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Wildlife in the backyard . . . May 25, 2009

Posted by Lindy in Critter Kids, Uncategorized.
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Bullsnake in backyard

Bullsnake in backyard

Bullsnake or gopher snake: Pituophis catenifer sayi

We have a resident bullsnake. My husband named him Sammy II. When we first moved here nearly 14 years ago we had a resident bull snake whom we named Sammy. This is not a picture of Sammy (I didn’t have my camera with me) but this guy looks like Sammy and appears to be about the same size – 4′ – 5′ long.  Bullsnakes are the good guys – they are not venomous although they will bite. They have been known to become pets for those who have a penchant for this kind of pet. Bullsnakes like to act like rattlesnakes when they feel threatened – they coil, strike out, and make a hissing sound very much like the sound a rattlesnake makes.

I was out by the back of our fence changing the water in the critters’ water pan. This is an old large pan requiring both hands to pick up when full of water. I had picked it up, turned around to dump the old water on a Rosemary when suddenly something rose up directly in front of me. I screamed and nearly dropped the heavy pan right on top of poor Sammy’s head. He had been napping in the shade and was coiled right at my feet – I had not seen him. I’m sure I startled him as much as he startled me. However, he must have decided I wasn’t a threat because he simple crawled past me and out the back gate probably looking for a safer place to take a nap.

We like having Sammy around as he eats rodents and with no rodents the likelyhood of rattlers coming around is lessened.

I found this picture at:   www.elaphe.it/pituophis.htm

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Comments»

1. Betty - May 26, 2009

Ewwww! I’m not a snake lover…especially close up. Glad the two of you realized neither was a threat..haha. Good post.

2. turtlewoman - May 26, 2009

Hi Betty, Living in the desert like we do we are always on the lookout for snakes and always happy when then snake that turns up in our yard is one of the good guys. We have some really nasty rattlers out here – I was very happy the snake in my yard yesterday turned out to be Sammy II and not a Mohave Rattler.

Lindy


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