Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sneaky Snake

The other night I was getting ready to head to the grocery store and when I turned on the headlights of my car I saw something at the end of my driveway poking out of the grass onto the concrete. It continued to get longer and longer and longer and of course, I knew it was a snake.


He was about 3 feet long and at least an inch thick so he was a pretty stout snake compared to what we usually see...the 12-18 inch long brown snakes in the pool or garden. I went ahead to the grocery store while Jason and Lawyer were inspecting it.

After I got back from the store, I saw a hacked snake in the middle of the street. Lawyer was pretty animated about it (although I think he was secretly scarred about seeing Jason chop off the snake's head), telling me how they killed it. Jason said that he had the flashlight on the snake and then Lawyer went inside to get something and he turned to look. He said after a second he looked back down and the snake was gone...he eventually found it at eye-level on the tree in front of him. He even went as far as to say he heard a rattle. I was skeptical.

So after a little research, I found that this was a Texas Rat Snake. The fact that lead me to this conclusion was that they are often mistaken for rattlesnakes due to the fact that they vibrate their tails when in distress which sounds like a rattle. They eat mice and rats usually but I suspect the snake's goal was the tree to begin with since we have a little robin family living in it. The babies just hatched within the last week or so. The snake wanted dinner.

I found out that they reach up to 6 feet long and they aren't venomous. A bite doesn't require much more than washing the bitten area with antibacterial soap and water. They are pretty aggressive considering they have to be to catch a mouse or rat. Next time, I don't plan on killing one...they eat the rats and mice and I would rather have a sneaky snake than filthy rats and mice any day of the week.

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