I’m not Tiff Banks, or am I?

I found a slug on the road yesterday evening. Not just any old slug, this thing was seven inches long. I asked my husband, “Am I exaggerating, was it really that long?” He agreed it was. It was beautiful in its own way, so I used a large leaf to pick it up and put it in the grass. At this time of year, when the road surface absorbs the day’s heat but the nights are nippy, we find quite a few creatures on the road. Snakes. There are a lot of harmless snakes of all sizes. Most of them end up squished by cars. Some stay on the road too long and become lethargic when the sun disappears over the western mountains. That happens earlier every day and I’m always surprising by how quickly the temperature drops. I move the snakes to the side of the road, too. Last week I moved a pretty jade-green and coral snake. Last year I moved five tiny, blind, baby mice. Poor little things.

I’m not Whisperings’ Tiff Banks but her observations, of course, are mine. I spot the first tiny, yellow, orchid-like spring onion and know spring is truly here. I walk the mountain trails, step across the narrow seasonal streams, watch hawks ride the thermals, their undersides the bright copper of Royal’s hair. I delight in the ever-increasing profusion of wild flowers. I stand on the mountainside and look down at my beautiful valley.

In fall I steer my sneaky little “MacKlutzy” away from rotten crab apples and acorns, which he loves to eat. I see the first tree turn color on the mountainside and know hundreds more will have joined it in a couple of weeks. I know winter will soon arrive. And in winter I look upon a dazzling white wonderland.  I feel the bitter bite of frigid air. I drive the treacherous roads and plod along them, muffled to the ears in layers of clothing. I see a landscape of gray skeleton trees in late winter when the snow has melted off them.

No, I’m not Tiff Banks, but don’t be surprised if a giant slug makes an appearance in one of her adventures.

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