This afternoon I came across a rattlesnake by the side of the house. A big one. Western diamondback. I reached for my pistol, like always, lifted it from the holster and drew a bead. I took one step forward and the snake coiled, watching me with its black eyes as it began to rattle. I pulled back the hammer on the gun. That forked tongue flicked the air as the snake tried to assess the best way to handle a threat it couldn’t even begin to imagine. I stood there for several minutes before I let the hammer slide slowly back into place. I holstered the weapon. It’s only been recently that I’ve come to see beauty in things that can kill me. Maybe only in things that can kill me. I’m not talking about skydiving or driving too fast. This is something else. I can’t say exactly what it is. Not with words, at least. I guess it’s just one of those things.
Both photos taken in the other Las Vegas. The one in New Mexico.