At the end of the hike mentioned in the previous post, In The Canyon, as I walked the last two hundred yards to the parking area, this snake began crossing the trail. I stopped, got down on one knee and framed through the viewfinder to capture the image. The snake had paused as I stopped, as if it was profiling for the photograph.
The Nikon autofocus was hunting for the main subject, so I switched to manual focus and took a few frames. I had seen a couple in their twenties behind me on the trail. They walked up behind me, then stopped abruptly as the woman said, “Oh!”
“There are no rattles, so it probably isn’t poisonous.” I said. “Looks like it might be a gopher snake. My granddaughter could tell us immediately what it is.”
I took a couple more frames of the snake. “It isn’t coiled to strike.”, I said and stepped around it by the edge of the trail.
The couple hesitated, then walked a large u-shaped detour through the thick undergrowth of the adjoining hillside where there were considerably more likely to be snakes than around the trail. I didn’t mention that probability to them. They seemed nervous.