Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Remember a few weeks ago I showed you the black racer whose skin was being shed? I found out his skin isn't being shed, that's the actual color of his skin on the last third of his body. Is this an albino mystery, or a snake skin anomoly? What do you think?
Just like before I saw him coming out of his secret hiding place with his head held high above the blades of grass. I decided to try and get some better photos of him, as close as I dared.
I noticed if I go outside when he's coming out of his hiding place, he ducks back in, so I have to wait till he is completely out and going across the lawn. Then I run like crazy to get outside before he heads into the woods to hunt. When he was all the way out this time, that's when I noticed the skin was still white on the last third of his body, amazing. I knew he should have shed his skin by now, so I was sure I had a rare patterened snake in my yard. Then I thought he might have been injured or born with a defect. I was so curious.
Later as I was looking at my photos, I tried to find a photo of a snake with similar skin colorations on google images. Finally I found another one. Guess what, much to my surprise, I discovered he isn't a black racer at all. He's an Eastern Coachwhip Snake, or Masticophis flagellum flagellum, which is often mistaken for a black racer, except the coachwhip has these same color variations of the skin. I love learning things like this, it keeps life interesting.
I know some of my readers don't like snakes, but if we didn't have snakes we'd be overrun with rats and mice. I think I'm lucky to have this snake in my backyard and it's nice to solve a mystery. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.