Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I had my first unpleasant encounter with the wildlife up here yesterday! Not bad, for the third visit, I suppose. I was walking a little-used trail to a privy on the upper level where my kuti is, and suddenly a loud buzzing ahead stopped me cold. It wasn't a sound I've ever heard in the wild before, but it sounded like a serious warning. As I listened, I thought it sounded like some kind of insect, although I couldn't imagine an insect that would make such a warning sound. It was coming from a clump of dried grass just ahead.

Naturally, the idea of 'rattler' crossed my mind, but I'd never heard a rattler before. I've seen a few out in the wild, but they were napping. Once the buzzing stopped I tossed a small piece of wood into the clump of grass and it started again. And I did it again. Finally, I turned around and walked back where I'd come from. Nature won. I wasn't willing to take the chance that it was a harmless insect.

And, it's a good thing I didn't. This morning I went on good old YouTube and listened to the sound of a rattler -- yep. That's what it was. And Ayya says there have been nests of rattlers up in that general area in the past. It's actually the kuti and privy that are the home of our Abbess, who now spends most of her time in Santa Rosa. She had encountered them on another trail in the past, but this is the main trail to her kuti area.

I've volunteered to tend all those upper trails, cut back the dried grasses and such to make them more passable. Clearly, it's needed, because we can't have a rattlesnake nest in that location. I walked the path a few days ago with no troubles, so hopefully it was just a random snake, not a nest. If that's the case, I can clear the path safely. If not -- well, somebody else is gonna have to figure out what to do about it.

We have an outing scheduled for this evening that I hope will produce photos that I can share tomorrow. Even without photos, I'll share my memories if it's as memorable as I think it will be.

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