Thursday, June 01, 2006


This afternoon on the way back from lunch, I spotted a snake in my driveway. Ah yes, more Floridian wildlife. Although Washington does have snakes, I never saw one in my years of living there.

The snake was wedged up against my garage door, so I detoured to the end of my driveway rather than walk to the driver's side door. The snake was small so it was probably a juvenile rather than an adult. We eyed each other for a few seconds, the snake's tongue flicking in and out a few times, before it moved away, slithering across my front yard and into my neighbors bushes. They are having a swimming pool put in so perhaps the large crater dug into their backyard disturbed the snake? I'm just guessing.

I found a pretty cool website on Florida Snakes, which has very handy identification key. The snake I saw was solid black, and after using the identification system I have determined that I either saw a Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) or an Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon Corais Couperi). I am happy to see both snakes are "Harmless (non venemous)"!

I think it was an Eastern Indigo Snake because I don't remember any white on the underside of the head - it was solid black the entire way. On the other hand the comments for the racer say "most likely to be seen by Floridians. It inhabits both rural and urban habitats and is frequently seen in residential areas during the daytime."

The racer comments also say "does not make a good pet because it never gets over its nervous disposition." I can assure you having a pet snake has never entered into my mind!

After searching a bit I found the fear of snakes is ophidiophobia, which should make people who love snakes ophidiophiles. Let's just say I am not in the former category, and definitely not in the latter one.

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