I’m fond of snakes. They’re beautiful. In their own way they’re as beautiful as spiders.

The wife and I were walking in Falmouth the other day, and saw something you don’t see every day. A ringnecked snake was basking in the middle of a woodland path. You don’t encounter these snakes very often, so the sight was a rare treat.

Here’s what we saw.

The last ringnecked snake we’d seen was about seven years ago, was dead, and was hanging from the mouth of our cat. That was a bummer. The cat didn’t think so, but we did. The snake was beyond caring by then.

The ringneck did not flinch at the camera.

The University of Massachusetts has a good snake ID page online. Here’s some of what they have to say about the ringneck. “Ringneck snakes prefer moist woodlands as their habitat. This is also habitat for an important prey item, redback salamanders. Although salamanders make up the bulk of their diet, ringnecks will also feed on earthworms, insects and, on occasion, fish. As relatively small snakes, they rarely bask in the open and are generally found under cover (rocks, logs, boards, debris) during the day. Like the salamanders on which they prey, ringnecks are usually nocturnal.” The UMass site is to be recommended. UMass snakelink: http://www.masnakes.org/index.html

What a delicate head. Such modest, but distinctive markings.

Perhaps tired of posing, or maybe annoyed by the camera’s lens cover dangling on its string, the snake decided to slither out of the way into some oak leaves at path’s edge, and snugged up near a small, fallen branch.

It took less than five seconds to vanish.


One response to “RRRing!

  1. The other small resident, if I remember well, is a DeKay’s snake..I kind of like the species named unabashedly as belonging to a human. What hubris!! No wonder we have a garden myth!

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