As I have been saying that snake season is over, I was shocked today to find out that wasn’t the case. My first snake encounter was sad. Walking my normal path, I encountered a drainage well with the top off. I peered into it and this is what I saw.
The outline looked snake-like so I turned on my flash for a closer look.
To my dismay, the picture came out clear as day. We had a winter snake. And after watching it for some time, it’s movement signaled it was definetely alive.
The day before, a significant downpour had taken place. I wouldn’t be surprised if this snake had been flooded out of its residence and swept away into a drain. It seemed to be catching the last rays of sun as best as it could through the opening. It’s tail didn’t look in the best of shape either.
I am not positive, but seeing glimpses of a yellow underside and trying my best to look at its scales I believe it is a Western Racer. Otherwise I think it would have to be garter snake but the scales don’t have the lengthwise ridge that garter snakes are supposed to have.
Moving on, boards were uncovering some good signs for snakes. I found mice under a couple and even parts of a shedded skin. On the last board of the day I found this.
Boy was I excited to see this Common Sharp-Tailed Snake. It is a lifer! After looking at salamanders for so long, I was surprised that its coloration is somewhat similar to slender and redbacked salamanders with red along its edges. They don’t call it a sharp-tailed snake for nothing!
Here it is protecting its head and showing its sharp tail as a decoy.
I had to flip it over to see the pattern of black and white on its underside.
Couldn’t help but add in this photo of another arboreal salamander that I found. Something about the way the shot was angled really spoke to me.
Still a couple more opportunities for outings this year so we will see if this is truly the last snake of the year. It wouldn’t be the worst one to go out on. At the very least it won’t be the last salamander.