Friday, October 22, 2010

Hog In A Tea Cup

I really thought it would be bigger.

When the head of maintenance called me and asked me to come catch a snake under the milk crates behind the school cafeteria, I was expecting a biggun'.

When I arrived, two teenage boys were backed away from the stack of crates.
They weren't going any closer as they pointed, and said, " It was behind that stack right there."

So, I started moving crates, really expecting a big ol'grey ratsnake to be up in the crates. The only description they had given me to go on was, "It was grey."

I almost missed it as I scanned the concrete floor where the crates had been.
There, where the red brick wall meets the grey concrete floor, was a tiny hognose snake trying his best to disappear into a dead end crack in the wall.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. They were afraid of this little tot?
What is the world of teenage boys coming to?

You probably already know this and I am probably repeating myself, but hognose snakes are harmless, yet they have two clever defense methods.

A) Spread your neck skin and look all cobrabadassy. I find this curious since there are no cobras in the new world ... it's hardly mimicry, even though it seems to be at first thought. Nobody mimics things not in their environment. I chalk it up to simply looking bigger than you really are.

B) Rolling over, sticking out your tongue and playing dead. This guy never did that so maybe that instinct doesn't kick in until snake puberty or something.

Man, he was cute. (Right Dani? Beat ya' too it!)
Very distinct, rough scales on this wee thing.

Yes, he posed for some video modeling.
Your movie awaits.

Yes, I took him home and released him here at snake heaven.
All snakes go to heaven.


Wren said...

Yeah, I expected something bigger, too. Not necessarily dangerous, just big enough to be scary to people who don't like snakes.

Still, better they call you than just kill it somehow. I much prefer seeing little snakie get to heaven via PFHQ than directly.

robin andrea said...

That really is such a cute creature. Love that he flares his neck like that. It does make him look big and scary (LOL!). Another lucky snake winds up at PFHQ.

Miz S said...

Slither free, little hognose!

Do you show these little videos to your students to illustrate what they are learning in science? I bet you do. And I bet they love it.

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

You know, I am not a snake fan. But watching you handle some makes me less afraid.

He is a cute baby!


edifice rex said...

I'm glad I was born of the age I was. So many of the young 'men' of today just seem so *sigh*....umm..unmanly. I chalk part of it up to too many chicken McNuggets. All those fake hormones you know. ;) lol!

Carol said...

Definately is a little cutie. I havn't had one of those in my yard yet. Though they have been seen a few miles down the road. We may be too wet here.

scienkoptic said...

I love it.
All snakes go to heaven.
My oldest daughter has a pet rat snake. Snakes live for one thing: Food.
Everything else is incidental.
Anyone fearing snakes should fear a world without them.
They operate on a wavelength most people don't get.

threecollie said...

What a neat little guy! The video left me grinning and a bit envious. Have only ever seen two hog nose snakes and they both were a LOT bigger. It is wonderful that you have the folks trained to call you instead of running for the shovel.

Dani said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, you beat me too it.

Dani said...

BTW, you take the best snake pictures!!!!

Floridacracker said...

Our head of maintenance is a great guy and knows I never mind rescueing a snake so it works for all of us!

He won the serpent lottery I think.

Miz S,
I do some, but some I don't.

They are mostly very cooperative. Glad they are looking better as a group!

I wouldn't be surprised if Chicken Mcnuggets were some sort of plot to fatten up the populace for harvest later.
Hmmm. what really is in those things.
Soylent Green, maybe?

The school is a dry upland habitat, so you may be right.
Seems to be a lot of hoggies there.

Boy is that all true!
Welcome to Pure Florida!

I posted a big one a while back, but I almost never see these either, except for the school finds.

Thanks, but they pose so nicely, it's more them than me.
I love that you have such a soft spot for them.
They need all the fans they can get.

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Actually, I always thought that the head inflation gave hognose snakes a passing resemblance to our pit vipers...they don't rear up and strike like a cobra, but rather keep their heads down with the inflated sides, while they writhe and strike menacingly not unlike a cottonmouth. Were I a non-human, my first reaction would be 'PIT VIPER!' and I'd be on my way out of there.

Dani said...

I'v got a black racer that has been keeping me company out in the garden past few weeks. Hopefully, she'll stay in my yard where it's safe.

Stevenson's Sanibel Condo Rentals said...

Hmmm, haven't seen one of those before and would have been a little afraid of picking it up. I learned something here. :)

Brian said...

Can you confirm or un-confirm an old Boy Scout rumor that hog-nosed snakes will not bite? Ever had one nip you?