(Yes, a post that’s about neither insects nor plants! It’s a miracle!)
Yesterday afternoon I was in the office when, through the window, I heard someone exclaiming over a snake. Naturally I dropped what I was doing and ran outside. I was expecting to see a garter snake – for a reptile lover like me even a common garter snake is worth walking outside to see! However, I was in for a treat, because there in the landscaping was a totally new reptile species for me, a Western Fox Snake, Pantherophis vulpina. At the time I didn’t have my camera with me, and by the time I’d run and gotten it the snake had, of course, vanished.
The day wasn’t over, though. After I got off work in the afternoon, I spotted an undergraduate walking across the parking lot carrying the fox snake. He’d wisely decided to relocate it away from the buildings and cars into the woods, and this time I was able to snap a quick photo. I was very impressed with his snake-catching skills – it’s one thing I’m absolutely awful at.
Is that not a handsome animal? I mean, wow! Fox snakes, like many harmless nonvenomous snakes, will do rattlesnake impressions to try and scare off predators – this one was energetically vibrating the tip of its tail. Unfortunately, this probably leads to a lot of humans killing fox snakes as a result of mistaken identity.
I love snakes. Please don’t kill snakes. Even rattlesnakes.
UPDATE: Clearly I should have waited to publish this post until this evening, because since I put this up I have photographed not one but TWO MORE species of snake! Guess you’ll have to stay tuned and find out what they were on Monday!