This morning at Runyon Canyon I had my first prolonged encounter with some of California's large snakes, as these gopher snakes put on a mating dance for crowds of fellow hikers and dog walkers.
Mating gopher snakes at Runyon Canyon
You'll be glad to know that these gopher snakes are harmless, unlike the similar looking rattlesnakes that also inhabit the local terrain.
We all made sure to keep our dogs on leash just in case, but these creatures were fascinating to watch as they writhed around entwined in the morning sunshine.
They really didn't seem to mind an audience, they are obviously exhibitionists.
Luckily Cooper was far too preoccupied with his tennis ball to pay them much attention. After a foxtail up his nose, the last thing I need is him thinking snakes are just moving sticks.
Even though I'm slightly snake phobic, I couldn't help but watch them as we really don't have any large reptiles like this in my native Britain.
I can honestly say that's all the snakes I ever need to see in the wild...