I was out mowing my hayfield yard this afternoon when I came across this little fella/girlie.
Yes, that’s a snake. A pine snake to be exact. While it resembles the timber rattlesnake, one can tell the difference by looking at their eyes (and the coloring is not nearly as dark). I know, who wants to get close enough to find out. Ummmm, that would be me.
Leslie, as we have named the snake (after Leslie from “The Bridge to Terabithia”), seemed to be rather shy and not exactly aggressive. Leslie did curl up the standard rattler S-shape, as if to strike, but instead just wanted to meander off under the clippings and such. This is another reason why its often mistaken for a rattler.
Just so you know, there are only two poisonous snakes in WV, the timber rattler and the copperhead. No copper head, no yellow tail (baby coppers have lemon yellow tails). And, as you can see, Leslie has nice round eyes/pupils, unlike the pit vipers which have pupils like a cat.
And of course, you may wonder why I named the post “Beetle!” if I’m showing you pictures of a snake I found under the planter in my backyard. Its because I said, “Oh, look, a snake!” when I saw Leslie the first time. Granted, Leslie is a little snake, had Leslie been larger I may have temporarily lost my mind and killed it with my weedeater before figuring out that Leslie is harmless. Had I seen a copper head and a lemon yellow tail, Leslie would not be with us today.
I thought it was the most beautiful snake I had ever seen with markings I had never before seen in a WV snake. I’ve seen plenty of garter snakes, ribbon snakes, and black racers, which rise up a foot or more off the ground and “run.” Come to find out, the pine snake is pretty shy and becoming more scarce. Leslie likes to hide in the grass…
Anyway, I went to look up Leslie’s markings and didn’t quite discover much, other than he/she wasn’t poisonous… I had to dig a little deeper to find the pictures of the pine snake. So, Nate followed me outside and we oohed and ahhed and took pictures. Then we left Leslie under the planter to recover from his/her encounter with humans.
The reason this post is named “Beetle!” is because most people would have yelled, “SNAKE!” and ran for their lives when they saw Leslie. (I may have also had Leslie been ginormous… then I would have gone back and looked, becasue I’m morbidly curious that way). However, I hate beetles. I hate all bugs, but I hate beetles the most. I hate their hard little shells, and the fact they fly, and have sticky legs. Scarabs are a type of beetle and I detest watching the flesh-eating scarabs from “The Mummy” devour people. GROSS! (This does not prevent me from owning paintings with scarabs and other renderings of the sacred scarab, I’m just glad their dead.)
Just for clarification, spiders are not bugs, spiders are arachnids and given that I am a Scorpio, arachnids don’t bother me. I saw several wolf spiders today as I weed-eated – the females definitely stood out as they have laid their eggs and are carrying their white pods around still attached to their arachnid vaginas, although I’m quite certain its not called that. I will sit and watch spiders spin their webs or just sit there and wait for an unfortunate beetle to fly into the web and then I rejoice for I hate beetles.
Snakes eat beetles and spiders eat beetles, and I hate beetles, so long live spiders and snakes that eat beetles.