adventures were fun!

Back to our trip. Batteries, what an invention! I have these nifty binoculars that can take photographs. I had them strapped to my fannypack when we visited Pernales Falls State Park. Climbing around on the broad expanses of rock that underlie the falls area, I noticed a slender snake at the edge of the water. With my binoculars, I could see it clearly. Young, it had great big eyes in its head and a long tapered body skinnier than a pencil. Green in overall color, the snake had a peach or coral colored stripe running down its back and a yellow stripe running down each side. Through the glasses, it looked so pretty. It posed for me for a very long time, moving occasionally so I could appreciate its sinewy grace. I wanted to take a picture, but my binoculars had no batteries.

I felt so disappointed. I needed AAA and Michael didn't have any in his camera bag. I kicked myself - figuratively - and felt even worse when I found the teensy, but perfectly formed, frog hopping around nearby that I would also have liked to photograph. Oh, well. I conteneted myself with observation for quite a long while and left it at that.

The walk down to the Falls is long and arduous. There are stone steps that seem to go on forever. We got there about two in the afternoon and stayed out in the sun for over two hours without realizing it. Suddenly, we felt so hot and tired and thirsty, perhaps incipient sunstroke victims. With difficulty, we hauled ourselves up the stairs, stopping to rest at the seating area near the top. We couldn't keep walking and while we waited, cooling off in the shade, I roamed visually around the location with my binocs.

When I went to put them away, I noticed that, hidden under the instructions at the bottom of the carrying case, I actually had those two AAA batteries I needed!! Sadly, I did not have the fortitude to climb back down those steps and look for my snake. I felt so frustrated, I can't even express it.

I learned my lessons - be prepared, then check to see if you were prepared even if you don't think you were.

Sayonara little snake. You were lovely to look at. I hope you live a long and uneventful snake-y life.


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