Friday, September 21, 2007

King Of The Snakes

Last night, a three foot long prairie kingsnake (Lampropeltis caligaster) was secreting itself along our front walkway, undoubtedly waiting for a hopping cheeseburger (toad) to come along. These are beautiful snakes, with smooth scales and a grey-tan background, with rich, dark brown blotches. Two linear blotches just behind the head, and one or two rows of smaller, roughly diamond-shaped blotches along the sides, make it pretty distinctive.
Later, when I went back out he was gone, but I knew it was still around, because I heard a plaintive meow and looked up to see P.J. the cat on top of the garage, peeking down. When she finally came down she was, from a distance, keeping an eye on a pile of flattened cardboard boxes laying on the garage floor, so I know the snake went under there. The boxes held our new kitchen cabinets for our remodeling that's just about done, and the contractor mentioned he'd probably take the cardboard to be recycled today. I know Roger isn't keen on spiders; I don't know how he feels about snakes, so I'll have to warn him, as I wouldn't want the snake harmed... I may be moving some cardboard today.
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I didn't know any native snakes got that large. The only wild snakes around here are little grass snakes less than 1 foot. Very cool snake!
I'm not keen on snakes. I dread the day I see one in my garden. You should move those boxes for the contractor if he doesn't like snakes.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens
I haven't been to visit for awhile. You've put up some great posts.

I have a couple of resident snakes... one looks like yours, and the other is a huge, female garter snake. I know she's a female because my next door neighbors noticed babies crossing back and forth between our yards. ;-)

I know my snakes are doing good things out there, but if I don't have to "run into" them, I'm just as happy.
MMD... by grass snake, do you mean the smooth green snake??? If so, that's really cool; I haven't seen one of those since i was a kid, and they are almost extinct in Iowa.

Carol... well, it turned out the snake was gone (we left the garage door open that night so he could leave).

Shady... we're like you in that we're happy that we can provide habitat for snakes... they are SO endangered.

I am with P.J., I would have been on the top of the garage :). I know how good snakes are etc etc, I just can not warm up to them. We used to have many garter snakes in the yard, I spent the early spring days watching the ground very closely, I have not seen any in about 3 years now, no doubt due to housing being built in what used to be woods behind our house.
Wow! that would really scare me. I dont like snakes. I would scream bloody murder.
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