Took a drive to the Mt. Davidson summit east of Washoe Valley and saw this little guy along the route. He looked suspicious sunning himself in the road but proved to be just a 24″ Nevada Gopher Snake and harmless. Not the right markings on the back, wrong shape head and no rattles so not a rattlesnake. I hear some rattlesnakes don’t have rattles so you can’t always be sure with that one. He didn’t seem too alarmed at me either and he took his time slithering off into the sage. We’ve seen lots of snakes out this spring so be careful. I’ve seen people use a shovel out in front of them to alert snakes when they are roaming the sage rockhounding or looking for artifacts. Seems like a good idea.
Scenes along the Ophir Creek Trail.
We took a hike up the trail this morning since the summer heat has finally broken. Just a hint of color starting in the cottonwoods up at the “rock pile”. It was great to see so much water flowing in the creek in late September. The pic of the tree trunk shows the result, I think, of bears tearing off the bark looking for bugs. No wildlife spotted on this trip save for a hawk over the canyon. We also checked our geocache “Royal Flush” that we placed in 2003 and it is still there and looks great with many visits logged in the log book. We will go up again when there is more fall color.
The Dept of Conservation has a nice write-up and photo slide-show on Washoe Lake State Park on their website. Here’s the text:
“Washoe Lake State Park is beautiful this time of year. The water level is down, most of the campers are gone, but the views remain stunning. A mid-week, late-afternoon stroll through the park yielded diverse fall colors, a few birds in the bird watching area and scenes like fine-art paintings. Click the image above to view a slide-show – and if you get a chance, spend an afternoon there, especially while it’s still warm.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Most of us tend to take where we live for granted, after living here several years, me included. It takes a reminder like this though, to get out and take some time to enjoy our valley like we’re seeing it for the first time, like “tourists in our hometown”.