“Baby Snake Hide”

baby ring-neck snake*

hiding in a compost pot

sure was a surprise


*(Common in Florida, ring-necked snakes present as black and shiny (often) on top and have (sometimes) orange banding running vertically under a whiteish belly stripe running its length, and are supposed to sport a colored (orange and/or white) stripe banding “ringing” the neck just past the head.  Unless, of course, they do not so present.  And as infants they may or may not present in the so-described manner.  As I was changing out old compost-enriched plastic one- and three-gallon pots I saw a flash of color and a small squirm – the cold temperatures (for Central Florida in early January, that is) caught my tuned eye and there it was as I stirred the dirt with a small, thin stick: a baby snake with a big arrow-head shaped head, black on top and orange and white underneath, about three inches in length.  I called my more au courrrant about reptiles sister-in-law and she and brother-mine opined it was a Florida ring-necked snake.  I transferred said snake out of the big compost bin to a small holding basket – covered but with air-holes on top – and added some former potted soil to the basket and let it rest in a warm spot for a few days before an 80-degree (Fahrenheit) day made its release to fend for itself possible.  While I am no lover of snakes of any stripe, they are welcome around the yard, in the garden and anywhere else but inside.  It has been my lot in life at work to walk slowly,k make a lot of noise and use my nose to sniff out snakes and the much-more-dangerous undomesticated wild tusker boar found in Florida’s thickets and undeveloped places.  I have yet to have an encounter with a poisonous snake in the woods whilst being paid professionally to be in said woods. And may it so continue to be such!)


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