Widows & Rattlesnakes


Yesterday I photographed a little country estate in Kenwood, and to prep a particular shot I began to move a garden hose off the driveway into the hedges. As I moved the hose the agent casually called to me from across the yard, "Watch out for rattlesnakes."

I sprang away from the hose and asked "Are you shitting me?" and she said No, that rattlers like to hang out around water and will sometimes curl up in the hose. Damn - good to know. I need a special training class with this sort of information.

Later, while photographing the pool, I opened up two patio umbrellas, carefully watching the ground all around the pool for snake-like shapes, feeling very under-dressed in regular, non-Kevlar pants and shoes. A Kevlar jumpsuit, really, is what I should have handy.

I finished the shoot and went to close up the umbrellas. While closing the second one, I noticed what appeared to be a large-ish black widow hanging out in the folds of the fabric.

Alrighty - that's enough umbrella time. I grabbed my shit and ran off that patio, high-stepping over a well-manicured lawn with a horrendous case of the heebie jeebies. What might be waiting for me in my car, a scorpion? A wasps' nest?

We may not have beautiful, wide open country vistas out of every window or a Chanel-like pool in the backyard, but at least I don't have to worry about grabbing a rattle snake when I water the plants, and I think that's wonderful.