Monday, August 3, 2009

S-s-s-s-something else in our backyard

Last week, during our frog-finding expedition in the backyard, Kerm and I spotted this:

and this, which is actually part of the same thing:

Do you know what it is? Yep, a snake skin. Some snake was likely hunting the little frogs that live in our backyard and, while slithering between our green garden hose and the heating & cooling unit, it shed its skin.

I took a rake and carefully peeked under all of the foliage in our backyard, but I saw no sign of the snake. Most snakes are rather shy, so that's not surprising. But I wanted to find out what kind of snake the skin came from. Was a venomous snake prowling around in my backyard?

Probably not. I gathered up all of the skin that I could find, about 18 to 24 inches of it, and put it in a box. It was all in a single piece, but it was so fragile that it tore when I picked it up.

One thing I do know: this didn't come from a venomous snake. I researched snakes and found that there are only two venomous snakes near where I live. Both of these snakes have highly patterned markings on their skins. You can tell that this snake does not, although it might have lateral stripes. See how the skin is darker along the sides?

I'd like to take this snake skin to a nature center near where I live and see if they can tell me more about its former owner. Do you know what kind of snake has been living in my backyard?

Photo credits: Mama Joules

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