I know that spring really is here when I find a grey rat snake stretched out sunning on my walkway. I love, love, love these native constrictors.
I can't resist them when I find them around the place, hence the plethora of grey rat snake(GRS) posts in the archives of Pure Florida.
I suppose this GRS post is not very different from any of those in the past, but I can't help myself.
I think the GRS's around my place are so used to being swooped up and held whenever I find them that they just grin and bear it.
No need to bite or musk this FC guy with foul smelling exudate, he's just going to hold me while he gets a few photos and then he'll stick me back in the bushes.
This one was very cooperative and never struck at me.
He never musked me either ... a fate much worse than their bite.
I'm glad snakes are deaf so he couldn't hear my girlish shriek of glee when I first found him.
A place for every scale and a specialized scale shape for every place ... scales of all shapes that fit together like the stones at Macchu Picchu.
It's a beautiful thing.
Around here, people call GRS's, "Oak Snakes" for obvious reasons once you see one climbing an oak tree in natural light.I used a flash on this shot to bring out the snake a little better. Their climbing skills are astounding and they do relish a bird egg or two, which gets them in trouble with keepers of chickens.
Just last week one of my students informed that, "We killed a big oak snake in our chicken pen yesterday."
A couple of years ago, I watched one eat egg after egg in my chicken pen.
It was a small miracle, the way that jaw unhinged and a huge egg vanished as the snake worked and worked to swallow the eggs. (yes, there's a post with pics in the archives).
A few eggs seemed a small price to pay to witness the wonder of the snake jaw at work.