Friday, October 23, 2009


I have spent the past two days tidying up the front and backyard. Today as I was moving everything on the back patio to sweep it I found this, nestled between the edge of the patio and the house, just outside the back door.

Of course it is a snake skin, and perfect too, completely intact which leads me to believe that it is fairly fresh, and that the snake that shed it did so quite recently.

About two years ago I was outside at dusk, and I came across a snake slithering across the grass. It was very scared, but I still managed to run inside, get the camera, and get a poor quality photo which I can't find now of course. It was enough though for me to make a provisional identification of a Common Kingsnake which is found throughout Maricopa County, is non venomous, and can grow to be five feet in length. I have not seen it since, however hard I have looked, and I assumed that it was just passing through. Now though I am not quite so sure.

I have no idea where a snake would be living in our yard because the dogs are always running around, and Tex is of course constantly digging for anything that moves.

I think this is the same type of snake as the one I saw because you can see a vague outline of stripes on the skin, like the black and white ones on the Common Kingsnake.

Here are more shots, very poor quality I am afraid, but they give an idea of how long it is at about 28 inches.

Look at the end of the tail and how beautiful it is.

As always, I am happy to think that it has a home here, and that it found the side of our patio to be a quiet and relaxing place for it to shed it's skin. I am also happy that it is most likely a non venomous snake that shed it.


fullfreezer said...

Oh, what fun. I bet the girls were fascinated. We found one earlier this year that was 37 inches! Yikes.

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

Mo, how lucky to find a complete skin. I have found parts, but never the whole skin. You are probably right in the identification, you can see those stripes!

bodaat said...

ok i'm sorry Mo but those pictures make me want to hurl. I would be SO deathly afraid if I saw a snake skin in my backyard!! I am so impressed with your appreciation of nature. I wish I could be like you!

Mo said...

Gosh, that is big Judy! I think this one is pretty small in comparison.

Gail, I was also surprised to find it so intact. I am sure they don't stay like that for long because they are so delicate.

Bo, You are so funny! I feel like we live in such tidy little worlds here in the suburbs and it always makes me feel better when I realize that nature is still out there. I do appreciate your fear of snakes though.

Amy said...

That is quite amazing....a snake that long living in your backyard undetected.

After our brush with what I am assuming was a copperhead earlier this week I have become a bit more leery of snakes in general. Eeekkk!

But I too am impressed with your love of all living things--even the creepiest ones. : )

Mid-life Midwife, CPM said...

Before we had kids, my husband used to keep pet snakes. We had two Cali King Snakes in our collection. One of them escaped in our winter time apartment. Thought it would die for sure. After 5 days or so, we found it very much alive, staying toasty under the refrigerator where the warm air comes out!

jenn said...

Kingsnakes are so beautiful.