Thursday, April 24, 2008

nature city

I saw a snake on the road yesterday as I was riding my bike coming down the hill on the Hollywood side of Griffith Park. A black snake about 3 feet long with a yellow stripe on either side. It was in the middle of the road moving toward the right. I should have steered behind it but I didn't have time to think and I guess the reaction of pulling to the right to avoid collisions is unconscious. Fortunately I didn't hit it. I passed about six inches in front of it, my left foot passing just over it's head. Then I quickly stopped to look back and watched it reach the side of the road and disappear into the brush. Beautiful. And so elegant and mysterious the way it moved.

Further down the hill I saw a coyote trotting up the hill toward me. It saw me and then jumped off the road and down into the canyon.

Griffith Park is a huge park spread across several hills in the middle of Los Angeles. The hills actually divide the main part of Los Angeles on the south, from "the valley" to the north. I live just at the east end of the park. I road about 25 miles yesterday, including crossing over the top of the hill. Coming back through Hollywood I traded parkland for a bike lane on the side of Sunset Blvd. A homeless man pushing a shopping cart of his belongings along the street. A flat bed tow truck pulling out of his garage and blocking three lanes of traffic while he made a left turn.

There's a fat robin spending time in my front garden lately and splashing in the bird bath. Two doves are making a nest in the carob tree. My dog and I saw a mouse on our walk yesterday. It scampered along the side of a wall as we walked toward it. I held my dog back as it went by us and then disappeared into a hole in the wall and then I let my dog sniff at the hole until she got bored.

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