Young Snake

This young gopher snake was living dangerously. It crossed the paved perimeter path on the northwest side of the park at a leisurely pace, heedless of the hawks, kites, and harriers that tend to cruise overhead there, and unworried about the feet and paws on the trail. Such innocence can shorten the life span. On this occasion, however, human feet stopped and human eyes observed, offering protection against flying hunters. Then the young snake, barely 18 inches long — the adults in the park can reach four feet or a bit more — penetrated the young grass on the hillside and gradually disappeared from human view.

Gopher snakes are not poisonous and do not harm humans. How they got to the park is a bit of a mystery, but they’re definitely here. Read more in previous posts on this topic.

Gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer)

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