The sun rises at 4:30 am here. And at least half the time, so do I. Seriously. It's beautiful out then, cool but not cold, rosy, still. I usually go out and walk around for a bit, then hit the computer or some netflix to try and get myself sleepy again. Which usually takes until about 7 or so, then I go back to sleep 'till 10 or 11.
The other morning, my second of the day, I was stumbling out of bed when Mom knocked on my door. "Potterman says there's a HUGE diamondback rattler sunning on the road!" she said, excited. "Wanna go take a picture??" "Heck yeah!!" I said, rubbing my eyes and patting at my sleep tousled cow lick. I grabbed some flip flops, a hairbrush, and my camera and off we zoomed.
On the way Mom saw a guy she knew, driving the other direction. We stopped, and so did he- apparently blocking the whole road is "allowed" out here in small towns. It's not like anyone came while we chatted. Anyway, she told him what we were looking for and he said, "Oh yeah, I just saw 'im! Follow me!" And so we did. And there it was. Four and a half feet long, beautiful... and then, as I stalked it, I thought, you know, maybe flip flops weren't the best shoe for this. But there was no stopping the crazed wildlife paparazzi, oh no. I crept closer and closer, snapping away. I don't think it appreciated the attention, because it started to slither away. "Do you dare me to pick it up?" Mom kept asking. "I dare you NOT to," I said. "I used to be able to do this all the time," she said, "and you used to pick up lizards and stuff when you were a kid." "Yeah, until the alligator lizard that bit my finger AND WOULDN"T LET GO." I had to lay my finger with the lizard clamped on on the ground and beg it to let go and run away. Last lizard I ever bothered. So Mom tried to pick up the snake, but it freaked out and jerked from 52 inch line to 10 inch squiggle, so she just petted it. Have I mentioned that it was just a really big gopher snake? Sorry, hope I didn't start any panic attacks out there. I got my photo fix, the snake found a nice safe drain so as not to get run over (or hassled by nature freaks), and Mom got to be the brave one who touched it. Cool. And I got to SOUND cool with my rattler stalking ...until the gopher snake part. Pretty nifty, eh?