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Snake encounters, May-June

June 16, 2013

When you’re outdoors, wildlife encounters are expected.

In this area, those wildlife encounters may include snakes.

Bugman and I have had two encounters this year. Both go to show that snakes aren’t the vicious attackers some people think they are.

While biking down Scotts Bluff National Monument a few weeks ago, we zoomed past this little guy:

This baby prairie rattlesnake was only about a foot long.

This baby prairie rattlesnake was only about a foot long.

He just sat there. Even when Bugman rolled a bike tire up next to him for scale photo, he just flicked his tongue. Hardly a threat. Unless you happen to step on him. Or do something dumb like try to pick him up or prod him into irritation for a more exciting photo.

While hanging out on the deck of the Wildcat Hills Nature Center yesterday, we heard a birdwatcher squawk when he nearly stepped on a bullsnake.

The bullsnake did not turn and bite. The bullsnake undulated the heck out of Dodge and disappeared under a bush.

He came out a little later for a photo op. How kind of him.

This bullsnake was between 2-3 feet long.

This bullsnake was between 2-3 feet long.

Really, snakes aren’t that scary.

It’s the squirrels I’d keep an eye on.

Shifty little tree rats …

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    June 18, 2013 8:54 am

    I…did not know that squirrels would attack and eat snakes. Although I’m a bit comforted by the fact that squirrel clearly doesn’t have carnivore instincts for killing prey…they aren’t ready yet to take over the world. Yet.

    That bull snake is the resident mouse catcher at the nature center. She’s rather friendly, and seems to have really good instincts for getting out of the way of people.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      June 20, 2013 5:12 am

      Aha! So the nature center bull snake is a girl!

      • Maggie permalink
        June 20, 2013 8:27 am

        As near as we can tell without catching and sexing (aka probing) her. Female snakes tend to have a shorter and fatter tail (measured from the vent to the tail), while male snakes tend to have a longer, slimmer tail.

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