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.