Wyoming, USA

Bullsnake on attack
WY, USA - June, 1997
Nikon FE, 400mm Tokina

For me the the hunt for new bird species took me on a cartrip across USA, June 1997. With my beat up old stationwagon, and a tiny sum money for gas, and food I headed west from New York, sleeping in camping grounds, and on pullouts from lonely roads (nearby good birding areas).

In the land of Junipers, and sage brush of the arrid South West Wyoming I was taking one of many frequent stops to check the impassable dirt roads on foot for birds. I knew it was late in the day, but I was still at it. I was slowly walking, gazing at a red-tailed hawk up above when suddenly a snake began crossing the road ahead of me. But it stopped in its tracks, and started slither its tongue(which was longer than mine) catching the scent of something deliciously meaty(me...).

I found it funny when the snake started to change course , and slowly head my way instead. I took my camera, and fired two shots before the snake was too close for focus! The snake had increased the speed, and was almost in full zig-zag snake attack. Time for me to react.

I thought my towering 5.10" with dirty jeans, torned up sneakers, a bad hair day for the last week or so, and a sunburn to match would scare more than familys on camping grounds. But this snake must have thought the opposite. I slowly walked backwards, and stopped once to stomp the ground, roaring at the snake to carry on its business, and leave me alone. It took no notice, and speed up so that the dust whipped up behind it. Finally I had retreated to my car at the instersection to the dirt road, and I had no other choice than to run into it for protection; darn snake. Reluctantly I had to leave the area. The snake had claimed the territory.

That night as I restlessly tried to sleep in the back of the car, occasionally comming out of the deep sleep to fumble for my sneakers next to my head. They were placed there so if a magic snake managed to crawl into the car, I had something to fight it with...(The rear car door was always jammed open so that I got air into the car during the night...).

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