September 2011 : Wednesday
Sep 2011 : Wednesday
Have you ever had a close encounter with a snake?
Tell me your story! Mine is probably not so great… but, it is a “snake story”.
Daily Photo – The Rest of the Chinese Snake Story
I had climbed up and down the spires of Zhangjiajie twice, which is twice more than my legs wanted to go.
I foolishly went up one of the spires at sunset trying to get a photo. I got to the top, and there was no good sunset. It was still awesome and everything — just no sunset photo. And getting up is not easy. There are little stairs caved into the sides of the mountain that spiral up and through inlaid cave systems. There is occasional ducking and a lot of worry about slippery bits.
So the time had come to descend. It was dark. Bear-den dark. I had a little light on my camera strap (not really a full-on flashlight like I should have had). I kept it on as I walked back. It was about a four kilometer back through these spires alone. I never saw another human, and I didn’t expect to see anything — until I almost stepped on this snake.
There he was, thick and sinuous. He was right in front of my path, and there was no way around him. I tried my best to ascertain his attitude, and I was pretty sure he simply wanted to rock my face off.
So I kept the light on for a while and wondered what to do. It was super-jungly around me and there where no rocks or any decent projectiles. I could have thrown a granola bar, but maybe he would have thought it was just an appetizer before me.
I started getting my tripod ready and fully extended so that I could just flick him out of the way. No, this didn’t seem like a good idea at the time either.
I got it fully extended, but I was still a pretty long way away. I was trying to figure out how fast the snake could go, and I envisioned many possible routes that involved the tripod, my feet, jumping, and escape vectors. All of them had this questionable (but important) variable of SnakeSpeed.
While I was running through a scenario, the snakes head popped up and he flew across the path faster than a cheetah. I mean — this snake was so goddamn fast that I could not believe it. It was like a fully-loaded slingshot released black bolt of shadow across the path.
I waited another few seconds before continuing on, feeling very foolish for even considering any of my previous scenarios…