Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunset Picnic

I had really wanted to drive out to a National Monument in the desert and get some sunset pictures. 

The Mister tried to get home as quickly as he could so we wouldn't miss the sunset, and I tried to have our standard picnic dinner (fresh french bread, cheese, strawberries, and grapes) packed and ready.

Unfortunately, we missed the sunset before we could get high enough in the desert to get any good shots. 

We did, however, get to see something I have NEVER seen in the wild before. Actually, I am grateful I haven't seen this in the wild. But last night in the safety of our mini-van I was thrilled to see him:

This was a 2.5 ft long Diamondback Rattlesnake that was relaxing on the side of the road. This road is a loop that only goes in one direction so we were able to drive around him without disturbing him, and yet get within a foot him so I could lean out the passenger window and get these close-ups! (thank in part to the zoom lense)

It reminded me of when I was kid and my mom would pile my brothers and I into her 87 Toyota Celica convertible after a monsoon rain to go "tarantula hunting." Male tarantulas go out after a rain to find love, so we would go out to see what we could see. Of course the male arachnids are really huge, and some nights we would see many, many spiders as we drove through the desert.

Last night we also saw a ton of lizards (they were too fast for pictures) and we also saw a deer. 

Although we missed the best of the sunset, we saw a really good show!

La Vida Dulce!


Lindsay said...

Your kids are adorable.. That snake gave me the willies.. I hope you had a good picnic :-)

Unknown said...

I am glad St Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland! (LOL)

Sounds a perfect picnic - even without the sunset.

Beth Cotell said...

Yikes! Glad you were in your car when you saw that thing!

Shelley @ My Treasure Hunt said...

the picnic sounds like fun & the food-- bread, cheese & fruit...what a great idea! I will have to try that combo for a picnic in the near future! Thanks for sharing!

stephanie j. said...

AAAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!!!! I can not BELIEVE that your family took you out for "tarantula hunts" as a kid. I would have not taken that well, at all. I am a major arachnaphobic.

Tiffani said...

WOW!! I'm tellin' are one brave Mama!! I guess snakes can't jump, right ;)! I think my kid needs to come to Arizona for the son would LOVE all that wildlife!!! I'm glad you got some GREAT family time....sunset or not!

Anonymous said...

Ew. And *that* tops my list of things I really don't love about the desert.

The sunsets though? We have the market cornered on those!

I think it's fun how you're getting your fill of these desert things before you head east.

Carrie and Jim said...

I love your photos. Sorry you have to move from that it looks like a lovely place to live minus the snake. Yuck!

Michele said...

Your children are beautiful. That snake totally freaks me out!! I so totally hate them -big, small, poisonous, nonpoisonous -whatever -I don't like them. I probably would have run over him J/K. What a great idea for a picnic. I so love picnics. They force us to slow down and just truly enjoy one another.

Michelle@Life with Three said...

I'm sorry you missed the sunset -- although the picture you did get is still mighty impressive! (And, I'm thankful you didn't share any pictures of tarantulas. I wouldn't have been able to look. **Shudder**)