Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Guess what was lurking... our garage today? A SNAKE!! He had wound himself into the wheel well of my Mick's rolling tackle box. So I got a curtain rod and hooked it through the telescoping handle of the tackle box. I then dragged the tackle box (complete with snake) to the end of our driveway (where our dog's invisible fence won't allow them to go) and "unwheeled" the snake out of the well, hooked him with the curtain rod, and placed him in a small red cooler in the middle of the driveway for Mick to find when he pulled in the driveway when he got home from work. No picture of the critter as Mick has already let him loose. However, this is what kind he was:

Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer

Coluber constrictor flaviventris

Local Name: Blue Racer

image of Eastern Yellow-bellied RacerColor of this common snake is variable—from olive, tan, brown or blue to nearly black. The belly may be yellow, cream or light blue-gray. Young racers are clearly marked with brown blotches and spots (see inset), but these markings fade and eventually disappear as the young snakes grow. Length averages from 30 to 50 inches (76-127 cm). Racers prefer bushy fields, grasslands and open woods. This species is active by day and will take shelter under rocks, brush or in animal burrows if pursued. As the name implies, racers can move fast, especially through tall grass or brush. As with many of our harmless snakes, a racer sometimes will vibrate its tail when alarmed. Food includes frogs, lizards, snakes, small rodents and birds.

Missouri Distribution: Statewide, replaced by the southern black racer—a subspecies—in southeastern Missouri.

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation website

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