A view from my side.
I sometimes find myself in “automatic” mode when walking in familiar spaces. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Yesterday, on my way to a colleague’s office to discuss some thing or another, I was simply walking, not paying too much attention to where I was going. Then, something in my path caught my eye, forcing me to re-focus on my immediate surroundings. Whew…oops!
My workplace sits on a 350 acre parcel that borders a huge state park. We have a lake, miles of wooded trails, and, as you can imagine, a lot of open spaces. It’s a gorgeous place to work. However, with the rustic setting comes the need to look down every now and then.
More than a few times I’ve encountered the wildlife here. We have geese, a swan, turtles, beavers, deer, rabbits, an abundance of chipmunks and the lake is literally jumping with large mouth bass, brim, and bluegill. Of course, having so many species in the middle to lower end of the food chain, we also have our share of predators. Occasionally coyotes will be seen or heard, usually at night. We see a lot of hawks in the trees. And then, there are the snakes.
This one, identified as a Rat Snake by our biologist in residence, is one of the most common. Non venomous, these fellas help keep a check on the thriving chipmunk population as well as the field mice and other smaller furry critters that skitter about. Interestingly enough, I’ve never encountered one while running here. Or, probably better said, I’ve never noticed one while running here. I’m sure I’ve stepped right past them many times. As harmless as these might be to humans, it still gave me a bit of a start to almost be stepping on one while walking about yesterday afternoon. It reminded me that sometimes, you just Gotta Pay Attention!