I just had my first snake sighting since moving to the farm. Actually, calling it a "snake sighting" sounds rather mundane, like "Oh look, there's a snake." Hardly. This could more accurately be described as a perfect storm of creatures inadvertently scaring the piss out of one another, and everyone backing away slowly. I'm still breathing hard.
I just took a walk (a long walk) out to my mailbox, which turned out to be in vain, since it's Columbus Day (I forgot). On the walk to the mailbox, there's an area of the property we like to call "the scary, snaky place". We'd never actually seen a snake there before, but it's densely overgrown, with a line of trees behind it, and if I were a snake, well, that's where I'd live. I had nearly reached the street, and it was just at that time of midday silence, when not many animals are out and about. All was quiet, the air was still, the sky was overcast, and about five feet in front of me I heard a very loud rustling in the trees, followed immediately by the thump! thump! thump! of GIANT beating wings. Apparently I had startled a large, LARGE bird. I didn't get a good look, but it was certainly a hawk or a turkey vulture, which are plentiful here. This did not just startle me out of my reverie. This scared the living daylights out of me. I jumped and stumbled backwards a bit, and when I did, I felt something sort of soft under my shoe. That just scared me again, and I jumped and stumbled a second time and saw a flash of movement on the ground - a copperhead streaking out from under me and into the tall grass. Holy Sh-t. I mean, really.
Let me see if I have this right. I surprise a vulture, vulture scares me, I scare a snake, snake scares me (again), all parties make a quiet and hasty retreat. All I can say is that I'm SO glad my snaky friend opted to retreat. How lucky for me.