Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Don't Look If You're Squeamish!

Snakes...... for most people they are something to avoid. In our family, they are something to study, learn about and observe. Recently, Ryan's brother Rich stayed with us and one of his desires was to go "road cruising " with us. Rich is always game for an outdoor adventure as he is a world class birder that leads professional bird tours around the world. You can check out his blog by clicking on the link on the side. Rich knows birds by their scientific name and is also becoming an expert on butterflies, plants and dragon flies. He also is a culinary wonder and when he comes, he helps teach me how to make a mouth-watering meal that I've never had before. He knows Ryan's specialty is snakes and that one of the best ways to find them in the summer is by driving down a road in the country at night. You drive back and forth along a road that is fairly clear of rocks and twigs or other debris. The snakes can be seen crossing the road and you can usually jump out of the car and get a quick picture or two before they slither off. This is what is known in the snake world as "road cruising". Sometimes, you can find several that have been run over by careless drivers and these are called DOR- or Dead On the Road. We used to go road cruising more often but is has been a couple of years since we've taken the time. Gas is so expensive and Ryan has been so busy- not to mention me having a baby. This particular night we went about an hour south into the Toole Valley along the side of the Stansbury Mountains. We saw a couple of gopher snakes and this young rattlesnake. Thank goodness for zoom lenses. Sydney and Dallin were sleeping in the car and Ryan, Rich, Tyler and I hopped out for a closer look.

Ryan had brought his snake hook with him just in case there were any problems and needed to move the snake away.

Well, that was the most exciting thing that happened that night. We had a great time visiting with Rich while we were driving. Hopefully I will remember to get a picture of him next time he visits- as well as the new-to-me delicious meal that we make each time he comes. BTW, we made marinated chicken fajitas on the grill with a rich dark mousse. I never knew how hard it was to make a mousse! I guess fajitas aren't new to me but I have never tasted or made one quite as well seasoned and mouth-watering as this was. Yummmmm, makes me hungry just thinking about it!