The Little Snakes Are Awake

Things are blooming early this year. I’d say spring has sprung. More than just the flora, the fauna are awake, too.

Last week, I was getting weeds out of the garden and I found a little brown snake. He’s the one we were told was a ‘Ground Rattler’ when we were kids. I think everyone told us that so we wouldn’t pick them up. Like this:

He’s really a Rough Earth Snake and he probably wouldn’t bite if he could. Which he can’t. See how tiny his mouth is? He couldn’t get a human finger to fit between those tiny jaws if he wanted to, and I don’t think he does.

This fellow also can’t bite, but I do think he wanted to. He was so mad at me for picking him up he pee’d on my thumbnail. See?

I guess I wrecked the beginning of his day. He’s a Texas Brown Snake and he was trying to scrunch himself up so I wouldn’t see him when I was sweeping the walkway. Here he is trying to scrunch himself up in my hand. Too late, Dude (or Dude-ess, as the case may be). I see you!

It was easy to get lots of photos of him even after I put him down, because he was still trying to hide. Not the smartest of creatures. Or else, so angry he couldn’t think straight. I’m not sure how snakes think, but he was mad. Kept sticking his tongue out at me. Really, he was smelling something – probably his pee on my thumbnail. I think he’s pretty. See the black mark under his eye? That’s how I know, along with the black marks on his lips, that he is a Texas Brown Snake and not a Marsh Brown Snake.

See the big scale right behind his eye? A Marsh Brown Snake would have a vertical black line on that scale and not a dark spot below the eye. Also, he would have no markings on the scales by his lips. (If you are finding it hard to see these marks, click on the photo and it will enlarge it. Then click the Back Arrow to get back here.) Oh, and I didn’t just have all this scale marking info in my head. It’s in my great Field Guide to Texas Snakes, published by Texas Monthly.

I’m glad to see some snakes this year. Last year’s drought was rough on everything that doesn’t have a faucet in their house with a ready supply of water. We all need to watch for the Big Bad Boy Snakes. I’m sure they’re out, too, now. Oh! I hope there are some Louisiana Milk Snakes around. I used to have several of them before I moved a brick pile. They are so pretty.

Well, y’all be careful, and enjoy nature.

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