Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Black Racer

Hi, my name is Coluber constrictor.

I'm the first snake of the spring.

It's really warming up, so you'd better watch where you step.


Not sure if this is Coluber constrictor constrictor (northern black racer) or Coluber constrictor priapus (southern black racer).

I don't have a "snake name meanings" dictionary like the one for birds, but fear not, there's a beauty of an online guide that covers reptiles and amphibians. I especially like the page on mythological references. My husband always jokes that I want to find a new plant species so I can name it after myself. Previously I've always claimed that I'd name my hypothetical find something descriptive. But now I'm not sure that I could resist slipping the name of an ancient Greek fertility god in there somehow.


Floridacracker said...

Wow, I haven't even seen a snake yet! Although, my wife and son spotted a huge indigo last week crossing a dirt road.

I love the sleek gracefull black racers.

Anonymous said...

That is a handsome snake.

Acquaintance of mine actually did find a new plant hereabouts and name it after himself.


Cathy said...

That's a BIG snake. I dunno if I'd have had the courage to stand there and snap pictures. Cool. Just how long was that puppy?
(BTW) Go ahead and complain about the back - that way we'll all feel more comfortable airing our aches and pains on our blogs.

LauraP said...

We accidentally annoyed a rat snake this weekend, and I'm much further north - and ticks, oh my, they're out and about.

And yes, do go ahead and whine about the back - we can commiserate.

Karmyn said...

Northern or Southern, my response is the same: EEEEEEK

Ki said...

Wow, really cool. I have seen very few wild snakes in my lifetime. In fact I remember seeing a small green snake on a hedge and a baby water moccasin that a guy picked up while fishing. I think I've seen two roadkill and that's it. I wish we did have more snakes around these parts but wishful thinking, I'm afraid.

mountainmelody said...

Yikes! I'd better be more careful!

Rurality said...

Thanks for commenting everybody. It's funny how half the reactions are "cool!" and the other half "eek!" :)

FC I'm surprised you haven't seen one. Though really this one didn't move a muscle the whole time. We actually spotted him when we were walking OUT of the woods. We took a round-about path and came out in front of him. Hubby ran back to the house to get the camera, and he stayed stock still the entire time. Must have still been too cool for him to be too active.

Bill, we'd just been to a lecture recently where the man was talking about finding a few new species. (He found a new goldenrod in the county.) Apparently it's not that hard to do if you're really dedicated. Which I'm not. :)

Cathy, it was definitely long, but I'm awful at judging distance so I can't tell you how long!

Laura we have never STOPPED getting ticks this year, with it being so warm at least a few days each winter month. But they will get worse as wee approach summer.

Karmyn, we get both here apparently, so that's eek eek! ;) Really thought, as long as they're not in my house I don't mind.

Ki, one of my fondest snake memories is of driving down our old street and seeing a little green snake stuck about a foot out of a hedge just by someone's mailbox. I still laugh thinking about it. Wondering if he ever stuck his head out like that when someone was getting the mail. Surprise!

MM, yep I've been thinking the same thing, especially since I tend not to watch where I'm going most of the time.

lisa said...

Beautiful snake! Be glad he was too cool to move much-one of these actually chased me as a kid! Had I not been on a bicycle, I'd have been bitten for sure...they can be rather aggressive. We have pine snakes up here that are quite nasty-I stopped to shoo one off the road (I hate to see things get run over), and he came after me! Sensing he had the situation under control, I drove away...but I still stop to move turtles every time!

Alan said...

I saw my first black racer in the garden last week. Those and yellow rat snakes are the two common species around my place and I protect and encourage them as much as I can.


Blackswamp_Girl said...

Cool pictures! I miss seeing snakes around here... not that we ever saw 'em that big. They must eat well there. :)

Gotta Garden said...

Glad it's at your house! Wish I wasn't afraid of them, but I am. Few years ago, went down into the basement and there was this small snake, curled, but investigating...I yelled my head off and racing down the stairs came two big dogs (each getting close to 100 lbs) and two cats...all ran right by me and out the sliding door...leaving me with the snake! My dh came down, calmly picked it up, walked outside and dropped it between the deck boards. He's convinced it must have come in on one of the pots of plants I drag in the basement in winter. Whatever. I prefer it outside (and out of sight!).

I admire people who don't panic (like me).

earlysnowdrop said...


Petunia's Gardener said...

I don't mind my Petunia in the garden, but I wouldn't want to garden with this guy! I don't think ours will be out yet for a while. I'm soooo glad we don't have ticks (to speak of) here on the west side of the mountains. I lived in the midwest & south before and just hated them. Thanks for sharing your snake friend.

KFarmer said...

I've not seen any sneaky snakes yet, but after I read your post I got up to get another cup of joe and stepped on an errant q-tip and almost had a heart attack! LOL! Great pictures :)

ONF said...

Can somebody please send me a photot or describe to me what a baby water moccassin looks like ? I live in the Ocala National Forest in Central Florida and have a home made pond, 8' x 10' in my yard. We saw a small snake, maybe 5 or 6 inches long. The snake was on the bridge that crosses the pond, and as I approached it, the snake immediately dove into the water and swam onto some lilly pads. If it is a water moccassin, there must be a nest in the yard somewhere because this thing must have just hatched recently.

Any assist would be greatly appreciated. I have two lab retreivers and love them both very much. I don't want them to get bit.