Here in the Wild You Have to Save the Sandwiches
“March, April and May Are The Three Months When Rattlesnakes Are The Most Active,” read the poster on the wall in the veterinarian’s office. Being a seasonal, I didn’t know. It’s been unseasonably warm. We went for a hike with the Chocolate Lab early on in March and heard about rattlers on the trail. Two slithered up the mountain side and the other was just sunning itself along the side of the trail we were told. “Best watch out for your dog,” a hiker warned. Not to worry, I have my hiking stick I thought. Saw a coyote on the second fairway and on the sidewalk by our condo and scared up one, one evening. It was sleeping in the brush beside the pool. Boomer, the Chocolate Lab, was confronted by one in the dark and the dog shot out of the wash and halfway up the parking lot toward our condo. He hasn’t gone there since. Oh, and a bobcat sauntered across the street way up near Cave Creek as we drove by and another one, a really big one, moved purposely down in the wash along that same fairway near the South Mountains as we got ready to hit our second shots. Javelinas wander at night where we take the dog to do his business. I think I saw a tiny scorpion scurry under a desert plant as I passed by and I thought I saw the tail of a Gila Monster hiding under a rock as I hiked down Piestewa Peak but was told by a veteran climber who burst my “I’m a seasoned outdoorsman” bubble, that, undoubtedly, it was a common, harmless, though rather large lizard. What I didn’t count on here in the wild, wild West was roof rats scratching between the walls and ceiling trying to get our oranges, lemons, grapefruit and peanut and jelly sandwiches.