there’s a snake in the garden

There’s a snake in the garden
The lizards have fled
Finches first alerted me
Their AM Tweets full of dread.
Snake sleeps rough
In the open
Too bold for my taste
Has my full attention
The old heart quickened
By rattler rhythms.
JoHanna Massey

Arizona Fish and Game, partnering with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Tucson Herpetological Society, has published an excellent read called “Living with Venomous Reptiles.”  It’s a smart read and one I recommend for anyone considering choosing the Southwest for their home or is planning an adventure in the Verde Valley, including Sedona. When a rattlenskae actually shows up, don’t expect him to care about reading the manual.

A true and honest perspective on rattlers, and just the best summer read, is from Edward Abbey in Desert Solitude.

There is also information and warning signs at the trailheads locally about the rattlers. They are not posted to amuse or charm. Chances are good you will not see a rattler, but chances are excellent they are watching you.

Be kind, stay cool, and enjoy this most excellent month of June.

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