Saturday, April 10, 2010

Snake Eyes or Why Mac Checks the Yard Before I Go Out

It's that time of year, birds are nesting, lizards are lounging in the sun and snakes are out and about.  I don't as a rule have a fear of snakes but I don't like to come upon them unexpectedly, I'd rather Mac pointed them out to me at a distance.  We live in a swampy area and snakes come with the territory and for the most part I've come to terms with that.  Not many of the snakes found here are poisonous.  There are Copperheads here and they're poisonous, but I've only seen one live one here, not in our yard but at a walk in a park, you usually see them run over in the road.
What we do see a bit of in the yard are small green snakes and black racers.  I don't mind the green snakes at all, though it can sometimes give you a jolt when you see one hanging in a tree.
I'm not as "fond" of the Black Racers.  One year they "denned" in a support post for our pool and ate all the bird eggs out of the cardinal nests, I made Mac get rid of them and block up the post.
He saw one this week laying next to the pool and I said to get rid of it, I hate having them close to where I am.
Black Racers (Columber Constrictor) are  the most commonly seen snake in this area, they are long (up to 60 inches) and as the name implies, black.  They aren't really constrictors but rather they eat their prey whole and alive.  They're harmless to people, except for the heart attack I have when I come upon one unexpectedly, like the time I was in the pool and one stuck its head out of the jasmine and hissed at me--talk about walking on water.  
Generally they "race" off when they are confronted, but occasionally they'll hold their ground and strike at you.  I don't like them.
These pictures were taken this week in the yard, I've told Mac it's time to put out more moth balls, this generally keeps them away from the house and pool.

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