All summer I saw them as they scurried in front of my whirling mower blades. Some of them evaded the metal blades. The slower ones were halved and quartered. The first time this happened, I was shocked and saddened. The second time angry at myself remorseful for mowing the fields I called home and thought of as my private park. I made adjustments. I walked the field with my dog before I mowed, chasing the gopher snakes ahead of me to their dens. These slow moving, diurnal creatures usually sunned themselves in my field, readying themselves for active nights hunting lizards and rodents. Their prey is suffocated by the constriction of loops of their chocolate spotted body, and then they dine, shyly, maybe a little remorseful about what they’ve done.