赤岩山・宇野ヶ岳 MT. Akaiwa & Mt. Uno-ga-dake
I can hear deer crying all around me. I can't see them due to the thick vegetation at this time of year. There are a lot of deer in this area. I want barbecued venison sausages.
The track to the ridge is steep. Apart from the rock face just before, the ground is soft and has been rooted by boars. In this area you climb up through giant cedar trees. the path to the ridge is a little hard to see, but if yo follow the pinkish ribbons, you should be right.
I suddenly heard the sound of a fleeing animal right beside my left foot as I was walking along the track. At the same time I leaped to the right. What the heck was that. It took me about 3 seconds to see it. Woah!!! It's a snake. I didn't see it at all. The snake reared up on it's tail with it's head in the striking 's' shaped position and facing me. It's giving me the heebie jeebies. Is it going to attack me? Should I take a photo or flee? Before I could take the photo it slithered into a big rock. What kind of snake was that? I've never seen one like it before. It was quite an attractive color and pattern. Wishing I had taken a photo, I waited about 10 minutes to see if it would come back out, but it didn't. After getting home, I looked it up. It was a Japanese four-lined rat snake ('shima-hebi'). Luckily it is non venomous. That was a close call. But exciting.
Woah!!! Another snake on the track. What's this one? Is it a 'yamakagashi' tiger keelback (black type)? This time it flees a short distance and lies still. This is a little unsettling. From here a pay close attention to the track ahead.