Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Adventures in LA, day 9, 4/29 - Joshua Tree

The morning started off with Warren the next door neighbor/snake handler coming to remove Mr. Rattler.  Apparently the snake was so deadly and territorial, he did not feel safe just throwing it back in the desert and told us he was going to take it away and shoot it in the head.  Thankfully we had no idea how "deadly" the snake was until after a quick google search found this information:
Warning The venom of the Mojave Rattlesnake is extremely toxic and more likely to cause respiratory distress than the bite of any other North American rattler. Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Cottonmouths belong to a group of snakes known as pit vipers. These dangerous snakes have a heat-sensitive sensory organ on each side of the head that enables them to locate warm-blooded prey and strike accurately, even in the dark. The curved, hollow fangs are normally folded back along the jaw. When a pit viper strikes, the fangs rapidly swing forward and fill with venom as the mouth opens. The venom is a complex mixture of proteins that acts primarily on a victim's blood tissue. If you hear a rattlesnake shaking its rattle, back away. The snake is issuing a warning, and if the warning is ignored it may bite. There are many factors (temperature being the most important) that determine how a snake will react when confronted by a human. Venomous snakes should always be observed from a safe distance. Pit vipers are never safe to handle. Even dead ones can retain some neurological reflexes, and "road kills" have been known to bite.

Then off to Joshua Tree National Park where we climbed on rocks and ooh'd and aah'd the desert in bloom.

Then a stop for some thrifting on the way home.  I thought I was good with the thrifting, but Nadia and Karen are masters.  Nadia not only makes beautiful dresses, but has a knack for finding them as well.

What's this, a crochet museum in an old photomat?

And we came home to three more awesome ladies (Blythe and Jen won my heart with steaks, a case of wine and a handle of pomegranate margaritas) and cocktails sans rattler.  I have to say it was a real treat to be around such a power house of talented women.  Karin is a painter, Denise works at Harper Collins, Gita is an architect, Blythe makes awesome bags, Jen works for Timberland, Amber is a set designer for movies, and Sue is the head chef at the Pitcher Inn in Vermont (and makes a mean cocktail).

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