X is for eXciting!

Yes, we’re poking at our letters today, but our little snake is an Xciting sight for some humans and is twisted into just the right shape!

For all the excitement a snake popping up in the garden causes, the ring-necked snake is one you can flick your tail at. It rarely gets over pencil-sized, and can easily be identified by the yellow to orange ring around the neck, or if you have scared it, the yellow-orange underbelly, as it tried to flash you nature’s warning color and chase you off.

And what do they eat, we would like you to ask? Slugs–every gardener’s bane–earthworms and salamanders.

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S is for Snake

Sneaky Snake. Slithery Snake. Hisssy Snake.

Ring-necked snake

Bet you’ve heard all those. This one’s a Ring-necked snake, one of the bigger ones I’ve seen, probably ten inches…and no, I didn’t try to stretch him out to check, because Ring-necked snakes do have a venom in their back teeth, and I didn’t need it latching onto my paw. Mostly the venom comes out when the snakes get their prey well into their mouths, so you humans don’t need to worry. And they do give fair warning, flipping over their tail’s underside, which is orange, signaling danger in nature.

Ring-necked snakes eat slugs, worms and salamanders, so they’re good garden friends. But what wild species isn’t?

And on that note, Happy Earth Day! Hope you have a great day outdoors enjoying nature!

Earth Day

 

 

Ring-necked Snake

Well, I got to see another snake today, a small one that’s coloring gives the name: Ring-necked.

Hickory wasn’t with me and I guess that’s a good thing after his scare a week ago. I’m having a time of it convincing him most snakes are harmless. This was one of the largest Ring-necked I’ve seen, about 10 inches, though they can get to 18. They hide most of the time, coming out at night to eat mainly worms, slugs and salamanders. If you scare them, they do the really neat trick of flipping over their tail, which is orange below.

Orange is a warning color in nature, if you didn’t know, and it’s fair that the Ring-necked snake uses it because they do have a mild venom. It apparently comes out of their back teeth, not fangs, and the snake isn’t aggressive, so this shouldn’t be a concern to humans. But if you are worried, read up on this little critter. I mean, they eat slugs. That’s a good thing. Er, but please don’t mention this to Hickory.