As often as I am out, it is surprising to me I do not see more snakes. They are masters of being not seen. However, it is not just humans that pass by them, Gracie sometimes steps pass them without noticing their presence. And no Gracie was not with us on this outing…too hot for her.

Chocolate Tube Slime Mold (Stemonitis splendens)!


A pool of water and in this case we were able to step up on the ledge directly to continue on.

A yucca was hanging in mid-air on the bank!

First sign of a snake!

It was a fairly large snake! And if you look closely you can see that it had keeled scales.

Here is a close up of the scales. A little further down the creek, we discovered the live snake!

Jeanne was in the lead again and she walked right pass the Yellow-bellied Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) without seeing it! Oh my eh! I wonder if I saw it now because it had moved some. Really hard to see it as it blended in so well.

A close up of the keeled scales!

It was a narrow passage where the snake was so I decided to climb out of the creek bed and go above. Sometimes if you get in their space, well they have to defend! Who can blame them.

So this photo was taken from above about 5 to 6 feet!

Wildfire smoke seeds the air with potentially dangerous microbes

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


    1. Judy, Because I still don’t want to get bit. You can still be infected and I don’t want to try to get a room in the hospital. I am not taking any chances πŸ™‚

  1. What do keeled scales tell you about a snake when you find a skin? I know I have heard but don’t remember. Nice photo of its face!
    I have missed about a week of of your blogs with being so busy.

    1. Hey Kathy, I have no clue why some have keeled scales. Apparently, there are several theories, but no real conclusion. In this case, I just figured since we found the skin and the live snake was close by and the keeled scales match to that particular species that there was a good chance that it was the same snake. Of course I could be totally wrong. Some of the theories about the keeled scales were association with xeric environments and water retention, another was it reflected light better, and still another was about where it did its locomotion, trees vs grass. That was a just a couple I found. FYI google search said “With the exception of the North American coral snakes, all North American venomous snakes are otherwise pit vipers that have keeled to weakly keeled scales,”. Of course we know other non-venomous snakes have keels as well, like the Rough green snake and Bull Snakes to name two.
      Good to hear from ya!

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