Photographer James Kusz came across this sizable Pacific gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer catenifer) on the Virginia Street Extension, the dirt road at the south end of the North Basin. It was in no hurry. Jim made the video, above, to record the encounter.
The same day, artist Linda Morris saw another gopher snake just as big or even bigger on the east side of the park and took its picture:
We came across this beautiful snake on Monday on the east walkway, about a quarter of the way down the path toward the fenced off burrowing owl reserve. (I walked past it then turned around to watch.) It was on the west side of the path, at first very still and a bit kinked up. Then as it began to cross the path, heading east, it began to unwind more, and about half was across, sensing the sureness of the grass ahead of it, it straightened out much more and moved quickly toward the grass, disappearing into it. By then a young man with two children and a runner had paused to watch. The children seemed especially interested and not at all disturbed by seeing a snake, which was encouraging. I’ve seen a number of snakes over the years at the park, but I do believe this was the longest one by far—so long that I couldn’t get a decent close-up with my iPhone camera and get the entire snake in view. I love the movements of snakes, and this one showed us several ways that they move forward. And then puff, it was gone.