Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Bit of Drama on the Tuolumne River...

Every visit to the wilds holds the possibility of the unexpected surprise. There is the "usual" sense of discovery when one finds a new bird species, or some otters playing in the water, and then there is the just plain weird. I don't see snakes very often, as there are a fair number of people on the trail and the snakes wisely stay out of sight. In fact, the only snake I'd ever seen before today was dead.

But today was something. I was on a low bluff over the river gravels, and I happened to look down to see what looked like a huge snake (of course every snake looks really big at first). I realized it was a California Kingsnake (corrections welcome), and it was big, maybe three feet, but not huge. I got the camera out and got a few shots before it disappeared into the brush.
But then the weird part: it was being followed by a California Quail. I couldn't tell if it was chasing or harassing the snake or carefully monitoring the snake. I have to think that in some way it had to do with the defense of a nest, but I have no real basis for the speculation. Maybe it was just curious...

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