Stepping Up Our Wildlife Game

July 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm (Big Animals, Day to Day, For Mason, For Stevie, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Snakes, Summer, Unusual, Weird Shit Around House) (, , , , , , , , , )

IMG_20130714_102337

S is for snake! This little lady was laying right in front of our door last night when we got home from shopping at Target. I mention the Target part because we do not live in an area where this type of snake roams free. And truthfully I didn’t even see it. I apparently walked right over it. Stevie too. Mason started yelling from the door, “Are you kidding me?? Did you guys NOT see this giant snake sitting out here on the ground?? Are you kidding me??” I am paraphrasing for time. Add many more swear words and repeat 10 more times. I thought he was kidding. Nope.

IMG_20130714_101816

Of course she slithered herself in between the outdoor plastic tub we have and the house. It was near dark when we found her and could not get a good look. She was rattling her tail and beating it against the ground and bricks while trying to move. So we thought rattlesnake. This is my night pic. The only one I could get:

20130713_205815

Looks like a rattlesnake to me. Sounded like one too. So we called the police because we thought they need to know about potentially dangerous animals. They do. BUT. This isn’t really in their scope. They sent an officer who helped us move the tub so we could catch it. We did. Put it in a plastic bin and then into a pillowcase. Left it outside by the garage. Then went to the internet to try and identify. Success! I feel kind of smart too since that is a crappy picture and memory is not as good as you might think when you are terrified that a rattlesnake is going to bite you or try to crawl into your house. Our pretty little snake though, seems to be a Fox Snake. Often mistaken for the rattlesnake in Illinois. Often. Quick FYI’s and possible, relevant, future knowledge, you might need too someday:

Rattlesnake: Similiar colors, but, with a lighter enhancing outline around the dark pattern. And shaped like bow-ties. Thinner in the middle.

Fox Snake: Darker, rectangular pattern with light background. Picture proof obtained.

20130714_095753

Rattlesnake: The rattle on the end.

Fox Snake: No rattle, but tries to mimic the rattle, by vibrating the tail just like a rattlesnake. Yep. True that. It rattled that rattleless tail alot to scare us. But, no rattle. Also confirmed via pictures.

Rattlesnake: Slit eyes with vertical pupils. Vertical. Up and down. Very scary looking.

Fox snake: Round eyes. Round pupil. You can see her pretty eyes in the above pic. And here. We really got in there this morning with the picture taking.

IMG_20130714_102025

Rattlesnake: Light bottom. Similar coloring to top.

Fox Snake: Yellow bottom. Or orange. Could not confirm that until today. Yellow.

20130714_100416

Both snakes are available in various lengths, but the Fox Snake is 3-5 feet. Ours is prob 4 feet.

20130714_100404

The head is lighter in color, like the pattern gets blurry or smeared, whereas the rattlesnake head keeps the pattern same as the body.

20130714_095847

And constricting. Bites for defense, but not poison. The internet claims it doesn’t hurt. Hmm. That will remain unconfirmed. Eats mice and rodents. It’s a sub species of rat snake I guess. Not aggressive unless attacked or threatened. Also, most likely female, based on size. We are just going with it. We played with her for quite awhile this morning and she never attacked. She did try and constrict and curl and keep trying to get out of the bin, so I picked her up bare handed and was able to look at her closely and then put her back into the pillowcase without physical harm.

A few phrases come to mind: “Snake charmed.” They do have a mesmerizing magnetic effect that makes you want to keep them and touch them. “If it was a snake it would have bitten me.” I NEVER even saw the damn thing laying straight and flush against the house. Camouflage in action. “Snake wrangling.” We were quite hilarious and ridiculous last night chasing that girl all around the house trying to pick it up with rakes and sticks. Little did we know we could have just grabbed it. But in our defense it was pretty “strikey” last night until we calmed it down.

At any rate, I posted it on Facebook for anyone to have. We can’t keep it, but we won’t kill it or let it loose somewhere. Could be a pet that got free, because it is not really indigenous to our particular location. One more interesting factoid: It is unlawful to catch, keep or kill this snake in Iowa. Endangered I think. Protected maybe. Mason found that info. There are like, 39 different kinds of snakes in Illinois at any one time, (4 are poisonous), and we get an out-of-towner. Seems funny. And don’t worry, I’m not going to just give it to anybody. It’s not food for something else or material for shoes or purses. If no one legitimately can take it and care for it properly, I am calling a private owned pet store we know of–that only deals in fish and reptiles–to see if they want it or can at least take it and fine a home for it. No animals will be harmed in the making of this post.

So, that was our night. We have to go to a grad party now (Yay Jesse!! High School Over!! College Bound!!) and prob won’t be back until dark again. I cannot wait to see what will be hanging outside the back door later on! The lost reptile wildlife of suburban Chicago must know we specialize in taking care of fish and turtles and are hoping to expand the family with snakes. What will it be tonight? I am hoping alligator! Or crocodile! Either way, it’s going to make an awesome photo gallery tomorrow! Last shot because I have one more picture I want to use.

IMG_20130714_102144

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Lorraine said,

    I can just hear Mason…….
    I am in S IL with my horse…..no snakes on the trail! We did see a hawk yesterday carry one off to who knows where……….I wonder if he dropped it off at your place! Luv ya Cuz! This post made me laugh and take notes…..so now i know what to be on the look out for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: