One thing I forgot to mention about the interesting trip to Lielvarde: we saw a snake!
Ilze noticed it, actually, and made me almost piss myself because as we were walking to the river we reached the path and she suddenly gasps really loudly and goes "ACK!" and all I saw was her dash away and something by me move, so I yelled, too. But then I saw it was just a snake and that I hadn't stepped on it, and proceeded to take pictures of it. As the snake seemed more interested in crossing the path away from me than stopping and rearing up to protect itself, there was no reason to worry. So there I am, taking pictures of this snake, when this older man speed-walking suddenly approaches from the opposite direciton. He sees us standing there and comes to see what I'm looking at, then goes:
Man: "Oh, that's just a *insert name of snake*, see the yellow on the head? It's okay, they're all over Latvia!"
Me: "Oh, okay." *keeps watching snake*
Man: "No, no, they're perfectly harmless! No reason to hit or kill it!"
Me: "...um, I-" *shifts expensive camera around in hands*
Man: "Really! Perfectly harmless, see how it's slithering away from us?"
Me: "Yeah, I know, no one's talking-"
Me: "-about killing it."
Man: "It's just a *insert snake's name again*, this one's one of the bigger kinds. Don't have to hit it!"
Me: "Yeah, we know, I was just taking-" *once more indicates camera in hands*
Man: *abruptly walks away, still talking about how the yellow mark on the snake's head identifies its kind*
Me and Ilze: *kind of stand there, not really sure what just happened*
YEAH, because the FIRST thing I think of when I see a snake is to bash it to bits with my very expensive camera. Gut reaction, honestly. Forget going to find a stick, a Nikon D-60 is weapon of choice #1.
Whatever, weird speed-walking guy. Maybe it was because we were two females standing around looking at a snake that made him think our intentions toward it were anything but benign.
In addition! Since I've figured out that the reason pictures wouldn't load at a normal speed was due to my choice of browser, the photos at kaija.jatnieks.com/photos are going up faster than ever, starting with September 2008.