We live on the edge of a 120-acre forest of western hemlock, western cedar, and Douglas fir with bigleaf maple and red alder nearing the end of their lifespan. In another 700 feet as the crow flies is the shore of Puget Sound. And so we are blessed with a variety of wild plants and animals from rain forest to suburban garden to the shoreline of an inland sea.
Even among the giant trees I'm never at a loss of amazement at the small things. Walking out to the mailbox I notice a lifeless garter snake on the driveway that was run over by any one of us three neighbors who share this driveway. I'm not a snake expert but guessing he's a Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides), one of several species and subspecies of garter snakes native here. Its lifeless opaque eyes no longer glisten as transparent windows to his snake spirit.