Just a few yards down my favorite trail today, I nearly stepped on a great big snake. I saw at once it wasn’t poisonous. Between two and three feet long, a kind of speckled yellow with a pattern on its back. The reptile stopped in front of me, flicked its tongue a couple of times, and proceeded on its way. Even if I’d had the camera out, I might have let the creature be. We were having a private moment, after all, and it wouldn’t have been polite.
After that, I took the camera out of its case and hung it around my neck. A little farther along, a gorgeous horny toad* ran across my path and stopped inside a sagebrush looking up at me. I tried to take a picture, but the auto-focus kept fixing on the bush. When I took the camera away from my face to switch to manual focus, the damn thing vanished! I left the trail to stomp around a little in the dirt and look for motion at the edges of my vision. No luck this time, though.
Most people don’t know that horned toads, at least the little ones, can change their color in an instant. This one was small and showed some green and purple spots. They would have vanished in just a couple seconds with the lizard sitting in the dirt, but I wonder where it was before?
* See comments. West Texas in our brains.