Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snakes and the City

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, reptiles become less conspicuous. As winter approaches, most will go underground or find a sheltered place to hunker down for a few months. During October, however, there are enough warm days that the observant traveler may still find snakes abroad, sunning in the afternoon or crossing the warm pavement at night. 

This little brown snake was hanging out in our neighborhood. Storeria dekayi; although it may have a grayish or reddish cast, it typically lives up to its name, brown snake. Other snakes may answer to sexier or more glamorous designations, but in this case, simplicity and accuracy go hand in hand.

This little reptile has also gained a reputation as something of a city slicker. While it could make it just fine in the countryside, it has adapted quite well to urban environments, and is often encountered in the midst of the city. Hiding under debris or hanging out on vacant lots, this little snake is content wherever it can find sufficient supplies of slugs and earthworms.

Enjoy those rays while they last, it'll be chilly tonight!

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