We all are guilty to some extent of not paying attention to our immediate surroundings. Case in point. When I lived in Arizona I was digging up a nice bunch of agate in the mountains south of Tucson. It was way up in the tree's, about 6,000 feet altitude. The day was sunny and warm up there and I was so intent on digging, I failed to notice something in my immediate area. There was a small pine tree right in front of me and after an hour of digging, I stopped to take a break and when I looked straight ahead of me, I spotted one of these less than 2 feet from my face:
This beautiful little guy (photo copyright by Gary Nafis and posted at this site: http://www.californiaherps.com/noncal/southwest/swsnakes/pages/l.p.pyromelana.html) is Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana, the Sonora mountain king snake. I don't know how long he was hanging there watching the crazed human digging for rocks.
Another example is my big mistake in wood identification. I was under the impression that the cedar wood I gathered in the Sierra Nevada mountains was western red cedar. I was told this was correct by a fellow at one of the camp grounds and I took it for granted to be gospel. I have come to find out that it is actually California incense cedar, Libocedrus decurrens. So, anything in my past posts that is called western red cedar is actually California incense cedar.
2 hours ago