Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snakes Coming Out of Hibernation

As usual, the time to leave the ranch came up sooner than we would have preferred on Sunday,and we got out a bit late. Of course, it was imperative before we left that we went to smell the Cecille Brunner rose that is amazingly fragrant right now and blooming near the back gate on the path to the compost barrel.
And we also had to spend some time identifying a little snake the Dinosaur found hiding in an overturned bucket. This process was a bit amusing because we were each looking at different guidebooks and one book called this snake a California Whipsnake and the other called it a Striped Racer. We went back and forth for a minute, pointing out markings until Dino finally asked what the Latin name in my book was. Oh. Same Latin name. Same species. Since whipsnakes seem to be a subset of racers, we'll go with Striped Racer. Supposedly, these snakes are very quick and aggressive, but this particular individual must have been very sleepy from having just woke up from his or her winter nap and stayed in the bucket very pleasantly posing.

1 comment:

Tom Hurley said...

I’ve always called these guys Garter Snakes. One characteristic they have is the ability to make your hands really stinky if you handle them. Rattlers do the same, but I don’t handle them, just sniff around when they’re near. Black Widow spiders also smell musty, as do their webs.

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