Saturday, November 20, 2004

November 20, 2004

Two oddities: First, the west side of my office has a window that is covered with reflective film, which works like a one-way mirror to those on the outside. The olive trees and a hummer feeder are right there, and the whole area is a bird magnet, especially to hummers, woodpeckers, and quail. A male verdin spends most of the day flying at the window, clinging to the screen, seemingly trying to get in, though probably he's trying to challenge the other "bird" that he sees in the reflecting glass. Needless to say, our cats view the verdin as the most fascinating cat toy in the world.

Second oddity: today we walked on the River Walk around 3 PM. It was 70 degrees, and as we walked I saw half a snake on the side of the path. It was the back half; the rest of the snake was inside a hole. As I watched, the snake slowly emerged from the hole, his head last. It was a small snake, tan and brown, covered with a nice diamond pattern. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a rattler--the head seemed too narrow and I didn't see any rattles. But why would a snake come out of a hole backwards? That seems to expose him to predators without any way of seeing them or otherwise sensing them. Also, what was he doing out in the middle of November? Shouldn't any sensible snakes be hibernating by now?

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