Friday, June 13, 2014

Snakes Alive

Yesterday Youngest Daughter burst through the front door after her final day of the school year.  I expected her to be ecstatic, but her excitement was above and beyond ‘Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last from school.’  

“Guess what!” she said,  “there’s a snake in the front yard!”  She handed me a package and went back out to look at the snake.  I threw the package aside, went outside, and sure enough, there was a snake not five feet from the front door.  Also, the UPS truck was right in front of our house.
The Common Household Snake

This is not the first time we have spotted a snake in our yard.  I think yesterday’s snake is related to the pre-prom snake of 2011.  This one looks like it has graduated from college and gotten a steady job.

Smiling for the paparazzi
Feeling a rare mix of fear and fascination (usually it’s just fear for me), I dashed inside for the camera and dashed back outside without taking time to close the door. I hoped to get some clear photos to submit to a herpetologist for identification.  Is this, perhaps, a gaboon viper? The Pennsylvania striped mamba?

Son said, “Mom, why are you leaving the door open?  The snake might come inside the house.”     Gaah!   The snake made no move toward the house, but nevertheless, I carefully crept back to close the door.  My mother has told me several stories about snakes entering people’s apartments at her retirement community in Maryland.

This snake was clearly innocent of any crime, especially compared to the Dastardly Rabbit we host in our yard.  I would love to catch the snake dining on a mole. 

The snake conveniently posed while I took 6 or 7 photos. Then I went back inside and picked up the package.  I asked Younger Daughter, “Was this package in the mailbox, or is it from UPS?” 

YD said, “I saw the UPS guy. I told him that there was a snake in the yard, and he said I could deliver the package.”

Smart UPS guy.  I’ll bet dealing with people’s unleashed dogs is worse than having to walk past an unleashed snake, but still, if I were the UPS driver I too would hand the package to the small teenaged girl.

So, all you closet herpetologists out there – what kind of snake is this, and more importantly, what does it like to eat?  Insects, moles, voles, rabbits, chipmunks, humans?
About 3 or 4 feet long, wouldn't you say?  


Angie said...

We recently found a new home for our ball python, now that Andrew is in college and has no interest in her anymore. We gave her to a gal in town who loves reptiles. She and I are facebook friends, so I still see photos now and then.

michiganme said...

Looks like a garter snake, though every snake looks like a garter snake to me, unless, of course, it looks like a rattle snake.

The Crislers said...

I agree with michiganme- garter snake. I kept a garter snake as a "secret" pet for around 3 hours as a kid, til I sadly lost him. Lucky for me, my mother found him for me that very night! Lost snake+ screaming ophidiophobic mom= grounded for a week.

Cassi Renee said...

I think that might be our garter snake, Gibbs. I wonder how he got way over east there? Gibbs used to live near a dry well we've got in our front flower bed --lots of plant cover and plenty of whatever they eat (I think it's just insects, but Gibbs was big and I'll bet he could have eaten a rabbit if he'd put his mind to it!)

Rob was able to catch Gibbs, and we got some great photos of Emma holding him. He was almost as long as she was tall at that time. Then we encouraged him to stick around and eat more.

Kristy --you crack me up! I'm not sure I could have been your mom :-)

Jay said...

I'd have the same mixed feelings, fascination and fear - and I would definitely close the door!

Karen S. said...

Goodness gracious, nothing common about this critter! Yikes, he sure is a powerful force... and kind of cute at the same time. Just a bit lost!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Pennsylvania striped mamba?

LOL! P.S. Although I'm over 55 now, I did have pet secret snakes that managed to escape and be discovered by fambly who were not as fond of them.

fredamans said...

I love snakes.

Alexia said...

No snakes in this country, for which I am very grateful. Nice photos!