Snake Season is Upon Us


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A Sonoran Gopher snake, like all gopher snakes, has a narrow head and pointy tail. This is a good snake! Don’t kill it!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

So, I’m out in the dog pen this morning. We have a big dog pen so the dogs have a safe place to get exercise and shelter from monsoon thunderstorms. It’s 35 feet by 85 feet and has a lovely grape arbor in the middle. It’s also completely fenced with chicken and goat wire. Weeds would take over if I didn’t clear along the perimeter and mulch the middle.

So, I’m merrily chopping away and that’s when I see her – a 3-foot-long Sonoran gopher snake. She’s working her way away from me through the tall weeds. What a beauty! I’m glad she’s here because she keeps the rodent population down which makes it less attractive to venomous snakes with reduced food availability. Earlier in the season we were very happy to see a Desert King snake in the grape arbor. That is another beauty that actually kills and eats venomous snakes.

I’d rather not accidentally come across a Mojave or a Western Diamondback. We have them here in southeastern Arizona. The Western Diamondback back accounts for most of the local bites that put people in the hospital. The Mojave is even more dangerous but fortunately is not as common.

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