Monday, July 25, 2011

What I Saw Yesterday

Hiking the dogs to a semi-algae free swimming hole (seriously, all our favorite spots are filled with green this year) in Georgetown, MA behind the water department near the West Soccer Fields, I saw a perfectly ordered snake skeleton on the ground. Skin still surrounded the bones, the vertebrae, in a few places. It was in perfect snake-shape, like an S with extra curves. The skull portion was a bit out of order, but the tiny little jaw with its tiny little teeth laid there in a v.

I bent over to examine it and called Doug to me. He got a small twig and lifted the skin a bit. We estimated its length at over two feet. It was a good sized snake, based on the skin remaining in the dirt.

How did he die? Was he dried out and baked to death after not finding anything good to eat for several days? It has been ungodly hot here, so I didn't doubt that as a possibility. Or was he an eagle or hawk's lunch? Passed through the bowels and deposited there in flight? Certainly not an option because that would result in more of a pellet cluster than a perfectly arranged skeleton.

We stood and talked about it for a while, and then Jack dog came and flopped himself down, right on top of it, and rolled about. The attempt to bring delicious smelling scents back to the pack is still ingrained in this dog, even though the entire pack was already WITH him and knew about the remains.

The skeleton was disrupted, disassembled and scattered, and I had to pick a piece or two out of his fur.

But for a few fleeting moments, I got to see it there on the trail, the way it was, for God knows how long.

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