I left work late, much later than I had planned, and went to Margaret's house for a walk. I had never walked around her neighborhood before, and I was pleasantly surprised by the leafy green remoteness of it.
It had been raining for over a week now, and things were incredibly lush around the country side of Arkansas. And the weather was still Spring-like, cool and light, just perfect for long walks.
We came across a little snake warming itself on the paved road. My first impulse was to catch it and bring it as a gift to the herpetologist in my department. Margaret stopped me because she was concerned that it might be venomous. I didn't think it was large enough to carry a significant amount of venom, but it was too small for either of us to tell what kind of snake it was. It slid right under the arch of my tennis shoe, and we watched it slither away into the tan pine needles next to the road.
Margaret took me to see a beautiful house up a pebble-stone driveway. The yard had been wonderfully landscaped with roses and peonies and many other types of flowers. We walked around the house, smelling all the different flowers and looking at the view across the valley below. The owners were sitting on the back porch, sipping wine and watching two baby foxes that were perched on a rock facing the back of the house. I had never seen a baby fox before! They were fiery orange in color, with black legs. They were not afraid of us, and they were so adorable I wanted to pet them.
Margaret and I joined her friends on the porch and we were given wine glasses of our own. The sun was almost completely gone, and the foxes eventually slipped away into the brush. We sat for a long time, talking, sipping our wine, until the full moon came up and we decided we should probably head back home.