Ranger Kathryn's Arches

August 15, 2010

Of domes and rattlesnakes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:52 am
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Overlooking the Green River, from the top of Mini Half Dome

It was my last night living at Island in the Sky, and friends wanted to explore a new place. Destination: Mini Half Dome. It looks for all the world like a shrunken version of Yosemite’s great granite formation, but unlike that one it is eminently accessible (if you know the combination to the service gate). Forty minutes before sunset, four of us hiked up to its summit and enjoyed yet another fab photo op at Canyonlands NP.

Midget Faded Rattlesnake on park road after dark

On the drive home after dark, a snake was in the oncoming lane; at that time of day and on asphalt, it’s usually a rattlesnake. Not wanting him to be run over, we stopped the car to shoo him off the road. He (she?) was too shy to even rattle at us, but kept its face pointing in our general direction the entire time as it slithered sideways off the shoulder and into the blackbrush. I was grateful for this first opportunity to see a Midget Faded Rattlesnake. It was only about 18 inches long… and very beautiful. Please be kind to snakes; they are not to be feared, and are an exceptionally important part of our food web.

One last night for the Perseids, on the basketball court… it was as delicious as could be. I can’t get enough of these endless skies, uncountable stars, and Milky Way.

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