16 April 2010

This morning's excitement: a snake on the road


While riding my trike up a hill in a somewhat secluded part of the town this morning, I passed by this snake sitting in the middle of the road. I quickly pulled to the side of the road, walked over to the snake took 2 pictures of it with my iPhone camera.

Under different circumstances I would have left the snake alone, but realizing that any passing car would very likely have squeezed the life out of it, I decided to relocate the reptile. Luckily, there was a long tree branch nearby. Using it, I prodded the snake's tail 2 or 3 times and each time the snake bravely struck at the stick—which was much longer than itself—with an open mouth; pictures would have been great, but an iPhone camera is not the right tool for action photography. Eventually, the snake decided wisely that it would be better off getting off the road and into the grass it went.

What species is it? The last time I identified a snake as a ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus), it turned out to be garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). So this time I am going to call it a garter snake. Correct me if I'm wrong.

1 comment:

fred schueler said...

Yes, it's sirtalis. They tend to be belligerent when their body temperature is low.