|Vinca. Colourful but losing the run of themselves among the bushes.
Came home mid-afternoon one day last week. With one leg out of the car, I gathered up all the debris, water bottle, purse, books from the library, the mail, and milk from the grocery store --- what my father would call "the lazy man's load!" All set to stagger into the house when something in the driveway behind the car caught my eye --- a snake! Winding lazily across the sun-warmed concrete towards the shrubs. I stared. How had I not run over him? Then movement returned to my feet and I galloped, fully laden, into the garage, burst through the door to the house, dumped everything on the kitchen table, grabbed my camera and dashed back outside, hoping he would still be there. The driveway was empty but I was just in time to spot his tail slithering in among the bushes where he paused in a sunny patch of dead leaves. He seemed in no hurry as I zoomed in on him for a couple of shots from the safety of the concrete. He very obligingly stayed still, watching me with his beady black eye as I snapped away.
Maybe the reason he acted so docile and moved so lazily was that he'd recently had a satisfying feed. Look at the width of that belly!
I emailed the photos to the Bean, very chuffed with myself at having identified him (I thought!) I was pretty sure he was a hog nose snake, reputed, by Wikipedia, to be harmless and un-aggressive. The Bean telephoned me....
"I hope you're not thinking of picking that snake up Mom."
Pick him up? Has he lost his mind? Does he think I've lost mine? Does he know his mother? Granted, I no longer sprint in the opposite direction every time I see a snake, as I would have done years ago, but I could live a hundred lifetimes and never, ever, even once, be tempted to pick one up! No matter how harmless.... I've only calmed down enough about them to where I can get close enough to take pictures, from years of Bean talk about how there's nothing to freak out about, a snake is just another creature doing his job, keeping the vermin in check, keeping balance in nature.
"That's no hog-nose Mom. It's a juvenile diamond back rattler!"
Egads! And I was how close to him??
So what to do now about thinning out those vinca (top photo) that are taking over in that shrubbery bed where Mother Nature's rodent control workers are possibly lying low, staying warm among the dead leaves? Hip boots and the thick leather gloves I guess.
Enough to freak a person out.