When I came home from work yesterday it was a bit too warm to take Anubis for his walkies. So I took care of chores around the house and mowed the grass when the yard got into shade. Poor Skookum. She can no longer play savanna lion by disappearing into the tall grass. After talking with mom on the phone the sun had set and so zen and I took Anubis walkies. It was a lovely evening. I even saw a bright shooting star. By the time we got back home, it was dark. Lately it has been very dark. There has been no moon nor clouds to reflect the city lights, so it has been a slight challenge navigating the hill to get back down to the yard. There is a low block wall that separates my yard from the wilds. It is about 2' high on the outside and 4' high on the inside due to the hill. Zen and Anubis hopped over the fence just ahead of me. As I was about to hop over I heard the distinctive buzzing of a rattlesnake just off to my right somewhere near the wall in a thicket of bushes. I leaped the fence yelling, "Oh shit!" My foot caught the wall and I plowed into zen. Fortunately, he caught me. I ran into the house to grab a flashlight, but by the time I got back, it was gone. I have never had a rattler that close to the house. I immediately got paranoid about Skookum who was out prowling. She returned home about an hour later. It took several glasses of wine to get myself calmed down. The old fight-or-flight mechanism had really kicked in. I might have to do some brush clearing in the next week.