Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Azure Gate Snakes

It's that time of year when we start seeing snakes again.

Over the years we have seen 10 different species of snakes on our property. It's not a daily occurrence. We see a Desert Kingsnake 7 or 8 times a year. We see a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake four or five times a year. They are the most common. We see a Sonoran Gopher Snake a couple times a year and then occasionally Black Racers, Sonoran Coachwhip, Bullsnake, Sonoran Shovel-Nose Snake, Western Long-Nose Snake, and Sonoran Mountain Snake.

Last week we had a Desert Kingsnake in the area around our pool. He was after a clutch of Quail eggs that were in a Red Cane Yucca pot on the upper level of our oasis. It took him quite a while to figure out how to get there. In the meantime, the mother Quail was in a nearby tree squawking. The eggs had just hatched and the baby chicks were scurrying around in the pot trying to figure out what to do. The Kingsnake (fortunately for the baby Quail) finally gave up.

Also last week a large Western Diamondback Rattlesnake paid us a visit. (Large meaning 5 foot in length and weighing in the neighborhood of 6 pounds). When first seen he was drinking water from a bird bath. He then "slithered" under a porch chair and became agitated as more of our guests came by for looks and photos. (Agitated meaning rapidly moving his upper body back and forth while rattling). Christine calmly talked to the rattler and he eventually calmed down and slithered off to a spot under one of our pomegranate trees. After everyone got their photos I suggested that we let him be. I checked back 30 minutes later and he was gone.

Desert Kingsnake

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

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