I think this is a Sonoran gopher snake, but s/he was fixin' to be an ex-snake if someone didn't get him off the road.

I think this is a Sonoran gopher snake, but s/he was fixin’ to be an ex-snake if someone didn’t get him off the road.

Yesterday was “Reptile Rescue Day” here at Animal Planet.

First, I was riding through the Range Rover Preserve at Fauxdobe Village (High Desert) when I saw a couple vehicles stopped cop-style at the centerline, the drivers engaged in conversation about something.

Well, they’re taking up most of the right-of-way in both directions and they’re hardly even close to each other (the one on my side of the road is blocking the bike lane), so I move to the center and slow down, figuring to ring my little bell to get their attention and then shoot the gap.

"Oh, shit, it's the REMF who thinks he's in charge around here again. ..."

“Oh, shit, it’s the REMF who thinks he’s in charge around here again. …”

Until I see the snake.

S/he was a beauty, at least three feet long, and smack in the middle of what must have been some pleasantly warm asphalt on a fall morning. So we all took a moment to admire him, or her, snapped some pix, and after the motorists moved on I encouraged the snake to find a safer spot for sunning.

After I got home I invited the cats outdoors for a bit of fresh air and during his inspection of the perimeter Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) took a lizard prisoner.

His interrogation of the POW struck me as a little too vigorous, bordering on a breach of the Geneva Conventions, and following some heated debate, as the supreme civilian authority I ordered the lizard released.

In unrelated news, Herself is running The Other Half this morning in Moab. I texted to ask if she had her war face on but haven’t heard back yet. If she doesn’t scare me I’ll have her work on it.

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5 Responses to “Cold-blooded”

  1. Larry T Says:

    Glad my wife wasn’t there! She freaks out at the sight of snakes when we’re out on the bikes. Surprised the folks blasting along in their Chevrolet “Subdivisions” didn’t flatten this critter post-haste. Glad to hear you’re surviving without the supervision of Herself. Mine heads off to hobknob with fellow philosophical wizards in NYC later in the week so I’m contemplating what to cook and who to invite over to share it with.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I wigged out on a regular basis when we lived in Weirdcliffe, where the buzzworms never read the Sierra Club handout about how they were not to be found above 8,000 feet.

      This year I’ve only seen three snakes, none of them a rattler. This was a big ol’ boy, though. When I encouraged him to move off the road I used my pump and a real long reach.

      When Herself takes off like this I usually seize the opportunity to not cook for a while. I’ve been noshing on smoked salmon and Brie, fruits and nuts, greens, cereals, sammitches and one big-ass combo plate smothered in green (El Bruno’s, not mine).

  2. Dale Says:

    There must have been a rat snake orgy in our neighborhood this summer. I have removed one from a neighbor’s bedroom and one from our basement in the past two weeks. In addition my wife and I have seen about six more that were killed on the streets we walk and ride. All of them were youngsters, about 10″ long.

    The two that were relocated now reside in our veggie garden.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I have only seen one diamondback on the road in the last month, and it was flatter than a piece of paper. The fellows working on the new multi-use path up Ramsey Canyon road in early September were pulling out a culvert with a backhoe when the guys on the ground started yelling and dancing. Seems a big buzz worm was sleeping in the culvert when they pulled it out of the ground. Our only close encounter this year was up in Brown Canyon in August. Mojave rattlesnake crossing the road slowly. We saw it in time to stop and take a pic. I’lll email it to you.
    I expect to see more if it ever cools off here. Tucson setting new hight temp records three days straight; weather service says hottest October on record here is almost a certainty. Oh joy.

    Pat wins the snake competition with this pic of a Mojave buzzworm crossing a Forest Service road going into Brown Canyon. “It was going slow. Based on the bulge in the middle, we thought it had just finished its breakfast,” says Pat.

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