Thursday, June 5, 2008

Skin-y evidence

Yesterday late afternoon, I stood in the garage and looked across our front yard. Up in one of our huge live oaks, I noticed a long strand of tissue paper, fluttering from a branch. Tissue? How'd it get way up there, I wondered. Then I looked again, and I realized what it really was....

...a snake skin.

I meant to ask Lindsey, the teen daughter, to shoot a photo for me. But I forgot. And a couple of hours later, the skin was gone, likely whisked away by these gale force winds we've been having lately.

So that meant our resident rat snake still lived up there! Last summer, James and I watched it slither out of a woodpecker's hole and meander further up the branches. It was amazing to watch. Back in May 2005, a rather long snake appeared on our front porch and wrapped itself around the light fixture. (See photos) My former husband identified it as a Texas rat snake. I'm betting it's the same fellow (or gal), and it moved from the porch into the oak trees, where it's still hanging out. Cool.

Check out my article on rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii) in the February 2008 issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. They're non-venomous but can be very aggressive and will strike if threatened. They can also climb anything, including trees and walls. The article explains how...

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