May 04, 2008

Uncurling

Where the snake lives

This afternoon, I walked around Pretty Colour Lake with my brother, who had come to town to run a ten-mile race this morning. Because the day was cool, the trails weren't crowded at all. The wind had died down, and the water was that brilliant green-blue colour that it can be on spring afternoons. When we reached Dead Man's point, where reefs stretch out into the lake, we sat on a bench in the sun for a few minutes.

I've come to this lake hundreds, no thousands, of times in my life: with my family, with my friends, with my students. I can remember swimming in the lake as a teenager with my friend Outdoor Girl, collecting bright leaves at this lake with Picnic Family when I was a child, coming here on class picnics with Urban Sophisticate when she was a child, playing here with my own kids when they were little, walking around the lake five years ago with Artist Friend. I come here often for walks with my husband or my parents.

I stepped down to the water's edge to take a photo, and when I looked down, I realized that I had almost stepped on a snake. It was a common water snake, long and fat, with mottled skin. I've had so many snake dreams during the last few weeks that I felt startled by the sight of a real snake, the first one I've seen since last summer. The snake gave me little chance for contemplation. It uncurled and slithered into the water, sliding easily into all that green-blue.

Ripples

10 comments:

BlackenedBoy said...

How nice that you have such a long and established history with this lake. You must have become very familiar with it over the years.

Gawdess said...

a water snake might give me the heebie jeebies, not that snakes normally do, but I have never seen a water one, beautiful lake and story.

Sandie said...

I have a park near the house I grew up in, that I still go back to often, that I have very similar memories about. These are beautiful shots.

Silver Creek Mom said...

What a beautiful lake. I have one near hear that I like to go to. I should go more often. But I don't. Life seems to take over. Maybe this summer I will go and shot some photos and maybe just sit and sketch with my son. That would be a dream for me.
Grant you that snake would have startled me too, BUT it would make my hubby scream like a girl. LOL!

Songbird said...

I love how your dreams incorporate lions and snakes (just reading the post below, too). Mine are so much indoors, and I guess I am, too!

Yankee, Transferred said...

I always love your lake tales.

bsouth said...

What a lovely story and a lovely picture to go with it. Not sure about the snake, but I'm english so I don't have much experience with them!

east village idiot said...

What the hell are you doing swimming in a lake with friggin snakes in it? I'm having a heart attack just thinking about it.

jo(e) said...

Oh, they are just common water snakes. Perfectly harmless. We have them at camp, too. I've swum in places with water snakes my whole life. We don't have anything poisonous here.

Sarah Sometimes said...

Every time I look at that first picture I swear I can almost see the ripples in the lake moving. Amazingly vivid.