This critter and I saw each other at about the same time. I said: "Oh!" It said: "Shake that rattle". Or similar. I was a good 15 feet away and in no danger. I backed up to about 40 feet away before it stopped warning me. It was a standoff for a while, but I did kind of want to get to where I was headed so I did an end around.
(Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus)
It looked like it had a foxtail stuck in one of its pits or nostrils.
Side note: while I was getting ready this morning to go out on this walk, I thought to myself, well, you look like a right dork with these snake gaiters on. But, as my husband reminds me, the only dumb safety equipment is the safety equipment you did *not* use and regretted you didn't. So: no regrets today, although technically I didn't need the gaiters because I wasn't very close.
A friend talked me into a short trip to the ocean (it took very little arm twisting). It was a foggy morning, but we persevered. We were rewarded with views of sea anemones and lots of sand dollars. And a dolphin!
This horrid seagull we christened Jonathan Livingston Asshole, as he or she hung around our picnic and lunged at a morsel I had been intending to eat. I kept the prize.
I thought this sailboat lurking just offshore was intriguing.
Long-billed Curlew just for fun.
It was only 94F when I returned from my walk this morning - my first in weeks! (Smoke from the fire a few weeks ago, way too damn hot the other weeks, visiting Mom, etc). Anyway, better than 109 or worse.
I walked down to the Chowchilla - meaning it was uphill coming home as usual - I was impressed at how much water is still in the river even now in August. Also, it seems that the rains this year must have washed out the invasive bullfrogs that have choked the river in the past. I didn't see or hear a single one.
Western Fence Lizard
I have to admit, it's a fine thing to be working at home now. I closed up my office in Oakhurst back in March and it's mostly been great. (My husband had to get used to having me around more.) The view from the office window was pretty nifty today.
Our uphill neighbors have started a small (for now) cattle operation, with grass finished beef. I was invited to come observe and photograph the action when they had to brand and vaccinate several calves, and castrate the boys. This shot of Luke roping a calf was the best shot of the day.