OT - Invasive Snakes

Adam Fikso adam14113@ameritech.net
Sun, 09 Jan 2011 15:35:03 PST
I envy you.  I haven 't seen a live snake in Illinois now in 20 years, 
except for a pregnant massasauga in a forest preserve about 3 miles from 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2011 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] OT - Invasive Snakes

Judy, what a coincidence! I suddenly have a snake story of my own to tell.

A few minutes ago my mom came to me and asked me if I saw the snake on the
front porch. Since she's having memory problems, at first I assumed that she
was remembering something from the past (it has happened). But when I asked
her about it again, she told me she had seen a snake on the front porch.

I went and took a look and sure enough there was a snake on the front porch,
a live snake, a live snake in the winter. It's a juvenile black rat snake,
our largest local snake. Because this species climbs well and spends much
time above ground, it has persisted where ground dwelling species have
disappeared (probably largely due to domestic cat predation).

I sometimes find the shed skins of this species in the attic, and I suspect
that they hibernate there.

After getting some photos, I gathered up the snake and put it in my most
protected cold frame (it can easily get out of this if it wants to because
rodents have tunneled into this frame).

Here's a picture of the snake:


Maybe this snake believes in global warming. We have two and an half months
of potentially bitter weather ahead of us, so maybe it will change its mind.

Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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