The sun rose red and it was already warm by 6:30 a.m. I am drinking my coffee outside and reading. We are under a red flag warning today. Winds will be 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, low humidity, and 84 degrees. It is beautiful, but I hope people will be wise and leave their burning for a better day.

I am halfway through Almost Missed You: A Novel by Jessica Strawser. It is a wonderful read and I feel like I’m peeling back a banana.

The birds are loquacious. Since I am often criticized for using big words, I will use another word(s) — talkative, communicative, chatty. But the best and most descriptive word for me is loquacious. It is musical background to my book. The dogs are padding around and sniffing and the cows are grazing across the field.


Today will be a trip to Llano to meet with my writer’s group and I look forward to hanging out with my tribe. I am heading to granite country which reminds me of a guest we had this past week (I work for a vacation rental and B&B service.)

He was staying out at one of our properties in the country. Upon checking out, he advised us that he and his wife had happened upon a rattlesnake and we should advise the homeowner to do something about that. As someone who grew up in the West, I know that once you leave your house, you’re in their territory. To eradicate these snakes is craziness. It is impossible to rid ourselves of all risk in this world and I do not believe it is even in mankind’s best interest. We keep trying to control our environment, but that is a losing endeavor. I remember seeing a movie a long time ago in which a society had become like happy sheep. They knew no hardship except members would disappear from time to time. But then life would go on. Nirvana. A human from the past visited through a time machine and discovered that those who disappeared actually ended up as slaves in an underground complex. Once those who had lived a risk free life were told, the knowledge unsettled them and they revolted. The man from the past saved the group, especially a blonde he had fallen in love with, but I found his character and hers too cliched to be interesting. It was the moral questions that were memorable — does knowledge make us better or worse? Is a stress-free life something to be desired?

The point is, I don’t go looking for rattlers, but I also know they have their place in this ecosystem. For those who are not enamored of mice and rats, they might be viewed as something beneficial. Roadrunners are known to take them on as well and I always get excited when I see one. They are fascinating birds. Plus, they feed the hawks and eagles which might keep them sated enough to stay away from chickens. That’s wishful thinking.

Moral of the story — if you’re going to walk around the back country out West, tread lightly and be mindful. Another thing, don’t kick fresh cow poop with your flip flops.