September 11th, 2009

Wildlife

Snake!

I went for a walk around Quarry Lakes Park after lunch today, and managed to finish work and hae dinner early enough to take a second walk just before sunset. Two 5 km loops in one day is unusual for me, but the over-200 blood sugar reading I got last night prompted me to work a bit harder. The sun had set as I made my way back along Alameda Creek, turning the clouds an impressive orange-red (I wish I'd brought my camera). In the twilight, I saw a stick ahead of me on the trail. As I got closer, I realized that it wasn't a stick -- it was a snake! I stopped well short of the snake and peered at it from a distance. Reassured that it wasn't a rattlesnake, I nonetheless gave the black-and-white ringed snake a wide berth. As I went by, it went the other way in a leisurely manner. This evening, I looked up snakes of the Bay Area, and I'm pretty sure it was a California Kingsnake, which is not only not dangerous, but actually eats rattlesnakes.

Walks at dusk are usually when I get to see the most interesting wildlife, like the rabbits in Quarry Lakes, but during my earlier mid-day walk, I saw pelicans and other seabirds in the lakes and lizards sunning themselves along Alameda Creek, along with the fairly large number of catfish that appear to be stuck between the upper and lower dams on the Creek.
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