Like many predatory species, the Black Rat Snake breaks its home range into hunting parcels. It will hunt in one parcel until the prey becomes scarce and then it will move into the next parcel. By the time it has made the circuit through all of the parcels, the prey will have rebounded in the first parcel and hunting will again be good. My garage and attic make up one parcel.
In good light though, you can still
see a remnant of the handsome pattern worn by the snake as a youngster.
They must use their muscles in a different
way to achieve something similar to a belly crawl. This is their equivalent of a person crossing
an icy parking lot. I’ve heard people
attribute this condition to snake arthritis, road accident, dog attack, vicious
clubbing and many other imaginative afflictions, but it is really just a
natural condition for the snake under certain circumstances.
This wall was built with standard concrete
blocks which are 16 inches in length, including the space between blocks, when in place.
The front part of the snake stretches two and a half blocks or 40
another inch to cover the portion that wraps around the corner and the snake totals 54 inches or
four and a half feet. An impressive specimen.
As soon as it got inside, it began scaling
the wall. These snakes are excellent
climbers and easily ascend what is practically a smooth vertical surface.
This is usually my first
indication that the snakes have moved into the hunting parcel that includes the
With luck, there will still be
some lengths of skin around next spring that are suitable to those birds that
use this type of material in their nests.
pattern is clear to see.
I hope that bulge represents a small mammal
and not one of the adult fence lizards.
This one chose to employ the
This one drank for almost a full
It’s fun to watch these snakes
going about their business undisturbed.
Paddling the Karst
1 hour ago