I talk a walk on the wild side today. I have had a phobia about snakes since about age 8 when to win the heart of my first freckle-faced boyfriend I feigned an interest in slow worms. A long story that ended badly all round. Now, my favourite dog walking spot is marred only by the fact that adders love it too. In fact much of the countryside here is adder territory. These days I am more fearful of the Hairy Herberts getting bitten than anything else and rely heavily on the shy nature of the snake, with piriton on standby and our vets number as VIP contact on my mobile phone. That said many dog walkers say they never see them! So am I lucky or unlucky to have seen 3!? Despite the fact that I look carefully as I walk ,and to take in the view I stop, I very nearly stood on this young one yesterday. The photograph is testament to how far I have come in conquering my fear. However I confess I did squeal. The last photo is all red and badly lit because it was taken late last night in the bathroom when I realised that the 'kill' feather ( in the manner of an Iceni warrior) that I had put in my hair had stayed all day. In my mind I retraced all my steps and wonder now if I can face the nice man in our local hardware store! The feather marked a metaphorical kill lest you worry that I would harm a snake. It marks a victory over fear.